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Use These 7 Easy Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellness

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7 Ways to Improve Your Emotional Wellness!

What is emotional wellness?  Emotional wellness is your ability to handle your emotions and the varied experiences you encounter in life.  It requires a conscious awareness to understand and accept your emotions as they fluctuate.  Emotionally healthy individuals are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and actions and can bounce back from setbacks.  Being emotionally healthy means being able to manage both your positive and negative emotions.

When you take a holistic approach to your wellbeing, you work on becoming whole.  That means giving equal time and attention to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.  Here are seven ways to improve your emotional wellness on your journey to becoming whole.

What is the difference between Mental and Emotional Wellness?

Many people mistakenly assume that mental and emotional wellness are interchangeable.  Not true!  Mental health is the ability to think clearly and make good decisions.  Emotional health is the ability to cope with and manage emotions.  Let’s take a closer look at each.

Mental wellness deals with behaviors that relate to the mind.  The World Health Organization defines good mental health “as a state of being where every individual realizes their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, and can work productively.”  There are several red flags for poor mental health:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • BPD
  • Eating disorders
  • PTSD

Emotional wellness deals with matters of the heart.  When you have developed a solid foundation for emotional wellness, your level of understanding empathy, humor, and compassion increases.  You view yourself and others with less judgment, and are able to:

  • Receive and offer feedback with a healthy perspective
  • Have discussions and difficult conversations
  • Establish stronger relationships

7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Emotional Wellness Now

The emotional dimension of wellness emphasizes healthy ways of processing feelings, expressing feelings, and self-care.  It’s also about maintaining a positive headspace and an overall positive outlook on life.  Here are 7 easy ways to improve your emotional wellness now:

1. Develop Stress Management Techniques:  Stress helps us perform better in certain situations or helps us change in positive ways, but only if it is short-lived.  Excessive or chronic stress can be hugely detrimental, leading to physical illness like heart disease or mental health issues like anxiety or depression.  There are many effective stress management techniques.  Try different activities to see which ones help you overcome emotional stress best, including:

  • Go for a walk
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Try yoga, tai chi, or just stretch your body
  • Listen to music
  • Exercise
  • Make time for your favorite hobby
  • Spend time in nature

2. Focus on Mindfulness:  Mindfulness is about being present in the moment.  The goal of mindfulness is to slow down and become more aware of yourself, your surroundings, and your emotions.  Try these three simple mindfulness exercises:

  • Alpha Practice / Meditation:  Sit quietly, close your eyes, and focus on taking a slow breath in and out.  When thoughts intrude, just note them, and return your focus to your breath.
  • Gratitude List:  Try noting 3-5 things each day that you are grateful for.  As your list grows, the positivity will help build your emotional wellness foundation.
  • Tracking:  To stop racing thoughts, simply freeze and look around the space you’re in, keenly observing each object.

3. Prioritize Sleep:  Restorative sleep gives your body the chance to repair itself, and improves your brain performance, mood, and overall health.  Lack of quality sleep raises the risk of many diseases, from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia.  Adopt these good sleep habits to improve your emotional wellbeing:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day to reinforce your sleep-wake cycle.
  • Avoid heavy meals within a couple hours of bedtime, and avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol in the evening as well.
  • Create a restful environment with a cool, dark, quiet room.
  • Do calming activities before bedtime like taking a bath.
  • Limit daytime naps.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine, but not too close to bedtime.

4. Build Strong Social Connections:  Social connection is when you feel a sense of belonging with others.  Here are three great ways to build strong social connections to overcome emotional stress:

  • Share your feelings with others and ask others about their feelings.  It will expand your empathy.
  • Do acts of service and kindness for others.  Whether you take a formal volunteer position or just hold the door open for a stranger, a sense of connection adds purpose to your life.
  • Ask for help.  Reach out to those around you.  There are so many who want to offer support.

5.  Accept Grief:  Grief is sadness in response to loss.  It could be the loss of a loved one, or it could also be the loss of a relationship, a job, etc.  Grieving is a journey, and rushing to “get over” grief isn’t good for your emotional health.  Here are a few tips for coping with grief:

  • Take your time to mourn.  Be gentle with yourself
  • Don’t stifle or avoid your feelings.  Making space to experience painful emotions builds resilience.
  • Your feelings are normal.  Allow yourself to feel all of it — anger, sadness, even relief.

6.  Practice Resilience:  Resilience is the process of bouncing back in the face of adversity, loss, risk, or change, to overcome emotional stress.  Ken Ginsburg, MD, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, developed the 7C’s to build resilience:

  • Competence: You know how to handle a situation effectively.  Trust your judgment.
  • Confidence:  Make responsible choices to build self-confidence.
  • Connection:  Strong bonds provide security.
  • Character:  A fundamental sense of right and wrong.
  • Contribution:  A sense of purpose.
  • Coping:  Handling stress effectively.
  • Control:  Be a problem-solver, not a victim.

7.  Establish Healthy Boundaries:  Healthy boundaries are guidelines and limits that identify what are reasonable, safe, and permissible ways for other people to behave around you.  When you feel anger or resentment about something, you probably need to set a boundary for it.  When you set a boundary, do it calmly, firmly, and respectfully.  Don’t justify, get angry, or apologize for the boundary you are setting.  Don’t feel selfish, guilty, or embarrassed when you set a boundary.  You have a right to self-care.  And don’t be afraid to step away from people who don’t respect your boundaries.  Boundaries are the very foundation for better mental and emotional health.

Invest in Your Emotional Wellness to Maximize Your Health

Emotional wellness is a dimension that is intertwined with your overall wellbeing.  It allows you to focus on the positive and manage the negative emotions you may have in every situation.  This can help you forge stronger relationships with those around you, setting you up for a meaningful emotional wellness support system.

At OHI, we help you find your focus in life, and establish the means to improve your emotional wellbeing as you pursue your purpose.  When you spend time at OHI, our safe healing space gives you room to share your emotions so you can grow from them.  We want our community to be your “found family,” where we lift each other up on your journey to holistic wellbeing.

Create balance in your life by prioritizing your emotional wellness — book your next visit to OHI today!

Start your holistic healing journey today.  Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 to learn more about our holistic approach to health and wellness.  It will change your life for good!