Originally posted on April 8, 2015

This post is Part 2 of a 3-Part series on resilience, which focused on physical and social resilience. Read Part 1 of this series  here if you need to catch up!

Remember that resilience is our ability to bounce back from illness, tough times or stress. I felt it was necessary to revamp this post in preparation for your holiday season.




Let’s look at two  ways to build resilience or internal “fitness.” Read through these questions and see if anything screams out at you.


Emotional Resilience

  • Could you name 3 things that would lift your mood in a pinch? (Aside from mood-altering drugs or drinks)
  • Do you hide your true feelings behind sarcasm?
  • Do you give yourself permission to be human? To cry, grieve, feel angry? Do you make excuses that crying would scare the kids?
  • Is your self-talk helpful or hurtful?
  • Have you avoided journaling or other creative outlets because you don’t feel inspired? (If you need journaling ideas please refer to my post with journal prompts)
  • When was the last time you vented or confided in someone you trust? Or do you vent on Facebook?
  • When was the last time you carved out time for pleasurable activities for yourself, A.K.A., “me time?”

Crying out on Facebook or other social media sites, either vaguely or directly, is not always the healthiest way of managing emotions. We are ALL guilty of venting or complaining on social media from time to time. When was the last time you actually talked to someone on the phone or face-to-face about your concerns?

Poor emotional resilience bleeds into other areas of our life. Click To Tweet

Have a talk with someone you trust before your boss, spouse or family member points out that you need help. Kids feed off of negative emotions so if you’re a parent doing it all by yourself, you’re at risk for traumatizing your children with your reactions. Children learn how to cope and deal with failure by watching their parents.



Cognitive Resilience

  • Is your thinking too rigid? (It’s my way or the highway, Black-n-White thinking)
  • Are your expectations for yourself or others unrealistic? Is this a setup for failure?
  • Do you know HOW to be optimistic? Do you have a role model for optimism?
  • Are you honoring your values daily? (God, family, health, e.g.)
  • What has helped you weather storms effectively in the past?
  • Would affirmations help? Are you willing to feed yourself positive affirmations daily?
  • Is there a book that can help you with your weak areas? Spiritual book? Inspirational story? Ask others for recommendations.


The majority of the clients I have served in the past have stayed trapped in their problems because of thinking errors. Stubbornness, old patterns of thinking, giving up easily, taking things personal and not asking for help are all thinking errors.

They are people’s defense mechanisms and they don’t always work.


Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.


Could you identify ways you have weathered storms in the past? Did your faith help? Did you have someone to help with babysitting, giving you alone time or a friend to discuss your fears with?


Reach out. No one knows what we need until we ask.


Final Thought: Do you know someone who has cognitive or emotional resilience? Ask them how they do it. I’m sure they would be willing to share their secrets with you.