Vail Relationships column: Eight things emotionally resilient people do different
Resilience is about bouncing back from failure, defeat or disappointment and learning how to make the most of your setbacks or losses. Here are eight things emotionally resilient people do differently that the rest of us can learn from. If you wish to be more emotionally resilient, hold yourself accountable to:
• Rise to the challenge — Make the most of your life’s transitions and turning points, such as a job loss, a divorce, a setback, a failure or even a death. You do this by being open to self-improvement and by working to become a better version of yourself. Redouble your efforts in the direction of what you’re trying to accomplish or achieve, and challenge yourself to rise to the occasion and do the best you can.
• Believe in yourself — and acting on that belief with positive actions.
• Look at the silver linings — In many (not all) disappointments or calamities, there is a hidden silver lining. If you can find it, it will help you focus on the hopeful future instead of on your hopelessness. This was particularly valuable to me personally a little more than six years ago, when my house burned to the ground in a wildfire and I lost everything I owned.
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Don’t lose yourself
By focusing on the future, I was able to purchase a new house and refurnish both my house and my wardrobe. Yes, things of value to me were lost forever, but I refused to lose myself. Don’t allow a serious ordeal to ruin your spirit. Find the silver lining.
• Learn from your mistakes — You are not your worst blunders, and you are not your worst faults or traits. Pick yourself up, and don’t make the same errors or miscalculations again.
• Perseverance — Stay with your goals, and do not allow yourself to be discouraged easily. Life is full of adversity and setbacks. Don’t let those define you. Let your goals, hopes and your belief in yourself define you.
• Let other people in — Isolating yourself will not help you to feel better.
• Love and allow yourself to be loved — Develop and practice the skills to both give and receive love. It will enrich you and give you a different perspective about what’s truly important.
• Look at what you’re grateful for — Each night, when you put your head on the pillow and shut out the lights, before you drift off to sleep, look at what happened today that you’re proud of or grateful for. It will remind you that there are many experiences, accomplishments, strokes of luck and blessings that occur on a daily basis that matter.
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Westminster and Boulder. He is the author of the best-selling book “Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship.” Contact him at 303-758-8777 or visit http://www.neil rosenthal.com.
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