Emotional Strength Is a Superpower Available To Everyone
We have all wished to have powers such as teleportation, invisibility, flying… And they would indeed make our lives easier, but if we think carefully, there are abilities that, although they may seem less fascinating at first, will be much more useful for us, and emotional strength is one of them.
Mental or emotional strength is formed by the different psychological resources that help us face adverse situations without falling into chronic processes such as negative thoughts, paralysis or blockage, doubts, victimization, feeling overwhelmed… A person with emotional strength can go through unfavourable situations and the unexpected, keeping calm. This allows you to see what is happening with perspective without being carried away by what you feel and making appropriate decisions. It works as an adaptation mechanism to new situations that arise in your life to which we are all exposed.
Undoubtedly we can see emotional strength as a kind of “well-being insurance.” We are all exposed to adverse situations: challenges, losses, illnesses, and stressful situations… regardless of the nuances, every human being will face this type of experience. Emotional strength is the tool that will help us cope in the best possible way. This does not mean that they will cause us indifference since negative emotions (fear, sadness, anger…) have an adaptive function. Still, it does mean that we will go through these processes with more integrity and greater control over ourselves and our lives. The greater the emotional strength, the easier it will be to overcome uncertainty, identify our desires and choose the path we want to take. Fortunately, developing emotional strength is possible.
How to acquire emotional strength
People with little emotional strength often face the difficulties of life with a certain fragility: they feel vulnerable, hostile, and defenseless and inevitably act according to those feelings without taking control of the situation.
The great advantage of emotional strength is that it is not simply given to us, as would happen with a superpower, but that it can be trained and developed throughout life. There is a wide variety of formulas to enhance our emotional strength, which will only require changes in our point of view:
Find a reason to live
The key to staying active and on guard in desperate times is living. This reason can be the family (in the broadest sense), wanting to finish a project, or getting somewhere (physical or metaphorical)… the reason for life is not judgeable. We often do not consciously choose it, but it is definitive in the most challenging moments since it becomes our engine. It is what keeps us strong and keeps going regardless of the circumstances. The book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl is an excellent example of this motivation, which was essential for the survivors of the Nazi holocaust.
Find the balance between positive and negative thoughts
The tendency to negativity is typical of human beings: it helps us glimpse possible problems and find solutions. Beyond that, it becomes a bad habit that we inadvertently feed. The way to break the negativity bias is to empower positive thinking. By focusing on positive thoughts, we do not mean mechanically thinking that life is lovely, but rather developing the ability to see positive or pleasant things that happen in everyday life and in unpleasant contexts. Usually, these will have less relevant dimensions: the kind gesture of a person, the vision of a beautiful image, a pleasant sensation… They will help us to balance.
It is usual that in adverse situations, we treat ourselves harshly. We blame ourselves for having done, not having done, traits of our personality… This critical attitude has the direct consequence of making us more vulnerable and insecure, so the proposal is to change the discourse. This does not mean considering everything we do perfectly but treating ourselves as we would treat others: acknowledging our achievements, being tolerant of our mistakes, and speaking to us with kind words.
Have a sense of humour
A sense of humour allows us to see reality from another perspective, something advantageous when we find ourselves in difficult situations. We get out of the hardness or seriousness of the moment we live and find an escape route. This sense of humor also applies to the way we treat each other: being able to laugh at yourself is a great emotional strength. It helps us not to take things personally.
Change or acceptance
Faced with any complicated situation, human beings always have two options: change it or accept it. Logically, the key is to discover what things I can change and in which I cannot intervene because they cannot be controlled. At that point, acceptance enters, which helps us to fit what happened without falling again and again into dynamics of reproach or blame.
Use of logic
As we said before, emotions have an adaptive function, we need them to overcome difficult situations, but it is also true that sometimes emotions can block us. To prevent feelings from dominating us, we must subject them to debate. Once the surface has been identified, we must see if it is consistent with the situation, if it is caused by things that could happen but are not happening, if it is biassing how I perceive what is happening… In short, it raise a debate between reason and emotion.
Regardless of our realities, there is always room for improvement in our quality of life linked to our psychological well-being. We can start training from this very moment by following the steps outlined above: routine and day-to-day life are the ideal contexts to start doing it. Getting in touch with our thoughts and emotions is the first step to start managing them, a straightforward guide to achieving a superpower that will undoubtedly change our lives.
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