Overhaul Your Emotional Resilience in Five Steps

Are you emotionally overwhelmed with the demands of everyday life? Are you feeling totally drained by the stress of navigating relationships with others?

Follow these 5 simple tips and bounce back from the emotional brink!
1. When you are feeling emotionally reactive, stop and reflect on instances in the past where you have shown resilience. Rather than allowing a situation, or the actions of others, to affect you in the present moment, ask yourself “What did that look like when I handled this well in the past? How did I react?”

Taking the opportunity to focus on past examples of your resilience in tough situations, will encourage you to once again draw on this inner strength and enable you to “bounce back” more readily.
2. Regularly offer the following note to self: “FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS!” Just because you experience a particular emotion at a certain point in time, does not provide confirmation that it is an indication of truth for anyone but you.

All emotions are valid, but it’s useful to remind ourselves of the temporary nature of emotions, especially when negative reactions start to take over and affect one’s relationships with others. Give yourself some time and breathing space to put things in perspective, and learn to separate yourself from the emotion you may be feeling by simply observing the feeling.

3. Know your sensitive “trigger points.” This knowledge will assist you identifying situations where you may be over-reacting. When are you most likely to feel hurt or insecure in your interactions with others? Journaling can help you strengthen your awareness of these “trigger points” and identify patterns in your behavior and reactions. You can’t control the emotions and behavior of others, but you can certainly take responsibility for your own.

4. Start practising personal detachment from situations which tend to trigger your emotional sensitivity. For example “Here I go again, over-reacting about being left out by my friends. My friends are entitled to enjoy time with others, as am I, there’s no need to feel insecure about it.” Again, taking an observational approach can help with the process of gentle detachment.

5. Most importantly, grant yourself the time and space for emotions to de-escalate. Practise defusing from overwhelming negative emotions with the mantra “I am not my emotions.” Consider the possibility that many situations that tend to trigger your negative reactions may not actually be about you at all!

Everyone has their own “emotional baggage” and best to leave others with the responsibility of sorting out their own “stuff.” Ultimately though, the most effective panacea for emotional wounding is patience, and having compassion for oneself and others.

Man with steam photo available from Shutterstock

Overhaul Your Emotional Resilience in Five Steps

Elena Hey, MAPS

Elena Hey, MAPS is a registered psychologist working in private practice (, and a sessional lecturer in Educational Psychology at Charles Sturt University, Australia. Elena has worked with children and adolescents for the last 20 years in the Health and Education sectors, as a Counselling Psychologist, Teacher and Educational Researcher. Elena is passionate about supporting and treating young people with adjustment and trauma-related conditions, and she also holds a Masters qualification in forensic mental health.


APA Reference
Hey, E. (2015). Overhaul Your Emotional Resilience in Five Steps. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 15 Dec 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Dec 2015
Published on All rights reserved.