Some people seem to be able to bounce back from difficult situations with no trouble at all.
For most of us though, it is a much more challenging undertaking and we have all taken some emotional knocks over the last few years.
Growing inner emotional resilience is a big theme in psychotherapy.
We often work with clients who may have have suffered difficult and challenging events in life.
As a result they may have lost the ability to cope and ultimately lost trust in the world and others.
Their ‘Inner Critical’ voice may be unduly harsh, undermining self confidence and making them withdraw.
So how do we develop our emotional resilience and restore our ability to cope?
Put simply, it is a slow and very gentle process; we notice the language we use with ourselves, softening our attitudes and giving ourselves a break.
We listen to our needs and act on what and who makes us feel good and supported.
Slowly we can emerge from this dark place and step by step, day by day find a way through.
In a way building emotional resilience is not about building strength, is it about building flexibility and self acceptance of our own vulnerability.
Instead of saying to ourselves, “Its time to pull yourself together”, its about saying “You have been in tough places before and it has passed, the time will come again, let’s hang on in there!”.
Resilience is about knowing your qualities and strengths and calling on them when you need them. Overall it is about being compassionate to ourselves and seeing how far we have come everyday, one small step at a time.
Being in counselling can help with this enormously. As we work to remind our clients of their inner grit and ability to overcome, alongside supporting them to keep going and face what is immediately in front of them in a crisis.
Research now shows that being in therapy can help harness inner resilience and build objectivity for your entire lifetime.
Everyone needs a song to turn to when things feel hopeless and for me its “Hang on in there little Tomato!”
So In the words of Pink Martini:
“You gotta hold on, hold on through the night
hang on things will be alright
even when it’s dark
and not a bit of sparkling
sing-song sunshine from above
spreading rays of sunny love”