Thanks in part to the pandemic, these last few years have been anything but stable for many of us. There has been financial and career instability with the opening and closing of businesses, instability within our social groups because of social distancing requirements, and emotional instability due to a combination of the preceding factors and perhaps even more.
Indeed, the things and people that may have contributed to a sense of stability in the past haven’t necessarily been accessible during this trying time. However, there is one source that has been and will always be available: ourselves.
In this time of uncertainty, it is perhaps more important than ever to find stability within yourself. Let’s explore this idea further below.
What is Emotional Stability and Why is it Important?
When people speak of stability within themselves, they’re often referring to emotional stability. The American Psychological Association defines emotional stability as “predictability and consistency in emotional reactions, with absence of rapid mood changes”. Emotional stability is important, as it allows an individual to make thoughtful, appropriate choices in their day-to-day life without being affected by intense emotions, even in the face of other types of instability like financial, career, and social.
Let’s say, for example, that you recently lost your job. This can be a very stressful time for anyone, especially if they’re not in a great place financially. Someone who is emotionally unstable may become consumed with negative thoughts about their prospects, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and a generally bad outlook. This may cause them to turn down any interviews that may come their way or forgo looking for another job altogether, even though it may be the answer to their problems.
An emotionally stable individual, on the other hand, would be able to take a step back and see that, no matter how discouraged they may be now, applying to jobs and going to interviews is really in their best interest. Emotional stability allows you to handle any adversity that comes your way while still being very much capable and productive, and it’s something that can benefit anyone trying to live their best life.
How Can You Find Stability Within Yourself?
While social support can certainly help contribute to an individual’s sense of stability, it may not always be available when you need it most. Therefore, next time you’re feeling a little unstable, try the following practices to help you find stability within yourself.
- Get some exercise. Research shows that those who exercise on a regular basis have better emotional well-being.
- Meditation. There are many benefits to meditation that can encourage emotional stability. For example, it can help reduce stress, clear the mind, increase contentment, and improve focus and productivity.
- Don’t judge yourself for how you feel, as you don’t necessarily have any control over your emotions. Afford yourself the same kindness you show to others when they’re going through a rough time. This is an important part of practicing mindfulness, as it encourages us to acknowledge our thoughts and emotions without judgment.