11 signs you’ve got more emotional resilience than the average person, according to psychology

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Emotional resilience is a cornerstone of a fulfilling and successful life. 

It means that you’re able to understand, manage and channel your feelings in an effective and empowering way:

Instead of being a victim of life, you steer your own ship in the direction that’s meaningful and fulfilling for you. 

But how much emotional resilience do you really have?

Let’s take a look at psychological insights that show you have far above-average emotional resiliency. 

1) You stay optimistic

You don’t sit around with a cheshire cat grin, but you do try your best to remain optimistic

At the heart of this is a firm awareness that your locus of control is with yourself and not with much of what happens to you. 

As consultant and mental health writer Tchiki Davis, PhD. puts it:

“You do not control the world; you only control yourself. The only way forward now is to adjust your attitude, shift your thoughts, and dream bigger by being flexible.”

2) You’re highly self-aware

Self-awareness is a crucial component of emotional intelligence and resilience. 

Because you are aware of what makes you tick and are cognizant of your strengths and weaknesses, you can deal with your emotions more effectively. 

You don’t get suddenly overtaken by a bout of anger or get euphoric in a new relationship and end up being scammed by a con man:

You’re able to see the early signs that your emotions or reactions could be taking you off track and respond accordingly.

This high self-awareness serves as an effective boost to your resiliency, as it lets you avoid many problems before they get worse or spin out of control. 

3) You cope with stress in healthy ways

Emotional resilience isn’t tested when times are easy or enjoyable:

It comes out when stress is pounding and the sh*t has hit the fan. 

When that stress is cascading over you and competing demands are everywhere for your time and energy, what do you do?

When you have high emotional resilience, you find healthy channels for your frustration and stress, whether that be working out,  meditation, artistic pursuits, a punching bag or a walk in the woods. 

“Resilience-boosting strategies are regular, repeated, practices that have been shown to increase well being and help us recover from adversity. These include daily gratitude, physical movement, mindfulness, micro-breaks, self-compassion, and being in nature, among others,” advises Psychologist Elaine Shpungin, PhD.

4) You’re adaptable

When life changes without notice, you’re ready.

Your self-awareness, combined with your ability to manage your emotions and stress makes you especially able to adapt.

You stay flexible with your plans and commitments and find a way to fit them around the parts of life you can’t control.

For example: you may be committed to starting your business, but if the partners you had planned on don’t come to fruition in your current location, perhaps you consider moving to a new one. 

You’re adaptable in the ways that are realistic and beneficial, allowing you to remain more emotionally strong during times of transition and tumult.

This leads me to the next point… 

5) You reframe negatives into positives

A big part of emotional resilience is in reframing:

Confirmation bias is what psychology terms the tendency to see our biases and beliefs confirmed by outer reality. 

By taking negatives and reframing them into positives, you end up creating a confirmation bias that loops on itself in an empowering rather than disempowering way. 

This creates a powerful shift in every area of your life and builds emotional resilience in a big way. 

“Shifting our mindset from cynicism and hopelessness to possibility and exploration boosts optimism and affects our physical and mental well-being,” notes Shpungin.

6) You try your best to learn from failures

Failures and setbacks are an inevitable part of life. 

But you are far above average emotionally resilient when you’re able to take disappointment and turn it to your advantage.

In some cases you just failed because you were hit by circumstances outside your control. It sucks, but there’s nothing to be done in that case except accept it. 

In other situations you can see how your own actions (or inactions) or those of others led to the problem. In which case, you do your best to learn.

You are always refining and growing, expanding your OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act).

“Test out some new approaches to see what works in this situation. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because they will make you more emotionally resilient if you are willing to learn from them,” notes Davis.

7) You’re driven by an overriding purpose or mission

Emotional toughness has a lot to do with motivation.

You are driven by a strong purpose and mission in your life, which allows you to navigate the emotional storms that come up with more equanimity. 

It’s not that you aren’t hurt by life’s setbacks, heartbreaks and injustices:

It’s just that you have your eyes on your goal more so than the obstacles along the way. And this makes an enormous difference.

As Shpungin encourages:

“One small doable way to increase how purposeful you are in your daily life is creating a personal mission or purpose statement to guide your choices and actions for the next four months.”

8) You are able to balance self-discipline with self-compassion

You’re a person who is able to strike a rare balance:

You have self-discipline and can stick to a target goal and objective, but you are also kind to yourself and know how to engage in self-compassion and self-care. 

You’re working hard to get to your goals and to improve yourself, but you also accept and love yourself fully for who you are.

In other words, the improvement is just a bonus and your acceptance of yourself is never a condition of your self-love.

9) You seek out and help create a strong support network

Building emotional resilience has a lot to do with who you surround yourself with. 

As a person who manages and uses their emotions effectively, you are able to seek out help and support when you need it. You also do your best to build thick networks that aid others. 

This reciprocal action is all about having the resources you need to lean on while also being there to help form networks which aid others. It’s a win-win mentality. 

When facing any emotional challenge you tend to network with those who’ve faced it before instead of just winging it.

As Davis encourages:

“Before moving forward and take action, share your uncertainty, and brainstorm ideas for how to move forward with colleagues and friends.”

10) You tackle problems with a can-do attitude instead of defeatism

Certain problems in life can be downright overwhelming:

Illness, loss, unexpected breakups, cheating and job loss come to mind just for starters. 

But as an emotionally tough individual, you do your best to tackle problems with a can-do attitude. You learn what you can in order to deal with a situation and respond to it, and you accept that life often goes very unfairly. 

But defining yourself by victimhood is something you do your best to avoid.

As psychologist Cortney Warren observes:

“Resilience is associated with a basic acceptance that life isn’t always fair, and that we all experience emotional hardships. Accepting this truth helps people to not take things as personally when undesirable events happen.”

11) You’re not afraid to seek help or defer to authority when justified

Emotional resilience has a lot to do with striking a balance between self-confidence and seeking help. 

As an emotionally tough person, you do your best to see setbacks and adversity as an opportunity:

This isn’t always easy, nor do you always succeed. But you set your rudder to this basic element in order to steer yourself towards greater personal power and efficacy. 

“In my clinical practice, I remind patients daily that life is a series of experiences and that we go through life, labeling our experiences as positive or negative,” explains psychologist Monica Vermani C. Psych.

“Exposure to adversity can go either way: we can learn and grow from our negative experiences and become more resilient, or we can become more fearful and traumatized.”

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