Do your emotions fluctuate and leave you reeling? Do you frequently believe you are utterly powerless in the face of life and all the challenges it throws your way?
If so, then read on. Because below, you will discover my top 3 tools that you can practice for building emotional resilience ~ tools that mean you no longer have to subject yourself to uncertainty, turbulence and fear, never knowing when you might collapse with overwhelm and perhaps turn to self-destructive coping mechanisms simply to get through.
These tools are easy, and available to you whenever you need them...
Design and maintain your Sphere of Wellbeing. Imagine you are navigating your way through life encased inside an invisible sphere. Inside the sphere sits your emotional health, sanctuary, and your sense of self. It's like an ecosystem of YOU ~ all carefully aligned and poised, with your happiness and wellbeing at its focus. What is allowed inside the sphere is entirely up to you... and in order to understand what is fruitful and what is not, in terms of the equilibrium of your bubble, you must continually appraise what you need and what you do not. People, substances, activities, lifestyle choices ~ all of these things are to be assessed in relation to how they work within your Sphere of Wellbeing. If a partner is causing you to feel anxious, sad, fearful even, there is no place inside the sphere for them. If you are drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and it is ruining your sleep, mental and physical health and relationships, it's time to ban it from your sphere. If your sphere needs something additional bringing inside, in order to balance it, ask yourself what that might be... is it more time in nature, a better sleep routine, greater self-care or stronger emotional boundaries? Whatever needs to go in and out of your sphere is down to you, but be aware, be a guardian of your bubble, and know that the maintenance of it is entirely your job.
You are the Sky. Your emotions and thoughts are the Weather. This analogy has helped me SO many times to get through a crisis. I like to imagine I am on a stormy sea when times get tough, being tossed about in a wooden boat at the mercy of the ocean waves and the elements, using all my skills and concentration to get safely through to calmer waters and an easier sail. The sky, in this analogy, is the core you ~ the YOU that houses your values. It's your spirit, your soul, the Observing Self. The weather, on the other hand, is the myriad of thoughts and emotions that spring up throughout each and every day, millions of times, pulling us this way or that way, creating drama and excitement and sadness and fear. These emotions and thoughts will pass, they are simply clouds and weather systems; transitional, sometimes powerful and sometimes not. Whatever they look like, they are impermanent and they do not define you.
Be grateful. The power of gratitude never fails to amaze me. In the depth of my despair, I try to remember to take five minutes to quietly reflect upon what is good in my life. This practice ALWAYS increases my emotional resilience a hundred times over. I sometimes write my gratitude list but often I just think it, and feel acutely in my heart that I am grateful for whatever it may be on that particular day. It could be the moorhen chicks that I witnessed on my early morning run, or the fact that my family are all healthy and well currently, or that I live in a country that has a free health service and one that recently did an incredible job of saving my life when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Whatever the gratitudes are is really unimportant ~ the crucial bit of this tool is that you FEEL grateful in your heart. That you really experience the emotion of gratitude in a visceral sense; you'll know this is happening when your body floods with happiness and warmth, and suddenly your problems are significantly diminished.
I hope you find these tools helpful, and don't forget, you can tap into many more just like these by either signing up for my Transformative Coaching, the A* Sober Summer Programme, OR the Rocca Life group coaching that takes place every other Saturday. All coaching is via Zoom and please contact me if you have any questions or to book your session.
Lucy xx 😘