What is it?

Why do we need it?

How do we build it?

Tabby Kerwin takes a look at one of the fundamental elements of emotional fitness that allows us to live a healthier life and get back up and fight stronger when difficult situations come our way.

Resilience is the ability to easily adjust to misfortune or change whilst Hope is defined as a desire accompanied by expectation or belief in fulfilment or wanting something to happen (Merriam-Webster, 2021).

These two elements of hope and resilience are closely intertwined, acting as protective factors against adversity and for our mental health and following some recent research I posited that:

Hope + Action = Resilience + Mental Wellness

Protective factors are vital; they protect our mental health in contrast to risk factors which pose a threat to our mental health and in the same way physical fitness can be improved through physical exercise, emotional fitness can be improved through emotional exercise and it is these emotional exercises which are the Action in my Hope + Action = Resilience + Mental Wellness equation.

My personal definition of resilience is not just strength, but the ability to be stretched and then return to form (not always the same form), mentally or physically.

Evidence shows us that hope helps protect mental health (Leite et al,. 2019) and that it is resilience that helps people bounce back when they face adversity, but why do we need to build resilience?

A person who is resilient can work through adversity and challenges by using their strengths and other elements of psychological capital (resources a person can use to help improve their performance) such as hope, optimism and self-efficacy (someone’s belief in their capacity to perform) (Fontane Pennock, 2020). The more resilient you become, the stronger you feel and more mentally healthy you are. Resilience self-perpetuates where resilience builds more resilience.

When we develop our emotional fitness by utilising tools in our wellbeing toolkit we are not only building our resilience but we our increasing our levels of hope, boosting our mood and becoming mentally healthier.

What are the tools that can help us build resilience and emotional fitness?

  • Visualisation
  • Movement
  • Breathing
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Gratitude
  • Grounding

These are some of the examples of tools we should have in our wellbeing toolkit that we can use as a daily practise for preventative measures and use as continuing and maintenance tools, or in a moment of emotional distress.

To buy Tabby’s Book: ‘The Three Ps: Possibility, Productivity & Performance’ click here

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