The Happiness Connection  

Are you emotionally secure?

What makes you feel safe?

Common answers include:

  • A dependable income
  • Money in the bank
  • A committed life-partner
  • A secure home
  • Close family and friends you can rely on

You may believe that whatever is missing from your list is the reason you’re feeling vulnerable. But what if you have all the things you think make you safe and you still feel exposed?

Safety isn’t just about people and things. These will help you physically, but they don’t increase your emotional safety. That’s where the what-ifs live.

  • What if I get laid off?
  • What if I run out of money?
  • What if my partner leaves me?
  • What if I can’t pay my mortgage?

Having all the things isn’t enough to make you feel emotionally safe, because there is no guarantee you won’t lose them.

Emotional security comes from within you. It isn’t something that can be lost unless you choose to release it. It comes when you believe you are resilient and will deal with whatever comes your way.

If I believed my safety was totally wrapped up in physical things, I’d be in trouble. I’m a writer and speaker, with a fluctuating income. I live on my own with parents who rely on me and children who live on another continent. I have a home, but it has a mortgage.

In physical terms, my life isn’t as safe as it was a few years ago.

Does that mean that I don’t feel safe? Not in the least. I’ve been through a lot in my life and I know how resilient I am. I believe completely that whatever comes my way, I will deal with it.

Without resilience, it doesn’t matter how physically secure you are, your feelings of safety will be weakened.

The only way to increase your resilience is through practise. You need to get into the thick of life and experience some bumps and bruises. Your self-belief will increase every time you get up after a fall.

You need to prove to yourself that you can survive challenges.

The older you get before you experience tough times, the more frightened you may be of them. It’s a little like skiing.

If you learn to ski when you’re older, you’re likely to be more nervous about falling than if you were young. Old bones break more easily, and injuries take longer to heal. You may decide to do everything you can to avoid falling.

With this attitude, you don’t go down challenging runs or ski when the conditions aren’t perfect. You limit yourself in hopes you will be safe.

If you learn to ski as a child, you don’t care if you fall. That’s all part of the experience. You learn to trust your ability to tumble safely and get up again. You don’t shy away from challenging runs.

Swap the snowy slopes for your journey through life. If you haven’t shown yourself that you know how to get back up after an emotional fall, you are likely to spend your energy trying to avoid situations you aren’t sure about.

Parents strive to protect their children from failure, stress, and struggles, but in truth they aren’t doing them any favours with this approach. Learning to be resilient from a young age is one of the best gifts you can give your offspring.

The good news is that you can learn to roll with the punches and face challenges head on at any age. It may just take a little more effort.

2020 is offering you the perfect opportunity to increase your resilience and sense of emotional safety.

Step into the unknown

You won’t know how resilient you are until you fall a few times. It’s in the getting up that you discover your strength.

You’ll also learn that doing something for the first time doesn’t guarantee you will struggle. You never know what you can do until you try it.

If getting up seems hard, persevere. Don’t give up. Prove to yourself that you can do what it takes to right yourself.

Develop flexible thinking

Your old thought patterns probably need to be updated as you encounter new situations. Question your stories. When you make an excuse for why you can’t do something, ask yourself whether that’s actually true.

Learn to manage your thoughts and emotions by being aware of them. Don’t assume that the first ideas and feelings that spring into existence are the only way to interpret something. This will help you find more positive perspectives, and creative solutions.

Foster a healthy sense of humour

This is an invaluable skill when you are learning to be resilient. A good laugh not only makes you feel better, it will help you release some of the negative emotions that may be weighing you down.

Connect with your spiritual side

Whatever spiritual means to you, knowing that you have support and guidance from something more than your human self is incredibly powerful. Seeing yourself as a piece of a bigger picture gives you a different perspective.

I’ve been thinking about safety a lot lately with my 66 Days of Possibility experience. If you don’t feel safe, it’s hard to lean into what’s possible. You’re focused on surviving more than thriving.

The topic for this week’s Happiness Connection came to me when I was listening to the song, I Know Him So Well, by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice. It’s part of the musical Chess.

As I was singing along, the lyrics, “No one in your life is with you constantly. No one is completely on your side,” jumped out at me.

The only person you can ever totally count on is yourself.

Physical safety may come and go but trusting and believing in yourself can last forever.

As smoke, masks, and social distancing define life our current lives, take time to strengthen your emotional resilience.

The only one who can do that is you and this may be the perfect opportunity to do that.

More The Happiness Connection articles

About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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