by Alice Landry
Emotional health refers to your overall psychological wellbeing. People who are emotionally healthy handle stress well, deal with challenges as opportunities, have a positive self-image, and are able to sustain healthy relationships.
Review the following tips on how to stay emotionally healthy.
1. Have a sense of humor - Emotional benefits of laughter include feeling a sense of contentment and joy, shifting your perspective to a positive outlook, giving you more courage and hope, dissolving tense situations, and improving overall mood.
2. Do frequent feelings checks - Determine how you feel when you wake up in the morning. If the feeling is negative, figure out what's causing it and take steps to resolve the unsettling mood. Reorient your emotions with affirmations and confidence to set a new tone for the day. Recognize any physiologic clues your body gives off as evidence of emotional distress.
3. Focus on the positive - Admit any negative feelings you may have, deal with them, and move on. Do not dwell on circumstances from the past or those you cannot control. Say positive affirmations and keep inspirational quotes handy. Remember that what you focus on is what you will attract in life, so put your energy toward that which you desire, not what you don't want.
4. Take care of your physical self - The mind/body connection refers to how your body responds to the way you think, feel, and act. If you are physically healthy, your emotions will tend to be high. Bodily dis-ease or illness can create a slippery slope of negative emotions which self-perpetuate other physical problems, such as insomnia, upset stomach, and general aches and pains. Respect your body by exercising, eating nutritious foods, and getting proper rest.
5. Perform relaxation exercises - Dealing with emotional ups and downs can be exhaustive and confusing. Allow your body and mind to create a blank slate so that your intentions to heal the situation can come from a place of clarity, insight, and faith instead of fear or despair. Invest time and energy into practices such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, Reiki, sea salt baths, and massage.
6. Stay socially connected - Involving yourself in projects and activities with family, friends, or the general community is a strong aspect of wellness at any age. Pick an interest that you would like to learn more about, join a club focused on that particular hobby, and form connections with those involved. Social networking websites also offer an outlet for creating relationships based on similar interests.
7. Practice mindfulness - Mindfulness is the state of being fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions at any given wakeful moment. Living in the here and now is a powerful self-growth tool. You begin to learn that the feelings you experience are ever-changing, you discover underlying destructive patterns that you may not have noticed before, and you evolve by changing those fixed patterns into more dynamic approaches.
8. Channel your feelings productively - If you feel acutely angered or overwhelmed, instead of harboring negative emotions, release built-up tension through activities such as running, writing in a journal, or transforming stress into motivation to achieve your goals.
9. Avoid all or nothing thinking - Thinking in terms of black and white absolutes instead of shades of grey is a common element of depression. Words like 'disastrous,' 'terrible,' 'ruined,' and 'never' should be red flag signs that you may be thinking catastrophically. Situations may be unfortunate, but not a complete end-of-the-world disaster. Consider the point that even smart people don't always make the best choices. You can learn from your mistakes and consciously choose a healthier path next time.
10. Begin a personal development journey - If you are ready and willing to heal your life, realize that you are in the driver's seat. Think of ways to improve yourself, your relationships, and your overall life every day. Choose thoughts, feelings, and actions that are aligned with truth, love, and power.
11. Set goals - when people are feeling depressed, aimless, or like they are just going through the motions, often times it’s because they are lacking general direction. Set realistic goals for yourself so you are continuously aiming at something, this will constantly motivate you, give you reasons to celebrate as you attain goals, and will increase your general level of emotional contentment and mental health.
12. Daily self-reflect - examine your locus of control in the midst of yourself reflections, it is important to examine just where your locus of control is. Are you blaming everyone else for things? Or are you taking on all the fault? Nothing is one sided, remember that. Think of what you really did, what others really did, accept that it’s in the past and that the best thing to do now is learn from it and live on to never make that mistake again!
Emotional health ties into physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Consider Dr. Ben Kim's answer to the question, "What is the most powerful step you can take to dramatically improve your health?" Learn how to effectively manage emotional stress.
Affirmation: I honor my emotions and express how I truly feel. I take steps every day to consciously choose happiness, peace, and love. The world I create reflects my positive emotions. I improve myself daily and choose to be a better person.