How to become emotionally strong?

how to become emotionally strong

Have you ever found yourself crying? Are you unnecessarily angry? Maybe you just feel nervous all the time. Whatever you feel, you should begin to understand that experiencing emotions is a normal part of human life. There is nothing inherently “wrong” with any emotion. You don’t have to rule out or ignore your feelings in dealing with them. Becoming stronger emotionally is like exercising physical strength. Start slowly, and steadily, be patient, and keep striving. Let’s find out how to become emotionally strong in this article!

How to become emotionally strong: Facing the Present

Stop what you’re doing and focus

In the moment of being dominated by emotions, it is easy to get carried away by feelings. If the emotion is positive, great, but if it’s a feeling of sadness or anxiety, it can quickly spiral out of control. Separate yourself from what is going on and focus on the five senses of your body. This will help keep you present and can prevent anxiety or anger from spiraling out of control.

Reflect on your body’s response, but don’t judge. For example, if you suddenly feel anxious, think about how your body is feeling. “My skin is hot. My heart beats fast. I’m short of breath. Hands are shaking.” Don’t focus on these feelings. Just notice them and let them pass.

Focusing on the present moment can help reduce “automatic activity”. Your brain has formed a habit of responding to stimuli, including emotional experiences. The brain immediately activates these mechanisms whenever hormones such as anxiety or anger appear. Shifting focus to the experience of the current receptor breaks this loop in the brain. If you practice this shifting regularly, it will become a new “habit” in your brain.

“Self-observation”, the practice of paying attention to perceptions and experiences in your own mind, can help you make sense of so much going on in just one experience. For example, many people don’t know that “perception” actually includes many pathways of information.


It may sound forced at first, but research has shown that smiling can actually make you feel more positive.

Smiling can reduce stress. Try to smile with all your facial muscles, not just the muscles around your mouth. An ear-to-ear smile feels more natural, which in turn increases the body’s sense of positivity.

Use your imagination

Visualizing a peaceful, relaxing experience can help you regain control over your emotional responses. You may find this technique requires a bit of practice, but it can help you transform stressful thoughts into thoughts you can handle more comfortably.

Start by choosing a “safe place”. This can be anywhere you find relaxing and peaceful. Be it the beach, the spa, the top of the mountain, or anywhere else you think makes you feel safe and relaxed.

Find a place to practice visualization. If possible, find a quiet, comfortable spot to use your imagination. Should be a spot where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes.

Close your eyes and imagine you are in your safe place. Imagine what it looks like. What’s going on there? Does it taste anything? What sound do you hear? Try to immerse yourself in your safe place.

Breathe slowly and evenly. Try to relax your muscles if you feel tight. If you feel uncomfortable or anxious, don’t judge yourself for it. Try to imagine what it would be like to be in a peaceful and relaxing place.

Imagine your negative emotion as a tangible object. You might find this strange the first time you try this, but keep going. Imagine a negative feeling as something you can throw away from the safe place you envisioned. For example, you can imagine your anger as a fire. Fire cannot burn without oxygen. Imagine anger as a fire and watch it burn out. Or you can imagine the feeling of stress as a stick. You can safely throw that stick off the beach and imagine the stress disappearing with it.

Learn how to handle stress

Learning to handle stress can make you become emotionally strong
Learning to handle stress can make you become emotionally strong

When you’re stressed, you may find that you don’t have much control over your emotions. While it’s nearly impossible to completely eliminate stressors from your life, you can learn to deal with the stress they create. Some ways to calm yourself in stressful situations include:

Five deep breaths. Inhale through your nose, hold your breath for a moment, and exhale through your mouth. Focusing on your breath will help you regain your composure and calm your mind.
Count to 10. If something stressful happens, give yourself 10 seconds to calm down. To buy time, count “one flower, two flowers, three.”

