10 things emotionally resilient people do differently in tough situations

Navigating through life’s challenges requires a unique set of skills. The difference is in how we respond – emotionally resilient people approach these situations differently.

Emotional resilience isn’t about avoiding stress. It’s about learning to cope with it, adapting to adversity and still managing to bounce back.

In the face of hardship, emotionally resilient people have a distinctive way of reacting and behaving.

Curious about what these are? Here are 10 things emotionally resilient people do differently in tough situations. Let’s dive straight in.

1) They embrace change

For many, uncertainty and unpredictability in life can be overwhelming. But emotionally resilient people? They welcome change instead of resisting them. 

Being emotionally resilient means being adaptable when facing challenges. Resilient people can easily adjust and make the most of unexpected situations. Their flexibility helps them deal with uncertainties and see the possibility of positive outcomes, especially when things are changing.

Also, emotionally resilient folks know that not everything is under their control. Instead of resisting change, they focus on things they can control, like their attitude, reactions, and efforts to adapt. This concentration helps them handle stress and feel empowered even when things are changing.

2) They practice self-care

I’ve found in my own life that emotional resilience isn’t just about handling the big stuff. It’s also about taking care of the small, everyday things.

In my toughest times, I’ve noticed that things start to slide when I stop taking care of myself. Skipping meals, neglecting exercise, or not getting enough sleep might seem inconsequential in the moment, but they add up over time, making it harder to cope with stress and adversity.

But when I make self-care a priority – whether it’s going for a jog, meditating for a few minutes each day, or simply ensuring I get a good night’s sleep – I find myself better equipped to handle life’s ups and downs.

Emotionally resilient people understand this. They know that self-care isn’t self-indulgent; it’s necessary. It’s the foundation upon which they build their resilience and navigate through tough situations.

3) They maintain a positive outlook

Maintaining a positive outlook does not mean ignoring reality or avoiding negative emotions. It’s about adopting a more hopeful perspective and focusing on what can be done rather than what can’t.

Research has shown that a positive outlook during times of stress not only improves problem-solving ability but also leads to better coping strategies.

Emotionally resilient people often employ this approach. By choosing to stay positive, they’re able to see past the immediate problem and focus on potential solutions, making them better equipped to handle adversity.

4) They accept that failure is part of the process

Nobody enjoys failing. It’s uncomfortable, disheartening, and often embarrassing. But emotionally resilient people understand that failure is a critical part of growth and learning.

Instead of viewing failure as a negative outcome, they see it as an opportunity cost – a stepping stone that brings them closer to success. Do you know why? It’s becasue at least they’ve learned something new along the way. Like what not to do if they want to achieve success. 

By accepting that failure is part of the process, emotionally resilient people are able to bounce back more quickly from setbacks and stay focused on their long-term goals. They don’t let failure define them; they let it guide them towards success.

5) They cultivate strong relationships

We aren’t meant to go through life alone. Having a strong support network of friends, family, and loved ones can make all the difference when faced with adversity.

Emotionally resilient people understand the value of these relationships. They invest time and energy in strengthening their connections with others and aren’t afraid to lean on their network when times get tough.

These connections provide them with a sense of belonging and support, giving them the strength to weather life’s storms. By cultivating strong relationships, emotionally resilient people ensure they have a solid foundation to fall back on in tough situations.

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6) They practice gratitude

In the midst of hardship, it can be hard to find things to be grateful for. Yet, it’s during these times that practicing gratitude can be most impactful.

If you think about it – gratitude is actually a tool for building emotional resilience. By acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of their lives, resilient individuals develop a mindset that helps them get back on their feet faster. 

That’s not all. Practicing gratitude is also associated with increased overall well-being. Emotionally resilient people prioritize activities that contribute to their mental and emotional health, and gratitude serves as a key component in maintaining a positive and resilient mindset.

7) They seek help when needed

There were times when I thought being strong meant dealing with everything on my own. But I’ve come to realize that strength isn’t about never needing help; it’s about having the courage to ask for it when you do.

Emotionally resilient people understand this. They know that everyone, including themselves, needs help from time to time. And there’s no shame in that.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength. It shows a willingness to learn and grow, and an understanding that we’re all in this together.

8) They set healthy boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries is a crucial part of maintaining emotional resilience. It’s about knowing your limits, understanding your needs, and making sure they’re met.

Emotionally resilient people are adept at setting and maintaining these boundaries. They understand that saying no is not a rejection of others, but a way of honoring their own needs and well-being.

Setting healthy boundaries allows them to protect their energy and ensure they have the capacity to cope with tough situations when they arise. It’s not about shutting people out, but about creating a space where they can thrive and maintain their resilience.

9) They set realistic goals

Emotionally strong people know it’s important to feel successful, even in small steps. They do this by setting goals that are practical and doable. When they achieve these realistic goals, it makes them feel capable and successful, boosting their overall well-being. This positive feeling helps them believe in their ability to handle tough situations.

It’s like a cycle – the more they achieve, the more confident they become to take on bigger challenges.

Also, by setting goals that make sense and aren’t too hard, emotionally strong people avoid feeling overwhelmed. If goals are too big or impossible to reach, it can lead to stress and a sense of failure. So what do they do? They set goals that they can realistically achieve in a reasonable time and that match their skills.

This way, they make steady progress, feel in control, and stay empowered when facing life’s difficulties.

10) They keep going

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, and sometimes, roadblocks. But emotionally resilient people understand that the key to navigating these challenges is simply to keep going.

Regardless of how tough things get, they don’t give up. They understand that pain and discomfort are temporary, but giving up is permanent.

By continuing to move forward, even when the going gets tough, they demonstrate the very essence of emotional resilience. And it’s this tenacity, this refusal to give up, that sets them apart and helps them navigate through life’s toughest situations.

The essence: It’s about growth

When we delve into the realm of emotional resilience, it becomes clear that it’s not merely about surviving tough situations. It’s about growing through them.

In the face of adversity, emotionally resilient people choose to rise above their circumstances, to learn from their experiences, and to continue moving forward on their journey.

This introspective perspective is the essence of emotional resilience – a testament to the indomitable spirit of human resilience and our innate ability to adapt, learn, and grow from the adversities we face.

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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