Emotional stability doesn’t have to elude you any longer. If you are trying to ground yourself and find balance in the way you approach life, problems, and even your daily happiness, you’ve come to the right place.
Emotional stability doesn’t mean that you never get mad or angry, but it does mean that you have the wherewithal to process those emotions and see them for what they are: responses to your thoughts about a situation or circumstance.
According to Science Direct, emotionally stable people have “weaker reactions to negative stimuli and hence are less readily discouraged, less distractible, and more confident in their own abilities.”
You recognize that things happen for you, not to you, and you want to continue to improve upon your ability to cope and manage life in a way that serves you, not takes away from you.
If you want to improve your emotional stability, start by doing these 7 things.
1) Stop saying yes to everything.
Do you always yes to everything, even when you know when you really want to say no?
According to Dr. Jon Belford, the urge to say yes to everything “may be tired to distorted, irrational worry about abandonment.”
In order to ground your life and focus, you need to stop running around like a chicken with your head cut off.
In order to find more balance, you need to stop saying yes to everything and feeling like you owe all your time to other people.
Start by cutting out the things that drain your energy and awareness and be diligent about saying no when the moment, opportunity, or even a person doesn’t serve you.
It’s okay to be selfish with your time and energy: they are the things that you need to be emotionally aware.
When you are tired and drained, you’ll be easy to sway and find yourself doing things you don’t want to do.
When you don’t say no to anything, you are saying yes to everything.
This can drain you of your energy and resources that you need to care for yourself. We often don’t realize how much we are giving to other people around us, especially children and spouses, extended family and friends.
If you want to be more emotionally stable, you need to have your wits about you and the energy to process what is going on and when.
Delayed reactions can cause you to feel overwhelmed and make matters seem worse than they really are.
By saying no to more things, including people, expectations, and responsibilities, you make room for the things that are really important in your life.
2) Stop hiding your flaws.
If you want to become more emotionally stable, you need to start accepting who you are right now and stop trying to fix everything you deem wrong with yourself.
According to Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences, the need to disguise yourself is a form of “emotional labor.”
This can cause you to engage in “surface acting” so you can fit in with others.
There’s nothing wrong with you. The sooner you realize that you are perfect just the way you are, the sooner you’ll have more capacity to focus on things that really matter in your life.
What your pants size is or how long your hair is does not define you. Only you can define you. So why not start by finding a new definition for your life and stop focusing on what’s not going well.
If you want to be more emotionally stable, you need to stop criticizing yourself. Sure, everyone has flaws, but not everyone focuses on them.
Instead, it’s easier to just accept that you have flaws, however large or small, and move on with your life.
Rather than try to correct them, which can cause you a great deal of dismay, focus on the things that are going right in your life and that feel good to you.
Emotionally stable people don’t let themselves come undone by what they can’t control and we cannot control our flaws.
It’s best to just keep your eyes forward and find things to celebrate in your life.
3) Stand up and stand out.
It’s important to be your unique self as you go through this life. We run into trouble when we try to be other people, or live up to the expectations of others.
When you stand up, proud of who you are, you find a level of balance that most can only dream of.
Emotional stability is improved because you don’t let drama about yourself or your body, your thoughts or your feelings cloud your judgment about your capacity and abilities to live your life the way you want.
According to Whitbourne, when you take away the disguise and you start to be proud of who you truly are, a whole host of positive benefits await you:
“You will feel more satisfied with yourself, happier with your job (if this is in a workplace context), more engaged in your relationships, less anxious and depressed, more socially supported, and higher in self-esteem.”
When you feel small because of who you are, you deny the world the chance to get to know the real you.
4) Ask for help when you need it.
People who have a high degree of emotional stability are people who are not afraid to ask for help.
This is because they acknowledge they don’t know everything and they can find their way to the answers if they are willing to look and ask for directions.
Emotional stability is improved when you approach life with a learning perspective. This also gives you room to be wrong and experiment with things that interest you.
Rather than believe your life is all it could be, you want to reach out to those who could help further your dreams along.
This approach also helps you see that you are not weak for needing help, a key ingredient in emotional stability. Nobody gets through this life on their own.
5) Listen to what feels right to you.
Emotional stability is strengthened when we pay attention to that little voice in our heads or that feeling in our gut that tells us to go in a certain direction.
Rather than be dramatic about having to make hard decisions, you can use your intuition to guide your choices and help you learn as you go.
Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. talks about how important the ability to distinguish irrational emotions – like anxiety when our emotions mistake a situation as being dangerous – and “true gut feelings”.
This he calls “genuine intuition” which is a survival mechanism hard-wired into all of us and is inherently trustworthy where our emotions need to be viewed more cautiously.
People who have strong emotional stability trust themselves and their intuition and don’t need the approval of others to move forward in their lives.
While this may be one of the hardest parts of letting go of your old ways of doing things, it’s worth it to discover what you can do when you put your mind to it and let yourself find out what your life could be.
Emotional stability doesn’t make life better on its own, but it does contribute to a more fulfilling, understood way of being that makes life more enjoyable and makes navigating the ups and downs of the human emotional train, easier.
Eastern philosophy wisdom is all about cultivating emotional stability, learning to live in the present moment and live a fulfilling life. To learn more about it, check out my eBook: The No-Nonsense Guide to Using Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy for a Better Life.
6) Learn from your mistakes.
When it comes to being emotionally stable, you need to have an open mind about learning.
When you are open to learning, you recognize that you don’t know everything and that leaves a lot of room for you to improve your outlook and experiences.
You also realize that you have biases and prejudices which you’re open to understanding and rectifying.
According to psychotherapist Megan Bruneau, M.A. in Mind Body Green, a key sign of emotional maturity is “learning to cultivate an active awareness of these biases and prejudices, and examine how they might influence our decisions and actions.”
If you are willing to learn from your mistakes and make it a habit to work on the things you don’t know, you will be in a better position to grow and stabilize your emotions.
If you believe that you know what you need to know and are closed off to life, you’ll feel emotionally trapped and maybe even physically trapped.
7) Retell your stories.
If you are looking to improve your emotional stability, one way to do that is to change the way you see the past.
Rather than be a victim of your own life and previous choices, you can choose to see something else in your life that makes you feel good about how you have come to this place.
You can retell your stories so that they make sense in a new and different way, a way that makes you realize how lucky you are to be alive and that you have room to still become the person you want to be.
Retelling your stories gives you a chance to see things differently and to be more emotionally stable.
But remember, that nobody is perfect and it’s okay to work on yourself when you want and how you want.
Putting yourself first
What’s your number one goal at the moment?
Is it to buy that car you’ve been saving up for?
To finally start that side-hustle that’ll hopefully help you quit your 9-5 one day?
Or to take the leap and finally ask your partner to move in?
Whatever your goals are, there’s a hidden trap in how you set them.
The trap is this:
You’ll only experience genuine life satisfaction when your goals are aligned with your values.
Because when values and goals are aligned, you enjoy the journey much more. And this makes achieving your goals much more likely.
If you find it hard to articulate your deeper life values, I suggest downloading the free values exercise by career coach Jeanette Brown.
It takes only a couple of minutes and will reveal a number of powerful insights about your underlying values.
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