Take a break from the situation. This doesn’t mean you won’t handle the situation – just that it allows you to step back, breathe, and consider options. If you’re dealing with someone who’s causing you stress, tell him or her that you need some time to gather your thoughts and go for a walk.

Learn to recognize distortions in perception

At the moment, it’s easy to fall into the habit of reacting to your emotions, even when it’s unhealthy. These reflexes often combine to make you feel overwhelmed. Learning to recognize common “traps” you may fall into helps you become more emotionally resilient. Exaggeration, overgeneralization, and extreme extremes are three common distortions.

Recognizing and Challenging “Inflating the Problem”

This happens when an event or experience, often insignificant, is overblown. Your thoughts start to spiral out of control until you fall into the worst-case scenario. This can make you feel angry, sad, or worried

For example, imagine you call your lover and they don’t pick up. A few minutes later you call back and hear a voice message. A panicked thought may begin to crop up: “She/he doesn’t answer the phone. She/he may be angry with you. I don’t even know where I went wrong. She/he did not tell me what I did wrong. She/he doesn’t want to talk to me. Maybe he/she is bored of me.”

Challenge inflated thoughts by not allowing your mind to jump from one thought to the next until you have considered the evidence for your assumption. For example, in this example, a good challenge might be: “My partner doesn’t answer the phone. She/he wasn’t mad at me earlier, so maybe she/he isn’t mad at me now either. If s/he is mad at me, I can ask him/her later and talk about it.” You can also remind yourself that people have many logical reasons for not answering the phone at some point: busy, driving, can’t see/don’t hear the phone ring.

Recognizing and Challenging “Over Generalization”

Overgeneralization occurs when you make a general statement about a particular situation. This can lead to you forming unhealthy (and inaccurate) beliefs about yourself.

For example, imagine you weren’t offered a job after the interview. A generalizing thought might be something like, “I am such a failure. I ruined the interview. I will never get a job.”

Challenge over-generalizing thoughts by sticking to the evidence and the concrete. You have no proof that you are a “failure”. A common reason for not getting a job is that your skills don’t match the company, or your personality makes it hard to blend in with the people there. It may be true that you screwed up the interview, or it may not.

However, this particular thing does not apply to all aspects of who you are. Think about the situation as specifically as possible, and focus on what you can do to change in the future: “I don’t think I did well at the interview. I was very nervous. Next time, I will practice with you before attending the interview”.

Recognizing and Challenging “Excessive Thinking”

With extreme thinking, you don’t allow yourself (or sometimes anyone else) to land in the middle. If everything isn’t perfect, it’s a failure. Extreme thinking makes useful criticism difficult, too. It can also make you feel sad or worthless because you’re setting yourself to an impossible and ineffective standard.

For example, consider you are on a diet. You go out to lunch with friends and end up eating a piece of dessert. The extreme reaction will see this as a failure, and can lead to a harsh self-image: “I ruined my diet with this piece of cake. I know I can’t execute this plan. I think I should eat whatever I want now.”
Challenging extreme thinking by treating yourself to one.

Challenge extreme thinking by treating yourself with more empathy. Do you harshly judge your friend for eating a piece of cake? Sure is not. So why would you do that to yourself? Avoid seeing success in terms of “either this/or that,” when everything has to be perfect to be successful. Try to see success in terms of “and,” a process of growth and change: “I ate that piece of cake, it didn’t help with my diet goals,” and “it’s not a disaster. I will eat a healthy dinner to get back on the right diet.”

Understanding and Loving Yourself

Accept the feeling of hurt

Developing emotional strength is not about becoming invulnerable. In fact, vulnerability is essential in developing the ability to connect with others and to fully experience and accept yourself. Vulnerability means being open to the experience, and at the same time accepting that it may not be as expected.

Beware of beliefs with words like “always” or “never”. Most situations in life fall somewhere between the two extremes. Maintaining core beliefs based on extreme thinking can keep you stuck trying to reach an impossible standard.

