Becoming Emotionally Self-Reliant

Have you ever felt like it was difficult to regulate your own emotions? So much so that you depend on others to others to make decisions for you, have difficulty identifying and validating your own feelings, communicating in relationships, seeking others approval over your own, have poor self-esteem, and fears of abandonment.

You may even think the worst thing in the world would be having a problem and your best friend not answering the phone to help calm you down. Or, you make see others approval of you own feelings and feel worse if they are not willing to make a decision for you.

Becoming emotionally self-reliant is all about developing the necessary coping skills.

Imagine yourself as a child and getting hurt playing outside. What do you do next? A lot of children immediately look for an adult to help ease their anxiety about getting hurt and to feel more secure.

Sometimes people grow up without healthy relationships with their parents and did not have much of a chance to learn emotional resiliency. Having an adult to teach you at a young age how to manage your stressors can impact your ability to manage problems and emotions as an adult. This can be a major factor when entering and experiencing adulthood of how well you handle life transitions and challenges.

Psychological resilience is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. In order to become more emotionally independent, self-reliant, and emotionally resilient, you have to develop coping skills.

  1. Practice assertiveness and setting boundaries with others. Know and set your limits with others and yourself. That thing you been avoiding being straightforward about, it’s time to express and acknowledge how you really feel. Being true to yourself is good for mental health and building emotional resilience.
  2. Taking care of your physical health helps to manage stress. So get good sleep, physical exercise, and good nutrition. When you do not take care of your body, it’s difficult for it to perform to its highest potential. Thus, making it hard to give your brain what it needs to manage stress.
  3. Learn some ways to relax and distress. There are so many ways people choose to relax. Research and try new things. Find out what works for you. You can go for a walk, take a nap, drink tea, take a hot bath, meditation, and so on. What works for someone else may not work for you, so it is important to find what works for you.
  4. Have your own interests and hobbies. Please don’t sit around and wait for someone else to give you something to do. This leads to boredom and depression. Follow your interests and develop new hobbies. Have your own activities you engage in when you are alone that is important and exciting to you. If you don’t know that that is, just try something new. Keep doing that until you find something. Also sometimes your hobbies can lead you to meet new people who share your interests.
  5. Be open to getting support where ever you can when you need it. You don’t always have to do it alone. It’s okay to have support from family, friends, and professionals. Sometimes knowing the right time when to seek support can help you to manage your emotions. Others might have good ideas as well when it comes to coping skills.
  6. Do not be too hard on yourself. Be self-accepting. Be more gentle with yourself. Learn to be that parent your inner child needs when you are having difficulty managing your emotions. Learn what you need and give it to yourself when you need it. When I get really stressed, I redirected myself. I coach myself into focusing on something that is more relaxing and I tell myself “it’s okay, you just got frustrated and overwhelmed, and you just need to relax now. It will get better soon”. Learn to make your inner child feel more secure.
  7. Stop looking for approval for how you feel. You have permission to own those feelings. Sometimes people worry so much about how people will respond to their feelings, they hide them. They worry about being judged and labeled. But in order to be emotionally self-reliant, you have to own those feelings and not feel guilty about them. Feelings are just indicators of what is going on in your mind. They are a self-guidance system and they are just telling you what you are focused on and giving signals to what might need improving or support.
  8. Find balance in your life. This is a constant effort. There is no such thing as getting balanced and staying balanced. Life experiences might cause us to pay more attention to certain things than others. You just have to remind yourself to not forget about the other important parts of you that need love and attention.

These are also ways to improve your self-esteem and self-confidence. When you are able to rely on meeting your own emotional needs, it helps you to feel better about your capabilities in managing all areas of your life. Learn to react to stress in ways that help you to feel more self-reliant. No one knows how to help you more than you. So start digging deep, go within, and rely on your inner self to teach you how to take care of you.

What ways have you tried to become more emotionally independent and self-reliant? What worked? Comment Below!

Published by Asha Griffin, MA, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH

I am Asha Griffin, a licensed professional counselor in South Carolina. I am dedicated to improving the mental health of others and helping them to "tend to their gardens". My goal is to inspire people in finding better balance in their lives.

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