Striving for emotional wellness can help keep your mind and body balanced and healthy.
It can be easy to pinpoint areas of improvement regarding your physical health – not getting enough sleep, poor diet, lack of exercise and more. However, improving your mental health, which is an important part of your overall wellness, can be easily overlooked. And it shouldn’t be.
Improving your emotional wellness can help you develop inner mental strength by thinking more positively, staying motivated and finding purpose and meaning, despite the obstacles and challenges you may experience.
Leaving emotional issues untreated can increase stress, which can, in turn, cause headaches, muscle aches, respiratory difficulties, cardiovascular issues, higher cholesterol levels and more, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). It can also lead to negative thoughts and behaviors, damage personal relationships, and eventually contribute to anxiety and depression. All of these psychological issues play a role in your overall health.
What is Emotional Wellness?
Being emotionally well is about being aware and accepting of your emotions and actions – both positive and negative.
Acceptance is an important key to achieving emotional wellness. While it may not be easy to share your feelings, it’s important to accept them rather than deny them. If you’re able to accept how you feel about a situation, you can better assess what can be learned, what is the most appropriate response, or simply how to achieve a resolution.
Understanding how you react to disappointments and frustrations can help you express your emotions and actions appropriately, at work, school or personal settings. Emotional wellness is important because it aids in self-awareness, self-confidence, problem-solving abilities and communication skills.
Do you need some help in improving your emotional wellness? Boosting your emotional wellness can start with these five tips below.
Five Tips to Improve Emotional Wellness
Being optimistic means having a positive attitude and being hopeful, confident and grateful. Optimism can help you focus on the positive parts of negative situations and reduce stress. For example, don’t allow one situation to ruin your day, always remember there is a silver lining and keep the past in the past. You can add these strategies to boost your optimism and positivity. An easy way to start – smile more! Smiling more may help you be happier, reports Scientific American.
Ask for Help
Being emotionally well involves understanding your physical and mental limitations. The APA states that “emotional support is an important protective factor for dealing with life’s difficulties.” Florida Tech psychology professor Dr. Natalie Fala says that “Your social support system is the number one protective factor. When we have a lot of stress going on, we have often tend to isolate or avoid. What you should do is probably the exact opposite. Be around people who are your cheerleaders, who build you up, who say kind things to you. Definitely be around them because they’ll provide a buffer to stress.”
Asking for help can cut down on feelings of frustration, confusion and isolation.Sometimes, just asking for advice can help solve a problem or spark a new idea. Listening to others may also help you put your feelings into perspective. So, something didn’t work out. Is the result really as bad as it seems? Perhaps they can provide the motivation to get you back on track.
Learn from Mistakes
Accepting mistakes and learning from them can help lessen negative feelings such as blame, shame or guilt. Reignite your motivation by taking a closer look at why something failed and how it can be achieved next time. In an article about the importance of grit in student success, Florida Tech instructor Jarin Eisenberg writes about learning from mistakes:
“When we encounter a setback or an obstacle, do we stop what we are doing and abandon the task? Or do we see it as a temporary roadblock that we can overcome? Furthermore, how do we view our accomplishments? Do we attribute the good that we do to building a foundation of success for the future? Or do we see it as a one-off situation, a level of success that is a fluke and not to be reached again?”
Do not allow yourself to feel defeated, instead think about how you can improve your planning, process of execution for future success.
Give yourself a break when things don’t go as planned. Instead of criticizing yourself, practice self-compassion by resisting self-judgment and try to use positive words to speak to yourself. Instead of making negative comments like, “I’m horrible,” replace those statements with words that inspire and motivate. You can also give yourself a pep talk by simply reciting or writing down your characteristics and attributes that are valued by those around you.
Mindfulness is a state of being present and living in the moment, rather than dwelling on the past or thinking about the future. Practicing mindfulness allows you to slow down and observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment. An article on the APA website outlines many benefits of mindfulness found from different studies that relate to emotional wellness, including a decrease in stress, anxiety, emotional regulation and rumination, and an increase in working memory, cognitive flexibility, relationship satisfaction and focus. You can start practicing mindfulness by adding meditation into your life – whether it be five minutes or 45 minutes, this will provide uninterrupted time to think about the here and now.