For example, see how much you believe in responsibility. Do you believe you are responsible for your actions and conduct? That is correct and helpful. Do you also believe that you are responsible for the actions and behavior of others? The common belief that we are responsible for the experiences and behavior of those around us as well as our own, is actually a false belief.

Consider what is the priority thing to do in your life.

The phrase “force yourself to do” was coined by psychologist Clayton Barbeau to describe the cognitive distortion of feeling like you’re obligated to do something. This often happens when you compare your actions or feelings with external standards. When you use “should” statements, you may end up feeling guilty or ashamed of yourself, instead of having the energy to change your behavior in a way that meets your values. When faced with “should” thoughts, consider “why” you feel like you “should” do this or that.

For example, if you’re considering dieting because you “should” lose weight, think about why you “should” do it. Is it because you have a specific health goal in mind? Has your doctor talked to you about weight problems? Do you want to look a certain way? Or do you feel “should” do because of pressure from others or behave a certain way?

Society often presses individuals with “shoulds” to the point that we may feel we need to conform: “You should look like the pictures in the magazines. You should wear one size.” You should have sex a lot/don’t have sex You should be happy You should be a “good” lover/parent/sibling/student/employee/employer Pressure from others instead of doing what we want because they align with our values can make us feel emotionally drained.

Practice empathy with yourself

Sometimes, people feel emotionally weak because fear takes over other thoughts about themselves, such as being deserving of love, acceptance, and happiness. These fears contribute to anxiety (“Will people accept me?”) and depression (“I don’t deserve anything”).

Practicing empathy with yourself will help you love and accept yourself, and help you become stronger in your emotional interactions with others. According to psychologists, self-compassion includes three components: being kind to yourself, and the human community, and attentiveness.

Practice “Attention”

Mindfulness is the opposite of being immersed in yourself. Instead of getting stuck in a loop of denial or focusing on negative emotions, mindfulness allows you to recognize and accept all feelings, without judgment, as you were experiencing them.

For example, if you frequently have the thought, “I’m unattractive, no one wants to know me,” try reframing it through the lens of attention: “I’m having the thought that I’m unattractive. This is just one of many thoughts and feelings that I will experience today.”

Another good technique is to practice mindfulness meditation. This meditation focuses on being “unconditionally present” which means being aware and accepting of what is happening at the moment. This can help reduce anxiety and make you more aware of how you feel about yourself.

The UCLA Center for Mindful Cognitive Research offers guided meditations for download online. They are arranged by the situation – body awareness, preparation for sleep, etc. – and last from 3 to 19 minutes. There are also a few mobile apps, like Calm, that offer short guided meditations.

Realize “your best self”

Some studies show that visualizing “your best self” increases feelings of positivity and satisfaction. Realizing your best self requires two basic actions: visualizing yourself “in the future” when your goal is achieved, and considering the traits, it will take to get you there.

Start by imagining a time in the future when you are the “model” you want to be. See what growth means the most to you. (Importantly this is the “model” you want to be, not the one you are pressured to or you “should” be.)

Visualize your best self in a positive light. Imagine all the details in this situation. You can think of it as a dream in life, a milestone, or a big goal for yourself. For example, if your best self is an entrepreneur with a successful career, imagine what it would be like. How many employees do you have? What kind of boss are you? How much do you work? What do you sell or invent?

Write down the details after visualizing. Think about the traits your best self has in your imagination. For example, if you’re running a business, you’ll likely need creativity, problem-solving, networking, and persistence.

See what traits you already have. Maybe you will surprise yourself! Then think about what traits need further development. Visualize how it helps you build those skills and traits.

Importantly, this will not turn into a practice of self-judgment. Don’t judge yourself on your current position. Instead, imagine yourself as the person you want to be.

Don’t personalize things

You cannot control the thoughts or actions of others, but you can control your reactions. Remember that most of the time, what people say or do is not about you, but about them and a reflection of their reality. Personalizing things is about giving others power over you that they shouldn’t have.

