Your Emotional Health
So often we become distracted by all of the negatives that seem to surround us. It is so easy to list all of our failings, weaknesses, and faults. And even if we are trying to move on to a healthier and more positive frame of mind, there are plenty of people ready to remind us of all of our mistakes and errors. Where did we ever get the idea that focusing on faults would achieve anything but a feeling of discouragement? Why do we spend so much time reminding ourselves and others of failings, weaknesses, or lacks? Let’s change our approach from one of disease to one of health and focus on what can make us feel healthier, more vibrant, and more alive. According to www.helpguide.org someone who is emotionally healthy is able to handle life’s challenges, build strong relationships, and recover from setbacks. So it doesn’t mean that life will be a bowl full of cherries, but rather that whatever shows up you will have the emotional health to handle and even thrive. Emotional health is like having a great immune system. There are lots of diseases out there but someone with a great immune system lives in healthy freedom from disease. Emotional health refers to the presence of positive characteristics rather than the absence of disease. What are some of these positive characteristics? You can find them all at http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/improving-emotional-health.htm but here are a few to get you started:
A sense of contentment
A zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun
A sense of meaning and purpose
The flexibility to learn new things and adapt to change
Being emotionally healthy doesn’t mean you won’t experience loss, frustration, or worry in your life. It does mean that whatever life throws at you, you will be able to bounce back. This is called resilience.
Here are a few tips that can help you get started, activities you can engage in every day that will positively impact your physical and emotional health.
Get enough rest: seven to eight hours a night. Do not minimize the importance of this simple act. During sleep your body and mind are actively repairing and rejuvenating your system. Sleep gives them the time to do this for you.
Get outside. Getting out in the fresh air and sunlight makes such a big difference in your physical health and emotional wellbeing. And since you are outside, take a walk around the block, around the neighborhood, or around a park. You get exercise and you might even meet some others as well making this a “trifecta”: Sunlight, Exercise, and Social Connection.
Do something you love to do. Is there something you feel passionate about or would enjoy doing? What makes time fly for you? What do you look forward to doing? Having a hobby like knitting, drawing, playing the guitar, or cycling, for example, fuels you with energy and a sense of vitality.
Make time to meditate, become mindful, or pray. Think about things you are grateful for or people you appreciate. Feel the breath of your body and relax for a moment releasing tension, worry, and anxiety.
Everyone is different. For some slowing down and relaxing is just what is needed while for others more activity, excitement, and stimulation gives the needed boost. There may be times when you really feel overwhelmed. This is the time to seek help to get you back on track. What are some of the red flags?
Inability to sleep.
Feeling down, hopeless, or helpless most of the time.
Abusing nicotine, food, alcohol, or drugs to cope with difficult emotions.
Thoughts of death or suicide.
If any of these red flags occur, call the Hope Line at 1-800-567-4673 (H-O-P-E)
It’s never too late to make changes that will improve your physical and emotional wellbeing. You are just a few steps away from living a wonderful life, the life you were meant to experience.