Controlling our Emotions for Positive Resilience

by | 24 Oct 2023 | Mental Health, Positive Resilience, Unleashing You, Wellbeing

Control as a pillar of positive resilience, is about staying calm in times of stress, managing our emotions effectively, and recovering quickly when things go wrong.  It is not a fixed capability but one we can develop.

The importance of control for positive emotions

Control is a pillar of positive resilience as strategies in this area ensure we can control our emotions rather than them controlling us.  Given that our emotional response governs how we think, make decisions, and then behave, it makes sense that having an objective awareness of our emotions will lead to better responses and prevent feelings of overwhelm.

This isn’t about denying or burying feelings.  It is about knowing we can remain calm, and stay focused under pressure, because we draw on our wider awareness to have perspective, think rationally and logically, and then respond in a helpful way.

Research has shown that if there is a low level of control people are more likely to adopt unhelpful coping strategies and less likely to seek help.

Setbacks and challenges constantly arise in life but with the control pillar well developed we can recognise our emotions and recover quickly.

 The benefits of a feeling in control of our emotions

 When we develop the ability to stay calm under pressure and control impulsive responses to situations, we benefit from feeling equipped to deal with challenging situations and have a range of effective coping strategies, along with a high level of self-awareness of things likely to trigger an emotional response.

Logically when we have these skills we are better able to deal with stress – both day to day challenges and larger obstacles.  It has also been found that controlling our emotions in a positive way leads to performing more effectively at home and work

As a benefit when we know we can cope with problems we are more likely to take on challenges and opportunities rather than using avoidance tactics.

The ability to regulate our emotions better also means we recover quicker from setbacks.

Tips for developing a strong control pillar

  • Have ‘go to’ strategies to draw on as soon as you notice an emotional response to something. Keep it simple.    Take a few slow deep breaths.  This short simple process allows our rational, thinking brain to reconnect and come online.
  • Build an awareness of specific triggers that elicit a strong emotional response. Identify strategies to manage these.
  • Consider the broader perspective to help manage the response. How will you feel about this in a month?
  • Reflect on why you might be having such a strong response to something. Often it will be linked to going against something that is important to us or one of our values. 
  • Conduct an audit of your world. Identify areas of stress and potential stress and review your strategies to overcome or manage them.  These strategies will link with other pillars, particularly wellbeing.

This is one in a series of blog about the seven pillars of positive resilience.  Each includes tips on developing the resource. You will notice overlaps, and focusing on one can benefit other pillars with a cumulative outcome of greater positive resilience.  If you would like your personal Positive Resilience Profile to create your own plan get in touch.

The Positive Resilience Profile is a psychometric test developed by Peoplewise which we are accredited to provide.  It enables you to understand your current level in each pillar and get tailored guidance on developing each to enhance your positive resilience.  Contact us now to learn how to get your profile.

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To learn more please contact us on 01202 612 326 or through the options below. We’ll discuss details and how we can help you or your organisation.


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