“Personalization” is a common form of cognitive distortion. It happens when you interpret what happens to you as a direct, personal response to something about you. This can make you feel like people are “playing bad” on you. It can also make you take responsibility for things you shouldn’t be responsible for.

For example, if someone interrupts you in traffic, you can choose to personalize it and get angry at the rude driver. Or you can interpret it as your fault for “allowing” it to happen. These are all unhealthy personal reactions. The strong response should be to remember that you can’t control the behavior or actions of the driver, and you don’t know why he’s doing it. Maybe the driver had a bad day. Maybe they don’t care about other people’s feelings. You are not the one to “create” this behavior.

Not taking things personally doesn’t mean you can’t feel hurt by what other people say. However, refusing to personalize things will help you keep your distance from immediate negative reactions.

Forming and Maintaining Healthy Habits

Start your day with self-affirmation

It may sound old-fashioned at first, but repeated self-affirmations will help you practice empathy for yourself. When brushing your teeth or getting ready for work, repeat over and over a mantra that means something to you and show kindness to yourself.

For example, you could say something like, “I accept myself for who I am today” or “I absolutely love myself.”

If you have a particular weakness, like anxiety or body image, try focusing your affirmations on these. For example, if you’re often anxious, a helpful self-affirmation might be, “I’ll do the best I can today. I can’t do more than my best. I can’t control the actions of others.” If you have a body image problem, try to find something positive and focus on it: “I’m going to be kind to my body today because I deserve it” or ” I look happy and healthy today.”

Develop confidence

Confidence is the key to becoming emotionally stronger. Being confident in the fact that you are a unique and worthy individual will help you feel more in control of your emotions. When something bad happens, remind yourself that you have the ability to overcome this obstacle, whatever it is.

Remind yourself that even the hardship you are going through is a learning experience. You can draw strength and courage from knowing that you’ve gotten through tough times, and you can do it again.

Make a list of the things you like about yourself. Be it skills, personal strengths, achievements… anything. Don’t minimize your abilities and good qualities. If you have trouble thinking about these things, ask a friend for help. Maybe they’ll see a lot of great things in you that you don’t even realize.

Give yourself a (reasonable) challenge to complete. For example, you can learn to cook for friends, learn some new yoga poses, or learn to take photos. If you like working out, do 5k or 10k. Once you’ve accomplished these goals, celebrate! Celebrate your success, no matter how small it may seem to you.

Don’t compare yourself with others. This is a surefire way to destroy anyone’s confidence. You are “you”. The only person you look for acceptance is you. Set goals that are important to you, and don’t worry if it’s not like everyone else’s.

Physical health care

Your physical health can directly affect your emotional health, and vice versa. Taking care of your physical health can help you feel less stressed. It can also increase feelings of contentment and help you manage your emotions more easily.

Exercise is an important part of staying emotionally healthy. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that make you feel happy. Next time you feel frustrated, go for a walk, run, or hit the gym. Research has shown that regular, moderate exercise makes you feel more relaxed and happier.

Practice empathy

Practicing empathy with others can help you build stronger, healthier relationships. It can also help you develop healthy ways to deal with your emotions and feelings.

Studies have shown that contemplating “compassion” or “empathy” can be a good way to practice empathy. Empathy meditation not only improves how you feel towards others but has also been shown to reduce symptoms of depression. There are many ways to practice empathy meditation, although some are rooted in the Buddhist tradition.

Read a novel. Fiction can stimulate you to imagine emotional experiences and situations unlike your own. Some studies show that reading fiction can increase empathy for others.

Avoid jumping straight to conclusions. Studies show that when we think about what other people “deserve,” we feel less sympathy for them. Try not to assume that others “deserve” or are responsible for what they have to endure. Apply empathy to yourself. We are all human.

