Over the course of your life, you’ve probably experienced trauma or challenges that you had to overcome. While this is a shared human experience, what distinguishes people is how they deal with these difficulties.
Were you able to roll with the punches and get up again when you were knocked down? Or, did you crumble when things started to go wrong?
If you’re mentally resilient, you’ll be able to navigate life’s ups and downs with grace and resourcefulness that others lack.
What Does Mentally Resilient Mean?
When a material is resilient, it usually means that it’s able to spring back to its original form after being bent or mangled. Think of foam or the soles of shoes as examples of this.
However, mental resilience, sometimes referred to as emotional resilience, refers to a person’s ability to recover after overcoming hardship in a way where his or her overall happiness remains unaffected for a prolonged length of time.
This makes them valuable role models for learning how to handle situations when confronted with adversity.
Why is Emotional Resilience Important?
The human experience is full of unavoidable low points. Whether you’re facing loss or failure, learning how to be emotionally resilient is an invaluable tool for dealing with these struggles and teaching you how to be stronger.
Not only will emotional resilience allow you to bounce back faster so you can go back to accomplishing what you need to do, but you’ll be able to take on future dilemmas with the finesse necessary to continue living a happy, fulfilling life.
If you want to start being a stronger person in your everyday life, here are 8 traits of mentally resilient people that you should really learn from:
8 Traits of Mentally Resilient People
1. They’re Self-Aware
One way to foster mental resilience is to develop a healthy sense of self-awareness. When you’re self-aware, you’re able to identify where your negative emotions are coming from, as well as the bad habits you fall into when faced with certain issues. Cultivating this skill leads you to learning how to better handle yourself in these situations, and soon you’ll be able navigate through them quickly and adeptly.
Another aspect of being self-aware is knowing your limitations. When you know your own limitations, you know when it’s not appropriate to blame yourself for something that’s happening because you know that whatever it is is wholly out of your control. This sense of realistic self-awareness prevents you from going down a mental spiral of self-hate or blame, which can be difficult to recover from.
2. They Stay Positive
Emotionally resilient people try to sustain a positive attitude by maintaining a glass half-full view on life. Although there are naysayers to positive thinking, there is something to be said about having the right attitude to accomplish the task at hand.
According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking doesn’t mean ignoring the reality of the situation, but has more to do with adjusting the way you think about a situation so that you “approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way”.
Staying positive also means believing in your worth and being confident in your own abilities when faced with adversity. This sort of self-efficacy is important in preserving a strong sense of self and satisfaction towards your life.
This kind of positive thinking can also be useful for keeping yourself from falling into the trap of feeling like a passive victim.
Instead, it’ll push you towards becoming a person with more initiative and control over your own life, which is a trait that helps emotionally resilient people conquer their troubles.
3. They Choose Their Company Wisely
One way that emotionally resilient people build up their mental fortitude is by surrounding themselves with the right people. This means staying away from negative or toxic people.
Do you have a friend who constantly complains about everything? Or, do you have a friend who always needs you, but is never available when you need him or her?
While you don’t need to cut these people entirely from your life, be aware of the effect these people have on you and try to limit your contact with them so that they don’t take a toll on your happiness.
On the other hand, mentally resilient people will cultivate friendships with people who are role models for who they would like to be in the future.
Do you respect a friend for their drive or career aspirations? Or, do you love the kindness and compassion that your friend showers upon the world?
Surround yourself with people that you admire. They will inspire you to be a better version of yourself, which will help you deal with any complications you’ll come across in the future.
4. They Follow Inspirational Content
Sometimes just changing the way you think isn’t enough to increase your mental resilience. Similar to taking care to cultivate certain friendships, the content that you expose yourself to should also be carefully curated.
Try to follow uplifting content in your everyday life. Look for influencers that give off happy or motivational vibes on social media and learn from them.
Inspirational content serves as a carpe diem call to action. Once you see many examples of people successfully powering through tribulations, you’ll start feeling empowered, too.
Surrounding yourself with this kind of content will not only help you develop a more positive mindset, but it will also give you more ideas on how to improve your life. This in turn will increase your ability to deal with your life problems, both mentally and through your actions.
5. They’re Grateful for What They Have
A lot of time, people take what they have for granted, or they feel entitled to what they have. One way to increase emotional resilience is by learning to take joy in what you have.
This doesn’t mean you should stop striving for more. It just means that you should feel a sense of accomplishment when you look back on what you’ve achieved, as well as recognize your part in making things happen.
Mentally resilient people are able to harness this gratefulness and use it as validation for their self-worth. This can be invaluable when life pushes them to a point when they start feeling worthless or lacking in some way.
In times like this, mentally resilient people can take a step back and realize that they already have a lot going on for them in life, and move on.
6. They Practice Acceptance
One of the greatest motivators of human fear is uncertainty or fear of the unknown. Because of this fear, people often feel immobilized when faced with a difficult choice, and end up buckling under the pressure of an uncertain future.
One way to combat this very human issue is being okay with not having all the answers right now.
Emotionally resilient people realize that not everything needs to be figured out immediately and that the situation may change over time. Thus, it’s much better to learn how to accept things the way they are, and not stress over stuff that can’t be fixed or changed right at this moment.
This ability allows emotionally resilient people to put problems into context, and prevents them from worrying over things unnecessarily.
7. They Practice Self-Care
An important aspect of building up mental resilience is practicing self-care. Whether that means taking time out of your day to meditate or splurging on a spa day, self-care is a way of showing yourself that you’re worth nurturing and investing in.
Self-care is also a way of making sure that taking care of the body will also take care of the mind. If your mind and body aren’t in a good place, improving your emotional resilience is going to be difficult.
If you’re already exhausted, any additional troubles are just going to aggravate you further. Similarly, if you’re sick, you won’t be in the right space to face any coming threats. Thus, keeping yourself healthy and well through self-care is also an important component of learning how to mentally resilient.
8. They Know When to Reach Out
Being emotionally resilient isn’t the same as being strong all the time. Even though mentally resilient people can weather most storms without lasting damage, they also understand that they can’t handle every situation by themselves.
Instead, mentally resilient people realize they’re not alone and that they can reach out for help when they truly need it.
While having backup is incredibly useful, recognizing that they have a support system in their friends and family also means that these emotionally resilient people know that they are valued and loved.
After all, it’s easier to take on the world and its obstacles when you know you have people behind you, supporting you all the way.
How Mentally Resilient Are You?
Mental resilience is an essential skill to develop if you would like to learn how to deal with adversity effectively. But since it’s difficult to become emotionally resilient immediately, the first step is emulating the traits of mentally resilient people.
Hopefully, picking up these traits will help you strengthen your own mental fortitude bit by bit so that you’ll be able to rebound after a crisis without dramatically altering your overall happiness.
Then, you can confidently take on the world and be content in the fact that nothing will bring you down – at least for long.