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October is Emotional Wellness Month. Emotional wellness refers to the ability to process our feelings in healthy, positive ways and manage everyday stresses. Because how we handle our emotional well being affects overall health.
Mental and emotional stress creates negative responses in the body such as high blood pressure, headaches, chronic illness and a weakened immune system.
Emotional Wellness Month, celebrated annually in October, serves as a reminder to take care of our emotions. Discover the following keys to emotional wellness, for a healthier state of being.
Be Who You Are
For emotional well being, it’s crucial to know who you are and live authentically as that person.
Sounds simple, right? However, many of us learn as children to please the adults in our lives…parents, grandparents, teachers…forgetting who we are as we grow older. We can lose that strong sense of self by the time we are adults, becoming habitual people pleasers.
However, we can’t please others at the expense of being who we are, otherwise we live a lie. It’s essential to spend the time doing the inner work required to reconnect with who we really are.
Remember the things you loved as a child. Try different things to see what you enjoy and what feels in alignment with your heart and soul. Journal and free write. See this post from my other blog, Creating a Strong Sense of Self, for more help. And this one, Finding Your Big Why, to learn more about your purpose in life.
Be Aware of Emotions
It’s helpful to check in with how you are feeling, emotionally, every day. How do you relate to your emotions? Do you tend to “stuff” them away? Do they overwhelm you and erupt inappropriately?
Learning to feel and express emotions in healthy ways keeps them from escalating to an out of control level. Some experts recommend a technique called scaling emotions.
How strong are your emotions? Rate them on a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being low and 10 high. The idea is that by practicing awareness with emotions, you can keep them in the 2 – 5 range. Checking in allows us to intentionally bring emotions back into balance.
For example, if anger suddenly escalates to an 8, your awareness allows you to take deep breaths, pause or question feelings to bring the level down.
And it helps to keep an emotional journal to track…and name…feelings. Knowing what you are feeling helps you to talk about them more openly.
Pay Attention to Physical Health
The two are connected, emotional and physical health. And the state of one affects the other. Increasing your physical health level positively improves emotional health.
Eat highly nutritious foods, including an abundance of fruits and veggies. Drink water. Get enough sleep. Stay active doing things you enjoy such as gardening, dancing, biking, walking or playing with grandkids. Exercise reduces stress hormones while boosting endorphins, the feel good ones.
Limit alcohol and do not smoke.
Learn to manage stress. Slow down and take a break. Practice deep breathing, yoga or meditation. Learn to relax tense muscles.
Connect With Others
We need positive connections with others. In the last two years, we’ve had to learn different ways to stay connected to others, as we navigate a pandemic. Many experienced…and continue to experience…a sense of isolation and disconnect from others.
- schedule regular calls, zoom meetings or facetime calls with family and friends
- text or message friends with recommendations such as podcasts to listen to, videos to watch or books to read
- stay in touch with friends and family through social media
- play online games with others
- watch tv shows with others, while connected via the internet or on the phone
- walk together outdoors
- if you feel comfortable, meet with family and friends for lunch dates, museum visits, zoo trips and other fun excursions
- say hi to people while out and smile
- consider adopting a pet for companionship
Focus on the good in your life, expressing gratitude for small and large blessings. Collect affirmations to read each day or write your own. Accept the past and let it go, without blaming yourself. Forgive yourself.
Pay attention to what you think about. Actions follow thoughts. Dwelling on negative thoughts leads to negative actions. Shifting thoughts results in a change in actions as well.
Creating emotional health doesn’t mean you feel happy all the time. It means you are more aware of your emotions and the impact they have on your overall health. When you feel anger, stress or anxiety, you manage those feelings.
Emotional health allows you to cope well with life’s challenges without getting out of balance. You gain fresh perspectives and recover more quickly from setbacks. Emotional wellness helps you feel good about who you are and fosters healthy relationships.
I hope these keys to emotional wellness help you create a state of well being that supports the amazing life you desire to live.
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I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.
2 thoughts on “Keys to Emotional Wellness”
I didn’t realize October was Emotional Wellness month. At the moment, I’m really trying to focus on my physical health in hopes of taking care of my mental and emotional health. This was a great list!
Thank you! And yes take care of you!