Learn to accept uncertainty

Uncertainty can be scary and can be the cause of many emotional troubles. Not being able to live with uncertainty can cause you to constantly worry, avoid uncertain situations, and become overly dependent on reassurance from others. Uncertainty is also an inevitable fact in human life. You can develop emotional strength by practicing accepting uncertainty.

“Not accepting uncertainty” plays a big role in anxiety. When you have a low acceptance threshold for uncertainty, you will find it difficult to accept that it is not impossible for something negative to happen. You may ask “What if… if” questions or overestimate the risks and consequences of a negative situation or event. You may find yourself constantly worrying.

Keep a journal of times when you feel uncertain or anxious. Write down as specifically as possible what triggered these feelings. How did you react to them?

Rate your uncertainties. Try to rank the things that make you feel uncomfortable or anxious on a scale of 0-10. For example, “go shopping without a list” might be in #2, but “leave the project on someone” might be in 8th or 9th.

Practice accepting uncertainty. Let’s start little by little. Learn to deal with your fear of uncertainty by placing yourself in safe, manageable situations. For example, if you only go to a restaurant because you’re afraid you won’t like the food somewhere else, try choosing a new place and eating something you’ve never tried. You may or may not like food. However, you will make yourself see that you can deal with uncertainty and still be okay. Practice with greater uncertainties.

Record your reaction. When you try something uncertain, record what happens. What did you do? How do you feel while doing it? What were the results? If things don’t go as planned (and this will happen), how would you react? Are you capable of handling unexpected results?

Avoid brooding

Rumination is a common response to many emotions, especially feelings of sadness or anger. When you brood, you obsess over everything. You think over and over about a particular situation, thought, or feeling. It’s like a broken record that plays 5 seconds at a time of a piece of music. Pondering can prevent you from coming up with a useful solution to a problem. It can also trap you in negative thoughts that can lead to depression and stress.

Perfectionism can promote rumination. An “excessive relationship focus” is where you overestimate relationships to the point where you will do “anything” to keep them, even if the cost is expensive and unhealthy.

Replace negative thoughts with productive ones

Part of the rumination loop is getting stuck in the same negative thought. Instead of allowing yourself to think about one thing over and over, challenge those negative thoughts! Adjust negative thoughts in a positive direction.

For example, if you recently broke up with your partner, it’s easy to focus on past mistakes. These thoughts can be exaggerated, to the point where you may feel the situation is all your fault. You may repeat the thought “What if…if”. You may feel like you’re a failure and can’t do anything right.

Instead, try to focus on productive, practical thinking. Example: “My relationship with that person has ended. I don’t want it to happen, but I can build another healthy relationship. I can use what I learned from this relationship to have a stronger relationship with the next person.”

Learn to communicate assertively

Feeling emotionally weak can make it difficult to express your feelings, thoughts, and needs to others. Practicing assertive communication will help you make sure you’re communicating your needs and wants clearly. It can also help you feel more confident in yourself.

Assertiveness is very different from arrogance. Being emotionally assertive doesn’t mean you don’t take other people’s feelings into account. In fact, you respect the feelings and needs of others. You also respect your own feelings and needs. By establishing communication-based on mutual respect and openness, you will become a better communicator.

Arrogant people often have strength and confidence based on external factors, such as how others think of them. This can cause arrogant individuals to prioritize their feelings over the feelings of others. Being assertive means you know that you have independent self-worth. You can communicate your feelings openly, honestly, and respectfully because you don’t worry about how others will judge you.

Arrogant people often have strength and confidence based on external factors, such as how others think of them. This can cause arrogant individuals to prioritize their feelings over the feelings of others. Being assertive means you know that you have independent self-worth. You can communicate your feelings openly, honestly, and respectfully because you don’t worry about how others will judge you.

