Emotional strength is a vital part of overcoming all the obstacles life throws at us. Learning how to become stronger emotionally is as important as learning how to become stronger physically and mentally.
Emotional strength is best defined in an article by Psychology Today, written by Dawn Kingston, Ph.D. as:
“Emotional strengths are qualities that help you to manage and grow through life’s challenges. They help you to get to the other side of a difficult situation. They help you to manage a stressful day.”Understanding Your Emotional Strengths – Dawn Kingston, Ph.D.
Learning how to become stronger emotionally is similar to growing physical strength because it requires us to dig deep and grow our emotional muscles.
The Plan: How to Become Stronger Emotionally
The first step in learning how to become stronger emotionally is to recognize what your emotional strengths and weaknesses are. If you struggle with being a good communicator or you can’t seem to get your point across, sometimes research is key to making this happen. If you are in a relationship or have a friendship or other type of relationship in which the other person is constantly making you feel disrespected and unappreciated, it’s time to figure out if what is going on needs some extra attention or if it’s time to walk away.
Take out your journal or open a blank text file on your computer.
- Write the date at the top
- Write the quote I am sharing below
- Write down what you believe your emotional strengths are. (e.g., empathy, compassion, love, etc.)
- Write down a situation where you feel you are lacking emotional strength. (e.g., an intimate relationship, a friendship, a work relationship, etc.)
- Write down what you are currently doing to deal with this situation
- Write down whether what you are doing is affecting your happiness
- Take a pause and do some quick research on your issue. Open a search engine and look for your issue. (e.g., “What to do when you are fighting with your lover too much,” “what is the best way to handle a dominant boss,” etc.)
- Now write down one of the things you found in your research that you can try in order to build your emotional strength and overcome your situation.
Quote for the Day
Today’s quote is from the late and great Bob Marley.
After writing the quote and all the pieces of the journal entry for today, write how you can use this quote in your quest to learn how to become stronger emotionally.
An Extra Resource for Building Emotional Strength
Here is an awesome TedTalk by Amy Morin called, “The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong.” Morin shares the story of how her mother suddenly passed away from an aneurism. Then her husband passed from a sudden heart attack. But the bad news didn’t stop there. She makes many really good points about where we get stuck, and we keep ourselves from learning how to become stronger emotionally.
My Story on Building Emotional Strength
I used to spend the majority of my time comparing myself to others, feeling inadequate about myself against the perfection I thought my friends and family members lived with. I used to think everything that was wrong with my life was a consequence of being me, rather than the way I was thinking. I used to start drama just to keep myself from being bored.
These habits I used to have didn’t help me to learn how to become stronger emotionally, rather they taught me how to be emotionally crippled. During a period of my life where I felt nothing but sadness, I used to say things like, “I don’t know why you are surprised that the other shoe dropped,” or, “this always happens to you so it is what it is.” These things I would say to myself became so ingrained in my life that I didn’t remember a time when I didn’t become negative when things didn’t go as they should.
Learning how to become stronger emotionally is not something I have fully achieved, but it is something I am on my way to achieving. There are still moments in my life where I feel so helpless and so unable to express myself, that I end up picking fights with people I love or doing something I feel I have to beg forgiveness for. Emotional strength is not something you just suddenly learn, it is something that becomes a habit. I am still trying to learn to make it a habit.
I remember this one day the light bulb went on, I looked at myself in the mirror, and I said, “you aren’t this person. You are beautiful, thoughtful, radiant, full of life, full of love, full of goodness that you earned through all the years of hard work and dedication to your self worth, and if people don’t know how to or don’t want to learn how to love all the power you have, all the success you are headed for, all the amazingness you already are, then let them go, and look for the one’s who will.”
This pep talk with myself enabled me to open my heart, my eyes, my soul to what I needed to learn about how to become stronger emotionally, and it was that I had forgotten that I am full of love and if I used this love, everything would always work out. The habit to run was tired out, I couldn’t keep running from the ouchies to my ego, I had to stand in my power and say, “okay, no more fighting. No more crying. No more pity parties. Do what feels right and if it stops feeling right, stop doing it.”
Breaking free of my own self limits is not easy, I am in no way saying I have gotten this emotionally strong, but I know I am heading in the right direction and I will eventually reach it.
Quick Exercise to Develop Emotional Strength
Boho Beautiful Yoga offers an awesome 15-minute grounding meditation that can help in developing emotional strength.
- How to Make Yourself Mentally Strong This Year – INC
- Understanding Your Emotional Strengths – Dawn Kingston, Ph.D.
- Nine Ways to Get Emotionally Stronger – Barton Goldsmith Ph.D.
- Emotional Strengths Finder – Dawn Kingston, Ph.D.
- 7 Characteristics of Emotionally Strong People – Guy Winch, Ph.D.
- 17 Things People With Emotional Strength Don’t Do – Scott Christ
- 7 Skills That Will Make You Emotionally Strong – Nick Wignall
- Day 8: How to Become Unstuck – Niki Maria
- Day 9: How to Forgive Yourself. Journey to Self-Forgiveness – Niki Maria