What is emotional wellness? It means that you are handling and expressing your feelings in positive ways. Those who are emotionally healthy are able to cope with daily stressors, keep their problems in perspective and bounce back from life’s curveballs.
It’s important to note that emotional wellness does not mean you are always happy because, let be honest, no one ever is! It’s all about being aware of and managing those perfectly normal emotions that come us for us. Emotional wellness starts with emotional intelligence. Often times, we tend to let our emotions get the best of us and we end up expressing them in ways we don’t mean.
Ways to improve and maintain good emotional health:
Become aware of your emotions as they come up for you.
It is not uncommon for a person to experience a strong emotion and let it overcome them, and consequently their behavior changes as well. For example, being upset with their supervisor and overwhelmed with their work and taking it out on their partner when they get home. It’s important to pay attention to these emotions when they come up and deal with them as they happen. Becoming mindful of one’s emotions is something that requires practice and patience.
Express your feelings in appropriate ways.
Strong emotions like sadness, anger or frustration have funny ways of coming out. We can sometimes express them in ways that we do not mean. It can be difficult to find a more appropriate way to express one’s emotions, so here’s a simple way you can start!
- Find someone who you can express what you’re feeling to.
- Begin with “I feel…” statements and then choose a feeling word that you think best describes how you are feeling right now.
- Make sure that you do not begin by saying “I feel that…” because the next thing that will surely come after is a thought, not a feeling.
- Say “I feel…” instead of “You make me feel…”. This comes across as accusatory or like you may be placing blame.
Manage your stress.
Often times, stress is as the root of our negative emotions and behaviors. It’s important to find a healthy coping skill to manage your stress. This may be a form of deep breathing, exercise, or meditation. It’s important to try different methods to see which one works best for you.
Balance and boundaries.
Balance between one’s work life and private/social life can become difficult to manage and may result in feeling overwhelmed easily. One way you can achieve some sort of balance in your life is by establishing and enforcing healthy boundaries such as ending the workday at a reasonable hour, not doing work assignments outside of work hours, etc. It’s important to set boundaries that a realistic and appropriate.
Remember that the first step to emotional wellness is awareness! Consider what may be impacting your emotional wellbeing and that it may influence your physical state. Check in with yourself daily and see what you could be doing differently to feel better overall!
By: Hilary Paredes, MHC Intern