Overcoming Difficult Events

Stop avoiding your emotions

Avoiding your feelings may give you temporary relief, but in the end, ignoring or denying your feelings will cause more problems than they will fix. Research has even shown that cancer patients who avoid facing their emotions fall apart faster than those who accept and undo what they feel. Examples of avoidance strategies include the following:

  • Make yourself too busy to forget the problem
  • Deny that the problem exists
  • Ignore the problem or refuse to talk about it
  • Use distractions to feel better (TV, alcohol, food, gambling, etc.)
  • Focus on the worst outcome

Learn to untangle emotions after a difficult event

Emotions related to a difficult or traumatic life event can be extremely painful and can be overwhelming to see where to begin. However, there are four stages of emotional disassembly that individuals need to go through in order to begin the recovery process.

Break the loop. This stage usually follows the trauma and is sometimes described as feeling “paralyzed” or “shocked”. When your body is overloaded, as with traumatic events, the system collapses. Your brain loses 50-90% of its capacity to function at its peak.

Other systems in your body can also fail, and you experience unexpected symptoms like insomnia or headaches that you didn’t have before. Other symptoms such as joint pain or acne may be relieved.

Get back to feeling. Once the initial paralysis subsides – and this varies considerably depending on the individual – the sensation will return. They can come back slowly, or they can pile up immediately. You may experience intense fluctuations between emotional states, as how you feel changes from day to day or even from moment to moment.

Constructive action. This stage is linked to phase 2, and you will find it difficult to do only one stage and skip the other. As you become more in tune with how you feel, take action to restore your sense of power and meaning. For example, if you have been in an emotionally abusive relationship, you may want to volunteer at a local women’s shelter. Taking actions that make sense to you will counteract the feelings of worthlessness or loss of control that often hide under emotional fragility.

Reintegration. This stage cannot happen until all three of the first stages have been experienced. During this stage, you become in tune with your emotions and values. You learn to practice “values” living, in which you live by your core principles (honesty, empathy, assertiveness, etc.)

Unleash your feelings

Expressing your feelings to others is an important part of decoupling. However, this is different from just talking about one’s experience. Sometimes, people will talk disconnectedly about difficult or traumatic things that have happened to them, as if these things had happened to someone else. This lack of connection prevents you from truly dismantling your feelings about what happened.

Mindfulness techniques can help you stay in the present when you are talking about a difficult or traumatic event. Using mindfulness techniques can help you regulate your emotions so you don’t get depressed. They can help you avoid ruminating, or “obsessing,” about a certain feeling or emotion. They can also reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms, making it easier to unpack your feelings. See Method 1 for how to practice the mindfulness technique.

For example, many treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder encourage the patient to relive the trauma in a controlled manner to untangle the feelings the trauma has created.

While talking to friends or family is enough for some people, others may need professional mental health support. There’s nothing to be ashamed of! Counselors and therapists are there to provide support and understanding so you can be honest with how you feel.

Express yourself

Self-expression, whether through art, music, dancing, writing or talking to others, has been shown to be helpful when seeking to navigate difficult life events. By connecting with your emotions in many ways, you are encouraged to explore and understand them.

Focus on activities that make you feel safe and comfortable. Exploring negative emotions in a safe, positive environment will help you release them and heal.

If you feel uncomfortable or uncertain about how to express your feelings, you may want to at least seek advice from a professional art therapist first. Many professional therapists and counselors are trained in this area.

Get support and help from family and loved ones

Getting support and help from family and friends can help you become emotionally strong
Getting support and help from family and friends can help you become emotionally strong

Trying to deal with trauma or stress alone can be overwhelming. Research has repeatedly shown that social and personal support is effective in recovery. Talking to close friends and family, a therapist or professional counselor, a member of your faith, and/or a support group are all good ways to get help from others.

Seek support from people who accept you for who you are. If you have been emotionally hurt in the past, the last thing you need is to open up and get hurt again by the person who will judge you. Share with people you trust who give you unconditional love and support.

Final thought

When you are able to control your emotion, you will have everything figured out more easily and confidently. Make sure you practice these methods above to become emotionally stronger.

Top News hopes this article can help you learn more about effective ways to become stronger in terms of emotion.

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