3 Habits That Will Make You Emotionally Strong

#1: Acknowledge your emotions early

Nick Wignall
9 min readSep 24


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

Here’s a controversial idea that I believe deeply to be true…

Most of our struggles in life come from not managing our emotions well.

A few quick examples:

  • Do we struggle to communicate with our spouse or partner because we lack communication skills — or is it that big emotions like fear or defensiveness derail our conversations?
  • Do we really struggle to finish our creative projects because we don’t have the right to-do list software or that we’re lazy — or is it that limiting beliefs like self-doubt and imposter syndrome or negative self-talk and self-criticism get in the way?
  • Do we really struggle with healthy eating because we don’t know which foods are healthy and which ones are not — or is it that we use food to compensate for our unmet emotional needs?

In other words, if you drill down deep enough, the root cause of most of our biggest struggles is that we’re not very good at managing big, painful emotions.

If this is true, it means that the most important skill in life is the ability to manage your emotions well.

Think about it…

  • Imagine how much more confident you would feel initiating difficult conversations with your spouse if you were an expert in managing fear and defensiveness?
  • Imagine how much more focused, productive, and creative you would be if you were a master at handling self-doubt and procrastination?
  • Imagine how much healthier your diet would be if you had a set of tools to manage stress, self-soothe, and navigate insecurities?

Emotional strength is the ability to respond well to difficult emotions. And it’s a skill anyone can get better at.

But it takes the right approach…

  • Superficial coping strategies might make you feel a little better in the moment, but they don’t build emotional strength (and in many cases, they actually hurt it).
  • Endlessly ruminating and dwelling on the mistakes or hurts of your past won’t…



Nick Wignall

Psychologist and writer sharing practical advice for emotional health and well-being: https://thefriendlymind.com