Emotional strength? What is this? What makes us emotionally strong? To be emotionally strong means that we spend more time experiencing positive rather than negative emotional states. This enables us to be emotionally resilient. We are able to reframe, learn from and bounce back up into positivity, from lower emotional states, very quickly. To build emotional strength is about making positive emotions our new set-point or ‘norm.’
Emotions? They can be positive or negative and run deeper than our thoughts and feelings. Sometimes they seem to come out of no-where. Suddenly we feel happy or angry for no reason. If we trace them back we usually find that they are associated with positive or negative childhood experiences. Positive emotions tend to come subtly and quietly, whereas negative ones come with a force and knock us down.
Steps to Building Emotional Strength
Step One: Consciously dialogue. Have an upbeat dialogue with yourself. Start with a positive question, such as, ‘What can I be grateful for right here and now?’ Warning, don’t look at others and start making comparisons. This isn’t the exercise. It is: What can you be grateful for right now? When we start to do this exercise regularly, more often than not, we discover that we have more to be grateful for than we imagined we had. Now take a few minutes and notice how you feel. Do you feel more positive?
Intersperse your day with bite-size positive dialogues and notice how it starts to emerge your innate positivity.
Step Two: Build self-esteem. True self-esteem is based on recognising our own core values and goodness. All human beings are born with five core values: peace, love, purity, truth and joy. Only, as a result of life’s journey, they become hidden from us. We never completely forget them though. Remind yourself of your core qualities, let them emerge into the daylight and allow yourself to re-experience them.
Spend some time in the morning sitting quietly and holding one of these core qualities in your mind.
Step Three: Grow your positivity. Actions based on our core values naturally grow our positivity. We all acquire negative patterns as we travel through life. They become stronger through repetition. The same goes for our core qualities. When we focus on our core values and start using them in our day to day interactions we strengthen these patterns.
What random acts of kindness can you do today? Research has found that kindness can be catching and that one act of kindness can impact up top 125 others.
Step Four. Get clear about your aim. Who do you want to be? How do you want to feel? Our aim determines our priorities and choices in life. The clearer we are about our aim the clearer our direction is. This is especially important when those old habits re-surface, if we want to over-ride them.
Before you act, take a breath and ask yourself: Will this take me closer to my aim or away from it?
Step Five. Go to the Source. In Raja Yoga the first aspect is to connect with our core values. The second aspect is to connect with the Higher Source, the source of all positive attributes When we have faith in Him we can experience His love for us. His love and forgiveness has the power to free us from all our sorrow and negativity. We are then able to see the benefit in everything that has happened, is happening and is to happen. This truly makes us emotionally strong.