How to Develop Emotional Elasticity

Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.

We all could use a little less stress in our lives. From the challenges of maintaining a harmonious relationship with our significant other to managing the buffet of emotions spread throughout our families, it seems like our internal smoke detectors could go off at any moment.

We want to be great. We want to do better. We want to be that unshakable person we all so very much revere. The person that isn’t rattled by even the heaviest of conflict. Perpetuating a gratitude so strong, it chokes out every ounce of negativity.

How the hell do they do that?

Quite simply, they’ve developed the elusive trait of emotional elasticity.

This is a variance from emotional intelligence, or even emotional stability for that matter. Emotional elasticity has to do with one’s ability to stretch the space which contains the feelings that burn like deadwood. Or beauty. Or truth.

Those in possession of emotional elasticity have a heightened perspective. Cognizant of all things but attached to none of them. They understand they cannot stop the waves, but they can certainly learn to surf.

Regardless of how far their emotions may expand, these irresistible people return to baseline in a instant. They immediately wrap their head around the impact of their feelings, understanding communication — both verbal and non-verbal — is a two-way street. These titans of heart are truly a joy to be around. And you can be, too.

For the sake of elegant and clear expression, your internal representations are the images of your emotions. Your thoughts and feelings communicate a message, which is then painted into a picture of what’s happening  or—most of the time—what isn’t.

As Will Smith explains so succinctly,

“Forget managing the situation. Manage your mind.”

The funny thing is, the recipe for this process isn’t but one ingredient.

Managing your mind begins and ends with distinction.

Like the timeless prayer goes,

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

The wisdom to know the difference. When we know the difference, the fear dissipates. When we know something, we place a ceiling on it. It’s contained. And therefore, we can move on with our lives. The unknown is no longer unknown.

Better than the place, is the ability to discern it.

In this case, better than a life with no emotions that challenge us is the ability to manage and grow from them.