Emotional Resilience: 11 Strategies To Build it

The Characteristics of Resilience

Resilience is not a single skill or attribute, but rather a variety of skills and qualities that help individuals effectively cope with complex and diverse life challenges.” – Dr. Gianpiero Petriglieri, Clinical Psychologist.

The concept of recovering from overwhelmed challenges or tough times seems arduous. Although some people have a stronger resilience muscle than others, it may be developed with time and effort. You become unstoppable when you persevere through life’s challenges without giving up!

I will share 11 strategies to build emotional Resilience in this article.

9 Characteristics of Emotionally Resilient People

Here are nine strategies of Emotionally resilient people how they cope with tough times according to research:

Having a mindset of learning from failures

  • Having a constructive outlook
  • Focus on learning from the defeat rather than viewing it as bad luck.
  • Always approach every hurdle to learn something new
  • Capable of readjusting when faced with difficulties
  • Try different coping techniques to make stress vulnerable
  • When you are open to change
  • Adaptability, flexibility, and changeability are the virtues of resilient people.
  • When you can remain composed under pressure, as when you complete a job interview’s tight deadline on time.

You don’t have to be an expert in these areas. Instead, you might naturally possess a few of these and gain more expertise through life experiences.

11 Strategies You Can Do To Build Emotional Resilience

11 Ways To Be More Emotionally Resilient

Practice Spirituality

Foster emotional resilience through spirituality by engaging in practices that nurture your spirit and self-awareness. These practices, like mindfulness and self-reflection, aid in understanding stressors and building a resilient mindset. Spiritual energy, self-insight, and social support intertwine to empower individuals to face challenges with strength and self-awareness.[1]

Internal Locus of Control

Internal locus of control is also a powerful tool for building a resilient and healthy lifestyle. You create this characteristic with practice, time, and a positive mindset. When you direct the blame of a setback upon your shortcomings and don’t criticize external factors for your situation, you learn to maintain an “Internal Locus Of Control” that helps you to build emotional Resilience.

Building A Social Network

Building a solid social network of wholesome interactions with close friends can help you survive and thrive under tiring situations and mental health. They can assist you by giving feedback and listening to your concerns. Consider their advice, but only do what is suitable and beneficial in the given circumstances.

Flexible Thinking 

Don’t fight change; you can become emotionally resilient by concentrating on the lesson the challenging and stressful situation teaches you. Even though life will be hard, you must maintain a positive outlook to succeed.

Practice self-compassion

 Building a resilient version of yourself is a constant struggle. List your needs and resolve to meet them. Spend some quiet time with yourself and reflect on your worries, anxieties, and limiting beliefs. Find ways to get rid of the negativity inside of you.

You can expand your horizons and boost your self-confidence once you let go of your restrictions and negativity. Explain your needs and desires to yourself. Find out what makes you happy and work towards achieving it. Taking care of your needs can improve your overall mental health, well-being, self-esteem, and Resilience.

Emotional Control

Emotions are crucial in our mental toughness and in keeping our lives balanced. We need both positive and negative emotions to maintain balance. For instance, to achieve your goals, you must experience a healthy amount of stress which motivates you to act.

However, much pressure can make you anxious, affecting your mental health and losing inner strength and confidence. You develop Resilience in yourself when you learn to control your emotions by controlling your emotions rather than letting them control you.

Having A Purpose

Nothing in life can demoralize you when you have a purpose, even in the most challenging circumstances. Your self-esteem is boosted by having a strong sense of purpose, followed by a strong muscle of Resilience. You can persevere through any setback when your purpose is your primary concern.

You convince yourself that whatever is bothering you right now shall pass. You challenge your capability to overcome the difficulty by encouraging yourself to stand in the face of it, and all that you are going through now is for your benefit in a greater sense. You can overcome obstacles and are motivated to take on short-term challenges when you feel your life has meaning.

Learn from your mistakes.

A wise man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes it again.” – Roy H. Williams (1958-), U.S.

We all make mistakes because we are human. Emotionally resilient people are those who can learn from their mistakes. Making amends for errors helps you grow as a person. Failure to learn from your errors becomes a barrier to your success.

Stress Management And Emotional Resilience

Emotional Resilience and stress management are closely related. Stress is one of the most common hardships, and emotional Resilience is the capacity of a person’s ability to deal with and recover from it. Stressful situations can significantly impact a person’s well-being, and developing emotional Resilience requires effective self-management.

Emotional Pain As Resilience Builder

The discomfort and suffering that a person goes through due to psychological factors, traumatic events like stress, trauma, loss, negative emotions, or interpersonal conflicts are referred to as emotional hurt, also known as psychological suffering. It is a complex and subjective experience that can take many forms, such as anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, shamed helplessness, or hopelessness.

A person’s overall health and quality of life can be negatively impacted by this pain, which can be just as crippling as physical pain. Effective and healthy coping mechanisms and strategies can assist people in controlling and reducing emotional suffering, such as therapy, self-care, and social support.

Step Back To Gain A Broader perspective.

A change in perspective is necessary for learning emotional Resilience during times of crisis. You will broaden your perspective and try to seek new solutions to the issues at hand by using all available options, making you adaptable and flexible once you see setbacks and perceive adversities as opportunities to learn new things. Emotionally resilient people exercise a positive perspective in every challenging situation.

What Influences Emotional Resilience?

