Emotional resilience: Escaping low self-esteem

Don’t panic! We hear that phrase a lot, but what is your emotional response to that? Probably, to panic some more. Don’t worry, the due date isn’t until next week… Keep calm, it’s just an exam… Relax, you can’t change anything now.

We face countless situations every day that we don’t want to be in. Half of you wants to get out, run away and never look back! The other, more logical half knows that isn’t an option. It’s only natural to feel this fight or flight response. Challenging situations can affect you in different ways, leaving you feeling; defeated, sad, angry, scared or frustrated. The question is, how do you overcome this?

Emotional resilience is about having the mental strength to understand how you feel, but not let it take over. You could be feeling angry, panicked, or frustrated but you remain calm. Your mind acknowledges what is happening and focuses on the task instead. But how can we build on that? What makes us more emotionally resilient?

First, we need to break it down.

What is Emotional Resilience?

There are four types of resilience; physical, mental, social, and of course emotional. Some things are heavy-hitting, and they will knock us down but it’s about having the courage and ability to stand up again. Think of it like a mental rubber band that allows us to bounce back after facing adversity, be it a challenging work project, an unexpected life hiccup or a difficult experience.

But with emotional resilience, it isn’t just about taking a hit from an external issue or crisis, it’s about the internal pressures. There is a level of emotional awareness required to recognise when you are experiencing an emotional response that is not helpful to you. Instead of ignoring the problem, try facing it head-on and moving forward.

How can I enhance my emotional resilience?

Here are a few friendly tips to help reboot your resilience. Remember, everyone’s journey is unique, so try different strategies until you find what works best for you.

1. Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is a powerful tool to manage stress and boost resilience. Take time daily to meditate, focusing on your breath and allowing thoughts to pass without judgment. This can help you stay calm during tough times.

2. Positive thinking:

Holding onto negative thoughts can drain your resilience. Try to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Acknowledge the challenges but focus on potential solutions instead.

3. Self-care:

Looking after your physical health can enhance emotional resilience. Aim for a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. If your body feels good, it’s easier for your mind to feel good too!

4. Social Support:

Stay connected with your loved ones. Talk, laugh, and share your challenges with them. Knowing you’re not alone can bolster your resilience.

Let’s Talk About Self-esteem

Esteem is to have respect and admiration for something or someone. Self-esteem is one of the hardest things to have. Everyone is critical of everything, and we often judge ourselves harder than we would others. We are constantly overanalysing ourselves. We know the ins and outs of everything we do and every choice we make.

It’s like admiring a painting and thinking, “Wow, this is incredible!” But then you see your painting and every line, every choice, every mistake is visible. Because of course it is, you were there for the whole process!

Without high self-esteem, you wouldn’t be able to recognise your accomplishments, and this would impact your emotional resilience. If you focus on the mistakes, the failures, all that fuel for doubt and anxiety, you are only giving way to those emotions. Recognise that you have succeeded in many things in the past; you have got through thick and thin. And if you got through all that, you can get through anything else.

How can I boost my self-esteem?

High self-esteem doesn’t happen overnight, but don’t worry – it’s never too late to start building it.

1. Positive Self-talk:

Be kind to yourself and remember to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Be your own cheerleader!

2. Set Realistic Goals:

Set achievable goals and track your progress. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-esteem.

3. Embrace your Uniqueness:

You are unique, and that’s your superpower. Embrace your individuality and remember—there’s only one YOU!

4. Practice Self-compassion:

Don’t beat yourself up when you make mistakes. Learn from them and move on. Show yourself the same kindness you extend to others.

Reboot your Resilience!

To get this far in life, whether you’re a teen or a young adult, is to have some level of emotional resilience. Let’s face it, there are so many things that could be causing stress right now. Perhaps you are facing academic pressure at school, college or university. Maybe it’s your social life; your parents, brothers or sisters and even friends may test you at times. Then there’s pressure to fit in, unhealthy competition from others and maybe even a romantic love interest. That’s before you’ve added any traumatic events into the mix!

Having the confidence to believe in yourself and pick yourself up when you feel down is a powerful life skill, but it can take time to develop. Remember to be patient with yourself.

If you would like some help on your journey, consider our online programme; Reboot your Resilience. In it, we will discuss building positive habits for a positive mindset. Practising self-care techniques to relieve stress and create positive lifestyle habits.

Keep smiling, keep striving, and most importantly, keep believing in your wonderful self!

For more information on this topic

Listen to our ‘R for Resilience | Boost Your Emotional Resilience’ podcast episode

Z to A of Life Skills Podcast with Mark and Jules Kennedy.

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