8 signs you’re more emotionally resilient than you think you are

Ava Sinclair by Ava Sinclair | March 13, 2024, 7:20 pm

We’ve all been there. Those moments when life throws a curveball and we think we’re just not strong enough to handle it. We question our ability to bounce back and wonder if we’re doomed to be overwhelmed by it all.

But have you ever stopped and realized that maybe, just maybe, you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for? That you’ve weathered storms before and come out stronger on the other side?

Sometimes, it’s not always about the big, life-changing events.

It can come down to the quiet moments, the subtle signs that show us we’re more emotionally resilient than we think.

Here are some indicators that you’re actually a lot tougher than you believe you are. Even if you don’t see it right away, these signs may just surprise you.

1) You handle stress with grace

Life is full of stressors, big and small. From a difficult day at work to a major life upheaval, stress is an inevitable part of our lives.

But how you handle stress says a lot about your emotional resilience.

Do you fall apart at the first sign of trouble or do you take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, and figure out a plan of action?

If it’s the latter, congratulations! That’s a definite sign of inner strength.

You see stress as a challenge to overcome, not an insurmountable obstacle. This doesn’t mean you’re immune to feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

It simply means that when those feelings arise, you don’t let them consume you. You acknowledge them, deal with them, and move forward. 

2) You’re open about your emotions

Let’s talk about emotions. They’re tricky, aren’t they? Sometimes they hit us like a freight train and other times, they’re more like a sneaky ninja, creeping up on us when we least expect it.

In the past, I used to bottle up my feelings. I thought showing emotions was a sign of weakness. But guess what? I was wrong.

Being open about your emotions is actually a sign of emotional resilience. It means you’re not afraid to face what you’re feeling, even when those feelings are difficult or uncomfortable.

Now, I try to express what I’m feeling as honestly and openly as possible. Whether it’s happiness or sadness, fear or excitement, I don’t shy away from my emotions.

3) You’re okay with not being okay

Here’s a story from my own life. Last year, I lost my job unexpectedly. It was a shock, to say the least. I was angry, confused, scared, and a whole host of other emotions I couldn’t even name.

But here’s the thing: I allowed myself to feel all those things. I didn’t try to suppress them or pretend they weren’t there. I accepted that it was okay not to be okay.

And that’s something we don’t often realize. Having inner grit doesn’t mean you’re always happy or positive. It means you’re able to feel your feelings fully and let them pass through you.

It means understanding that it’s normal to have ups and downs and that it’s perfectly okay not to be okay sometimes.

4) You practice self-care regularly

Did you know that the way you take care of yourself physically can also be a reflection of your emotional strength? It’s true.

Incorporating self-care routines into your daily life, like eating healthily, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and taking time to relax and do things you enjoy, shows that you value yourself.

You understand that taking care of your physical health is essential for maintaining your mental and emotional wellbeing.

And it’s not just about the big things. Even the smallest acts of self-care, like taking a few minutes to breathe deeply or making sure you stay hydrated throughout the day, can be a testament to your emotional resilience.

5) You have a strong support network

Let’s talk about the people in our lives. Friends, family, colleagues – they all play a significant role in our emotional fortitude.

Having a strong support network that you can lean on in times of need is crucial. It shows that you’re not afraid to reach out for help and that you understand the value of connection.

I’ve had times where I felt like I was sinking, and it was the people in my life who threw me a lifeline. They reminded me of my strength when I couldn’t see it myself.

And it’s not just about receiving support; it’s also about giving it. Being there for others in their times of need shows a level of emotional resilience as well. It means you’re able to step outside your own struggles and be a source of strength for others.

That give-and-take is a big part of emotional resilience. So take a moment to appreciate the people in your life who lift you up. They’re a big part of why you’re stronger than you think.

6) You’re open to change

Change is a constant in life. It happens whether we like it or not. 

Being open to change means you’re adaptable. You understand that life doesn’t always go according to plan and that’s okay. It doesn’t throw you off your game; instead, you view it as an opportunity to grow and learn.

I’ve had my fair share of unexpected changes. And while they were challenging, they also pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and discover strengths I didn’t know I possessed.

So if you find yourself embracing change, even when it’s uncomfortable or scary, give yourself a pat on the back. It’s a clear sign that you’re more emotionally formidable than you think you are.

7) You face your fears

Fears. They’re scary, right? That’s why they’re called fears. But how we deal with them can say a lot about our emotional resilience.

Facing your fears doesn’t mean you’re fearless. It means you’re brave. It means you acknowledge your fears and decide to confront them instead of running away.

I’ve had to face some of my biggest fears and it was terrifying. But each time, I came out on the other side feeling stronger and more resilient.

8) You practice self-compassion

Of all the points I’ve mentioned, this one might be the most important. Practicing self-compassion.

It’s about treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to a dear friend. It’s about not being too hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned or when you make mistakes.

I used to beat myself up over the smallest things, but I’ve learned that it’s not productive or healthy. Instead, I remind myself that I’m human and it’s okay to not be perfect.

Practicing self-compassion means acknowledging that you’re doing your best. It means giving yourself credit for how far you’ve come, even if you’re not where you want to be yet.

Final thoughts

If you’re reading this and seeing yourself in these signs, take a moment to appreciate your own strength. You’re more emotionally resilient than you think and that’s something to celebrate.

Emotional resilience is not about being invincible. It’s about acknowledging your emotions, facing your fears, embracing change, and practicing self-compassion. It’s about valuing yourself enough to take care of your physical health and maintaining a strong support network.

Remember the words of American poet Maya Angelou: “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” (source)

Keep these words in mind as you continue on your journey of emotional resilience. You are strong. You are capable. And you are more resilient than you think.