7 Ways to Get Stronger Emotionally

7 Ways to Get Stronger Emotionally
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 28 July, 2022

Lao-Tse was so right when he said that a strong person can conquer other people, but a powerful person can conquer herself. Yet there are people who go through their whole lives without ever conquering themselves.

Emotional strength gives you the psychological resources you need for any challenge that comes your way. But if you want to be stronger emotionally, you have to take a long hard look at what you want to be and what you do and don’t want in your life. Once your priorities are clear, there won’t be any room left for insecurity or surrender…

A man looking out at a mountain lake, reflecting and contemplating.

How to get stronger emotionally: 7 steps

Emotional strength isn’t a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Actually, if you want to get stronger emotionally, all you need is to do some real inner work. It takes private, intimate, careful craftsmanship and the right kind of psychological tools.

Now let’s look at steps to get there.

1. Self-awareness: 20 minutes of daily personal reflection

Just like how you dedicate part of your day to exercising, reading, or watching TV, it’s also a good idea for you to “grant yourself” a small window of time to reflect and practice self-awareness. 

One thing you need in order to be stronger emotionally is to learn how to get some distance from the things around you. That way you’ll be able to see what your own needs truly are and dive deep into yourself and clearly see how things are affecting you.

2. Accept negative emotions

Let’s think about something for a second. For a long time the world convinced us that we “should be happy.” We’ve heard it so many times that we’ve all ended up like positive emotion “addicts.” But one side effect is that we can’t handle negative emotions. We don’t see the point of them.

Sadness blocks you up, anger makes you go too far, and you swallow one disappointment after another without really knowing what to do with such difficult emotions. But people who are stronger emotionally accept them. Just keep in mind that acceptance doesn’t mean giving up. Instead, it means acknowledging certain internal facts so you can process them.

3. Recognize that obstacles aren’t walls, they’re challenges

Developing the psychological resources you’ll need to be stronger emotionally won’t be quick or easy. But this strategy will go a long way: give meaning to every obstacle in your life. You have to talk about them to yourself and others as challenges, not failures or dead-ends.

What might at first seem like an ending is nothing but an open door to build something new. You can walk through it and you’ll see all the new opportunities on the other side.

A woman becoming stronger emotionally, leaping over the mountains.

4. Don’t demand people’s attention, demand their respect

Some people spend their lives begging for people’s attention. They need it like oxygen, because without it they’ll feel defenseless and lost. So once they get approval or satisfaction from their friends and family, they’ll be validated and their self-esteem will be safe.

However, this unhealthy habit prevents you from getting stronger emotionally. What you need isn’t attention, it’s respect. It’s the same thing you give to other people so that you can all live as free individuals, actualized people who don’t need other people to tell them what to do or how to express themselves.

5. Remember, change is a part of life

One characteristic of emotionally strong people is enthusiasm. Enthusiastic people have a certain internal strength that gives them the energy to overcome. They love finding new challenges to grow through.

Change is a part of life. A person who gets stuck in one place will end up falling apart. They’ll lose their wonderful enthusiasm. So always remember the value of change and how good and necessary it is.

6. Learn to be thankful

At first it might seem naive or unscientific, but actually the daily act of giving thanks for what you’ve achieved, what you have, what you are, and what’s around you is an extremely healthy exercise. 

Try to keep a gratitude diary. It’s just a journal where you can write down all the positive things about you, your life, and the blessings that have the power to motivate you and make you stronger emotionally.

7. Today is the best day to make your dreams come true

Being stronger emotionally also means fearlessly fighting for what you want. You don’t have to put your dreams off until tomorrow. Are you one of those who say “one day” I’ll tell that person how much I like them, “one day” I’ll ask my boss for a raise, “one day” I’ll take that amazing trip, “one day…”?

But “one day” does not appear on the calendar. You let time go by and life slip through your fingers out of indecisiveness and fear.  Is it worth it? Of course not. So work on your confidence, self-esteem, and determination, then add a few drops of courage. Then make your dreams come true.

On a journey into the wilderness.

Getting stronger emotionally is a process that actually never ends. It takes daily work. You have to exercise your mental muscles with every challenge, hardship, and dream that comes into your life. Be brave and seek happiness on the road of self-care and self-love.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.