Building Emotional Resilience in 2017



By Ali Mariani

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” 
― Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free


Resilience is a quality that can be developed and strengthened; it isn’t something we are either born with or not. This is good news for a lot of us because this means that we can develop a stronger core. Life circumstances will never stop being thrown at us. As the quote above mentions, life doesn’t get any easier, we just become stronger and more resilient.

One definition of resilience that I like is: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. This sounds really nice, but how does one cultivate this? How do we become more resilient?

Here are a few things we can practice/do to become more resilient:

  1. We can become more flexible with change. We can be open to changes that happen. When plans change, life circumstances change, when people change, we can ride the waves. Change is not the end of the world; it is the way of the world. Things are always changing, for better or worse. We can open our hearts and embrace changes as best as we can, even when they aren’t what we expect or want.


  1. We can find a practice that centers us. I could sit here and write, “Practice yoga” or “meditate” but I know that isn’t necessarily what centers everyone. We can, however, find some sort of practice that centers us. This can be meditation, running, golf, fishing, basketball, etc. A practice that centers us is something that helps us to forget about our anxieties and worries for a bit.


  1. We can stop taking things personally. Taking things personally can shatter our centers. There are lots of things that happen in our lives that aren’t necessarily our fault. Traumatic events and tragedies happen everyday, and nobody deserves them (in my opinion). Resilience requires that we understand that these things that happen around us aren’t always because of us. 


  1. We can let go of the victim role. Developing resilience asks us to leave the victim role behind. We are agents of change, advocates in our own lives. We can impact our lives and shape them to be more joyful. We may not be able to control external circumstances but we can control our attitudes facing those circumstances.


  1. We can view challenges as opportunities for growth. When challenges arise in our life, we can moan and grunt about them or we can choose to view them as learning opportunities. The latter is precisely how we cultivate more resilience. Every challenge is a spiritual lesson. Choose to level up spiritually and face the challenge.


“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” 
― Elizabeth Edwards


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