Health Lifestyle

Emotional resilience. What it is and how to build it

Emotional resilience. What it is and how to build it
  • PublishedJanuary 10, 2023

Emotional resilience is the ability to respond to stressful situations and crises which is determined by an individual’s age, identity, and experience. To develop emotional intelligence, one must develop self-awareness and identify their reactions to emotional situations. These result to better emotional management and control in stressful times. To get a hold of your emotions, you must first develop emotional intelligence (EI).

EI defined

EQ is the ability of individuals to use emotions intelligently and appropriately in different situations, and to accurately recognize, understand and control their emotions. Emotionally intelligent people can facilitate their emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth and intentionally use their thinking and behaviour to guide their emotions rather than let emotions dictate their thinking and behaviour.

How to build emotional intelligence

Building emotional intelligence requires a comprehensive guide that starts with a defined vision. The two most critical components of EI are insight and interpretation which allow individuals to proactively analyze situations and separate their feelings from the situation at hand. This, in turn, allows them to monitor, manage outputs and inputs, and serve others thus bringing positive feelings, energizing and infusing perspective.

Emotionally intelligent people are mentally strong despite encountering difficulties or circumstantial inconveniences in life. They have personal intentions about their emotional state which allow them to have incredible autonomy and clarity in any given situation, have a greater ability to make decisions during difficult times and are also innovative and creative, even when circumstances are stressful and strained.

The five pillars of emotional intelligence 

To become emotionally intelligent, you must develop the following five skills…


This is the ability of individuals to recognize feelings as they happen. A self-aware person understands his strengths and weaknesses and how his/her actions affect others. Self-aware people can, also, handle constructive criticism and even learn from it.

Emotional management

Closely related to self-awareness is emotional management which is the ability to control one’s feelings and to express these appropriately in a given situation. Developing emotional management requires the building of different skills including how to maintain their perspective, maintaining calm, and shaking off grumpiness, anxiety, or sadness. Individuals with self-regulation can maturely reveal emotions and exercise restraint when required.

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The ability to keep actions goal-oriented despite emotional distractions is called self-motivation. This includes delaying gratification and avoiding the use of impulsive ways. Emotionally intelligent individuals are self-motivated and are driven by an inner ambition. They remain  optimistic even when they experience disappointments.


This is the ability to correctly interpret the needs of other people. It is characterized by the willingness of an individual to put the needs of others ahead of their own needs, be compassionate, understand human nature that allows for connection with other people on emotional level and serving others as well as responding genuinely to other people’s concerns.

SEE ALSO: How to practice empathy on social media

Management of relationships

Almost similar to empathy, relationship management skills allow individuals to understand and respond appropriately to the emotions of others. People with such skills can establish rapport, respect others and build trust quickly thus avoiding power struggles.

In conclusion…

The five skills discussed here form the basis of emotionally intelligent behavior which in turn leads to emotional resilience. Resilient people are aware of their emotional reactions, in touch with their inner life, and can calm themselves and manage their emotions when dealing with negative experiences. Though not everyone may be emotionally resilient, the good news is that this is a trait that can be developed over time as individuals learn how to better work with their emotions to improve mental, physical, and social health.

The article was written by Dr. Catherine Gichuba, CEO and Lead Consultant at Regional Social Consultants Agency (RESCA).

Written By
Diana Rachel