build emotional resilience as an adult

5 Strategies for Building Emotional Resilience in Adults

The skill of building emotional resilience is much needed especially in adults. We might be physically and mentally strong but our experience with life is short so is with emotions. To remind you, building resilience is a skill, you don’t necessarily need to have personal experience of emotions.

Through this post we both will learn to build emotional resilience, But first let’s see what emotional resilience actually means.

What does emotional resilience mean?

Have you noticed when some people go through difficult times, they seem to bounce back quicker and stronger than others? That’s resilience. 

The ability to adapt to and cope with stress, adversity, and trauma. Which involves developing a strong sense of self-awareness, emotional regulation, and the ability to bounce back from challenging situations.

We lack this skill and lose control over their emotions leading to making bad decisions.

What is an example of emotional resilience?

As an example let’s Imagine a friend who has just gone through a difficult breakup. She is feeling overwhelmed with emotions and is having a hard time moving on. 

A resilient friend would acknowledge her feelings, help her find healthy ways to cope, and offer support and encouragement as she navigates this tough time. They would help her build skills to manage her emotions, and encourage her to focus on the things she can control rather than those she can’t. 

People strong in emotional resilience can laugh at life’s difficulties.

Why is my emotional resilience so low?

A common reason for low emotional resilience is attempting to tackle too much too quickly, which can result in failure and reduce confidence. Low self-esteem also plays a role, as a lack of self-belief can make it harder to handle stress in a positive manner.

5 Strategies for Building Emotional Resilience 

Firstly, treat yourself with kindness 

AKA Self-compassion. The concept of self-compassion is to treat oneself with the same kindness, concern, and support that one would offer to a close friend. 

Research has shown that practicing self-compassion can lead to improved emotional resilience, reduced anxiety and depression, and increased well-being.

When you are kind you give yourself time to think calmly and not make any regrettable decisions. This must be your attitude when you see yourself in a hard situation.

Few way to be kind to yourself;

  • When your body says to take a break, listen to it.
  • Practice a hobby, don’t stay with work all the time, play ukulele, draw, or just sit.
  • Practice positive self-talk.
  • Meditate and practice mindfulness.
  • Consume a healthy and nutritious diet.

A good example of positive self-talk “It’s okay I am in the wrong situation, but I believe I can come out of it, don’t overthink, there’s always a way.”

Develop social support 

Having a strong support system is crucial for building emotional resilience in adults. A support system is made up of people who are willing to listen, offer help and guidance, and provide encouragement during challenging times. These can be family, friends, colleagues, or even professionals like therapists or coaches.

How do I build a social support system?

  • Identify and reach out to potential supportive people in your life.
  • Be vulnerable and open with those in your support system.
  • Prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to your support system.
  • Consider joining a support group or seeking professional help.
  • Make time to connect with your support system regularly.

Through your tough times, only true friends and your family members will be there, be open and ask for advice and learn from their experiences. Truth is we can never be totally independent, in order to be resilient and cope with stress or anxiety you will always be advised to get support.

Don’t try to escape stressful situation, face it

It’s completely normal to feel like running away when you face a stressful situation. But escaping won’t help us build resilience. Instead, face the situation head-on, take it as an opportunity to grow and learn. 

On facing our fears and challenges, we build our emotional strength and can handle difficult situations with more ease in the future. 

This doesn’t mean you should stay in a harmful or dangerous situation, but it means being brave and confronting situations that make you feel uncomfortable or scared.

Instead of avoiding such situation follow these tips;

  • Acknowledge your feelings and situation.
  • Identify the source of your stress and try to understand it.
  • Find ways to manage your stress, such as through exercise or meditation.
  • Seek support from others, such as friends or a therapist, to help you cope with the stress.

Remember, avoiding stress doesn’t make it go away, but it can make it worse.

Find meaning in what you do

Research has shown that individuals who find purpose and significance in their daily activities are better equipped to manage stress and overcome challenges. 

This can include finding meaning in your work, your hobbies, your relationships, or any other aspect of your life.

When you find meaning in what you do, you can develop a sense of purpose and direction that can help you stay motivated and focused in the face of adversity. This can also provide a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that can help to counterbalance the negative effects of stress and anxiety.

Read books, find mentors, practice self-reflection, notice your values and unfair advantages to find meaning in what you do.

Fill your belief systems with optimism

As adults we don’t value such important aspects. Which is not a good thing, Belief systems are superpower, they help us shape our life. They control most parts of our lives. 

Our thoughts have a powerful impact on our emotions and behaviors, so it’s essential to maintain a positive outlook. When we believe that things will work out, it becomes easier to face challenges and setbacks.

One way to fill your belief systems with optimism is to challenge negative self-talk. 

When you catch yourself thinking negatively, try to reframe your thoughts in a more positive way. Focus on your strengths and achievements, and remind yourself of times when you overcame challenges.

Another way is to surround yourself with positive influences. Spend time with people who lift you up and encourage you to grow. Reading inspirational books and quotes can also be helpful.

Remember, building emotional resilience takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. With a positive outlook and the right tools, you can face life’s challenges with strength and confidence.

The 7 C’s of resilience for adults?

These seven components are essential to grow resilience. With the above five strategies you’ll ultimately develop these seven values. 

According to Dr. Ginsburg, a pediatrician and human development expert, resilience can be broken down into seven interconnected components: 

  • competence, 
  • confidence, 
  • connection, 
  • character, 
  • contribution, 
  • coping, and 
  • control.

We’ll discuss these 7 C’s in brief in future, so stay updated.


We discussed these five strategies that will make you more resilient as an adult.

  • Be kind to yourself,
  • Build Social support,
  • Face hard situations,
  • Find meaning in what you do, and
  • Fill beliefs with optimism

Final thoughts

If I would choose one thing to keep practicing to develop resilience would be to stay kind with myself.

If I am having a hard time, I want to be there for myself. That’s better than to look for someone, it also develops mental toughness, if things get worse then it would be better to get help from experienced individuals.

I wish better for you, have great day🙌

Also read: 5 Proven Ways to Fight Loneliness to Feel Connected and Supported

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