Emotional resilience refers to one’s ability to cope with and bounce back from adversities and challenging life situations. Various factors influence emotional resilience:

  1. Past Trauma: Experiencing trauma or adversity in the past can impact emotional resilience by affecting coping mechanisms and overall well-being.
  2. Personality: Individual personality traits, such as optimism, adaptability, and a sense of humor, play a role in shaping emotional resilience.
  3. Biological and Social Influences: Biological factors and social support networks influence resilience. While some people may appear more naturally resilient, everyone can develop strength through various strategies.
  4. Internal Connectedness: Being connected to one’s spiritual side can contribute to stronger emotional resilience, especially when the connection is intrinsic and profound
  5. Age: Age can influence emotional resilience, with life experiences and maturity contributing to better coping skills over time
  6. Gender: Gender may play a role in emotional resilience, with societal expectations and cultural norms influencing how individuals express and cope with emotions
  7. Coping Strategies: Effective coping strategies, such as problem-solving skills, emotional regulation techniques, and seeking social support, can enhance emotional resilience.

Dr. Harry Barry’s Main Findings

The well-known Irish author and physician Dr. Harry Barry emphasizes the significance of emotional fortitude in our lives. He defines emotional Resilience as the capacity to handle stress, challenges, and all of life’s challenges, big or small. He holds that building emotional Resilience is a skill that can be acquired through practice rather than something we are born with.

According to Dr. Barry, emotional Resilience necessitates self-awareness, emotional awareness, and the development of healthy relationships to build strength. He also stresses the value of self-care, including getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating a healthy diet. Dr Barry thinks that increasing our emotional Resilience can make it easier to deal with life’s crises and contribute to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling existence.

RELATED: Healthy Coping Skills for Uncomfortable Emotions

How to Build Emotional Resilience: 5 Exercises

The five coping strategies with exercise are:

  • Journaling
  • Meditation, Mindfulness (Deep breathing)
  • Exercise
  • Positive Self Talk
  • Practicing healthy Boundaries

Building Emotional Resilience At Social Work

Due to their frequent exposure to challenging circumstances and emotionally taxing work, social workers must be emotionally more resilient. They can use methods like regular exercise, meditation, and seeking social help for learning growth and resiliency.

Social workers must also set clear boundaries with clients to manage their stress effectively and practice mindfulness and active listening. Social workers must develop emotional resilience by effectively supporting and caring for their clients while maintaining their well-being.

Emotional Resilience Scale

The perceived capacity to recover or bounce back from stress was measured via the development of the Brief Resilience Scale. The scale, which includes both favorably and negatively worded items, was created to evaluate a unitary construct of resilience. The BRS allows for a score range of 1 (poor resilience) to 5 (remarkable resilience).

Developing Resilience is a personal journey; there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, focus on finding a strategy that builds resilience skills over time.” – American Psychological Association.


Life always adopts an attitude of teaching you, through crisis, the greatest lessons of Resilience, mental toughness, and wisdom. Intelligent people don’t bounce back from adversity and get transformed and raise resilient children to benefit the human community.

REFERENCES: [1] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s42844-023-00088-y

Frequently Asked Questions

Emotional Resilience for Stress Management

Emotional resilience is an intrinsic ability that helps manage stress by calming the mind after negative experiences. To build it, understand and use emotions effectively, learn from setbacks, maintain social connections, and adopt new routines. Recognizing signs of stress, self-care, problem reframing, and seeking support contribute to stress reduction and resilience building.

How do we build emotional resilience in the workplace?

Building emotional resilience in the workplace is crucial for managing stress and challenges effectively. Here’s a concise guide:
Self-Awareness: Understand your emotions and reactions to different situations. This helps you respond more constructively.
Positive Mindset: Cultivate optimism and focus on solutions rather than dwelling on problems. This outlook enhances your ability to bounce back.
Adaptability: Embrace change and develop flexibility. Being open to new approaches can help you navigate uncertainties.
Problem-Solving: Enhance problem-solving skills to tackle challenges systematically. Break down issues into manageable steps.
Healthy Boundaries: Set clear boundaries between work and personal life to prevent burnout. Prioritize self-care and downtime.
Social Support: Build a strong network of colleagues, mentors, and friends. Seeking support and sharing experiences can alleviate stress.
Mindfulness and Relaxation: Practice mindfulness techniques and relaxation exercises to manage stress and stay centered.

What is the difference between mental and emotional resilience?

Mental resilience relates to psychological strength and coping with stress, while emotional resilience involves managing and recovering from emotional experiences. Mental resilience focuses on cognitive adaptability, while emotional resilience pertains to handling feelings and maintaining emotional well-being.

What is the difference between emotional intelligence and emotional resilience?

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to understanding and managing one’s emotions and others. It enables effective communication and empathy. Emotional resilience involves coping with challenges and adversity and recovering from setbacks. EI relates to managing emotions, while resilience focuses on dealing with difficulties.

List of 11 emotional resilience activities for adults.

Mindfulness meditation for self-awareness.
Journaling to express emotions and thoughts.
Practicing gratitude to foster positivity.
Deep breathing exercises for relaxation.
Yoga or stretching for physical and mental balance.
Positive self-affirmations to boost confidence.
Seeking support from friends or a counselor.
Engaging in hobbies for stress relief.
Setting and achieving small goals for a sense of accomplishment.
Developing problem-solving skills for overcoming challenges.
Mindful walking in nature reduces stress and clears the mind.

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