What You Think Can Affect How You Feel
Spring brings such a positive outlook to those of us who have muddled through a typical Midwest winter. However, some of us have a positive outlook — no matter the season. If you do, you may have what is considered emotional resilience.
What is emotional resilience?
Emotional resilience is when you are able to hold onto positive emotions longer and appreciate the good times. You are also able to bounce back from difficulties faster. Developing a sense of meaning and purpose in life and focusing on what’s important to you also adds to overall emotional wellness.
Emotional resilience can help improve your health
Did you know how you look at life can affect not only your emotional health, but also your physical health? Worry and stress can cause your body to react with tense muscles, stomach issues or headaches. When you’re more relaxed, you’re more likely to handle pain and stress better.
Research has found a link between having an upbeat attitude and improved health, including:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced risk for heart disease
- Healthier weight
- Better blood sugar levels
How can I build resilience?
Whether you begin on your own or enlist the help of a counselor or therapist, you can become more resilient!
Here are a few ways –
- Remember your good deeds.
Give yourself a pat on the back for the good things you do for others each day.
- Accept that change is a part of living.
Certain goals may no longer be within reach as a result of difficult situations. Accepting the things you can’t change helps you focus on the things you can.
- Move toward your goals.
Develop some realistic goals. Take small steps, even if it seems like a small accomplishment, it moves you closer toward your goals.
- Forgive yourself.
Everyone makes mistakes. Learn from what went wrong, but don’t dwell on it.
- Be kind to yourself.
Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Do the things you enjoy and find relaxing.
• Healthwise Staff (2016), “Building Resilience” (accessed 02/03/2016), available at uwhealth.org.