5 Ways The Most Emotionally Tough People Become That Way

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Curious How To Be Emotionally Strong? Do These 5 Things Every Single Day

You know that woman you know? You know, the one who has her sh*t completely together?

She knows what she wants and who she is and she won’t let anyone or anything get her down? She has confidence and high self-esteem.

Yes, her. Wouldn’t you like to be her?

You can be!

A woman like that most likely wasn’t always that emotionally strong but she had to work to become that way. And you can do it too!

Here are 5 ways on how to be emotionally strong:

1. Take care of yourself.

At the most basic level, no one can be emotionally strong if they aren’t physically strong.

I am not saying you have to join Crossfit and do the Whole 30 program and go to therapy every day. I do mean to take care of your body. Eat well, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, be kind to others, and do what makes you smile.

Feeling healthy and strong will give you good strong roots at the base of your emotionally healthy tree. Roots that will make it so that you won’t blow over in a storm.

So do it. Take care of yourself. Create a healthy base on which to cultivate your emotional strength.

2. Challenge your thoughts.

You know those pesky thoughts that incessantly course through your head? You know the ones. The ones that tell you aren’t pretty enough, not smart enough, or not successful enough?

Yes, those thoughts. Those are thoughts that are holding you back. They are keeping you emotionally weak.

It’s time to change those thoughts. It won’t be easy but with a little determination you can bring about big change.

One of my clients spent a lifetime telling herself that she just wasn’t worthy of love. Her life experience had led her to believe this to be true and because her thoughts consistently reinforced this idea she just wasn’t emotionally capable of finding and keeping love.

I challenged her to challenge those thoughts, to talk back to the negative thoughts and provide evidence that they just weren’t true.

I encouraged her to make a list of those who had loved her — her various boyfriends, her parents, her friends, her kids, even that the barista guy who flirted with her for years. Those people liked and loved her.

She kept this list easily accessible and when those dreaded thoughts reared their ugly head, she referred to the list. Gradually those thoughts, being starved of reasons why it was true, became much quieter.

And then, because she no longer felt emotionally weakened by her thoughts, she flirted back with that barista and it looks like she just might live happily ever after.

RELATED: 15 Make-Or-Break Ways Your Self Esteem Affects Your Relationship

3. Don’t take things personally.

Taking things personally can be the death of emotional strength.

When something happens to us, the only way that we can process it is through our own internal system. And that internal system only truly understands our experience. As a result, we often times personalize things that have nothing to do with us.

I have a client who was in a dispute with her landlord about the damages done to her apartment and she was very upset. She couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t enjoy her everyday life. She took the dispute personally.

She felt that the landlord was questioning who she was as a person in his pursuit of keeping the damage deposit. She felt less than because of this.

I suggested to her that a more likely explanation for his actions was that he wanted more money from her, not that he didn’t like her as a person.

In that moment, my client let go of everything that she had been holding on to. Of course, it was about the money, not about how she was as a tenant or a person. It’s always about money.

In that moment, she learned about the importance of not taking things personally and grew her emotional strength.

4. Give of yourself to others.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, can help build emotional strength more than doing something for someone else. Truly, nothing.

When I was going through my divorce, my emotional strength was at its lowest. I started volunteering weekly at the local food bank. Four hours a week of helping other people get food to eat for themselves and their families made me feel so good.

And not because I felt lucky that I wasn’t in their position but because I knew that I had made a substantial, positive difference in their lives. It made my heart sing.

Many of us don’t have time to volunteer but we can make a difference in other ways. Hold the door open for someone, buy that homeless person sitting outside the grocery store a sandwich, reach out to a friend you know is going through a hard time, or give up your seat on the subway.

There is nothing like being on the receiving end of a smile of gratitude to build up your emotional strength. So try it. Reach out and make a difference in someone’s life today.

RELATED: 7 Things Truly Kind People Do EVERY Day That Make Us Adore Them

5. Do that thing you think you can not do.

There comes a time in one’s life when one is presented with an obstacle that seems insurmountable. For me, that obstacle was rebuilding my life after my divorce.

I never wanted a divorce but it was forced upon me and I had to deal. I had to deal with no longer being a wife, greatly reduced financial stability and the prospect of being alone forever.

I did not want to deal.

But I had to. I had to pick myself and move forward. And I chose to pick myself and move forward in the strongest possible way. I wasn’t going to let this situation ruin my life so I didn’t.

How? I got into therapy. I surrounded myself with people who loved and supported me. I educated myself about the divorce process so that I could get what I needed to take care of myself and my children.

I didn’t back down in the face of his anger and derision. I stopped taking his actions personally and realized they were his issues, not mine.

In short, I came out on the other side of my divorce a different woman. I went into it a woman who was scared of her own shadow, as I had been at the end of my marriage.

I emerged as someone who knew that she could take care of herself and her children, who was no longer a wife but a woman and who didn’t give a damn about being alone because I was very happy with my own company.

The best way to ensure your emotional strength is to do that thing you think you cannot do. By doing so, you will truly see your own strength. Nothing and no one will be able to convince you otherwise.

We are born into this world emotionally strong people. Life experience can drain that strength until we are left a shell of who we formerly were.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Take care of yourself, don’t take things personally, challenge your thoughts, give unto others and face challenges head on. Regaining your emotional strength is not only possible but probable with a little intention and effort.

You can do it. I did. And, let me tell you, it feels amazing!

Mitzi Bockmann is a New York City-based Certified Life Coach. Looking for more ways to get emotionally stronger? Contact her for help. 

Watch Don Miguel Ruiz discuss with Oprah how to not take things personally and why it's so difficult for some people.

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