Emotional Resilience‘There is a perception out there…that resilience is something either you have or you haven’t…I believe that emotional resilience is actually something we can learn.’

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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Dr Harry Barry joined Sean O’Rourke to talk about the importance of emotional resilience. He’s written a book on the subject, “Emotional Resilience: How to Safeguard your Mental Health”. Harry says it’s about learning how to deal with what he calls “the big waves” of life – bereavements, work and financial problems, family conflicts. According to him, emotional resilience is the ability to “understand the emotions” behind our response to these challenging situations and to “learn how to adapt” when needed.

“There is a perception out there, particularly amongst many of the experts, that resilience is something either you have or you haven’t…and I strongly disbelieve this. I believe that emotional resilience is actually something we can learn.”

Harry told Sean that in his experience, writing things down can help us process things.

“I just think that when something’s going on in our emotional mind, our emotional mind just takes over…When we write things down, now our rational brain has an opportunity to actually examine what’s actually going on. And nothing is more powerful, in my experience, than getting a person to write down in their own handwriting…whatever is distressing them.”

Harry’s work focuses on three core tenets: personal skills, social skills and life skills. He thinks the area of social skills, in particular, has been neglected in other works on the topic.

“Nobody ever talks about the importance of social skills and social skills are critical. I see an awful lot of people who are struggling in the social world they’re living in. They don’t have the skills to navigate the social world they’re living in. And it is paralysing their lives.”

Listen back to the whole discussion on Today with Sean O’Rourke here.

© The Listener 2018

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