Emotional health refers to your overall psychological wellbeing. People who are emotionally healthy handle stress well, deal with challenges as opportunities, have a positive self-image, and are able to sustain healthy relationships. Review the following tips on how to stay emotionally healthy.
1. Laugh often.
Emotional benefits of laughter include feeling a sense of contentment and joy, shifting your perspective to a positive outlook, giving you more courage and hope, dissolving tense situations, and improving overall mood.
2. Do frequent feelings checks.
Determine how you feel when you wake up in the morning. If the feeling is negative, figure out what’s causing it and take steps to resolve the unsettling situation. Reorient your emotions with affirmations and confidence to set a new tone for the day. Recognize any physiologic clues your body gives off as evidence of emotional stress.
3. Focus on the positive.
Admit any negative feelings you may have, deal with them, and move on. Do not dwell on circumstances from the past or those you cannot control. Say positive affirmations and keep inspirational quotes handy. Remember that what you focus on is what you will attract in life, so put your energy toward that which you desire, not what you don’t want.
4. Take care of your physical self.
The mind/body connection refers to how your body responds to the way you think, feel, and act. If you are physically healthy, your emotions will tend to be high. Bodily dis-ease or illness can create a slippery slope of negative emotions which self-perpetuate other physical problems, such as insomnia, upset stomach, and general aches and pains. Respect your body by exercising, eating nutritious foods, and getting proper rest.
5. Perform relaxation exercises.
Dealing with emotional ups and downs can be exhaustive and confusing. Allow your body and mind to create a blank slate so that your intentions to heal the situation can come from a place of clarity, insight, and faith instead of fear or despair. Invest time and energy into practices such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, Reiki, sea salt baths, and massage.
6. Stay socially connected.
Involving yourself in projects and activities with family, friends, or the general community is a strong aspect of wellness at any age. Pick an interest that you would like to learn more about, join a club focused on that particular hobby, and form connections with those involved. Social networking websites also offer an outlet for creating relationships based on similar interests.
7. Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the state of being fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions at any given wakeful moment. Living in the here and now is a powerful self-growth tool. You begin to learn that the feelings you experience are ever-changing, you discover underlying destructive patterns that you may not have noticed before, and you evolve by changing those fixed patterns into more dynamic approaches.
8. Channel your feelings productively.
If you feel acutely angered or overwhelmed, instead of harboring negative emotions, release built-up tension through activities such as running, writing in a journal, or transforming stress into motivation to achieve your goals.
9. Avoid all or nothing thinking.
Thinking in terms of black and white absolutes instead of shades of grey is a common element of depression. Words like disastrous, terrible, ruined, and never should be red flag signs that you may be thinking catastrophically. Situations may be unfortunate, but not a complete end-of-the-world disaster. Consider the point that even smart people don’t always make the best choices. You can learn from your mistakes and consciously choose a healthier path next time.
10. Begin a personal development journey.
If you are ready and willing to heal your life, realize that you are in the driver’s seat. Think of ways to improve yourself, your relationships, and your overall life every day. Choose thoughts, feelings, and actions that are aligned with truth, love, and power.
Emotional health ties into physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Consider Dr. Ben Kim’s answer to the question, “What is the most powerful step you can take to dramatically improve your health?” Learn how to effectively manage emotional stress.
Now, a few days late is a New Year’s Ritual you may want to use: (Beware some woo-woo stuff)
This is a tremendously powerful time of year – a time when the universe is moving all of us in an exciting and positive direction, a time when everyone, whether they know it or not, is looking to complete the past and move into a new future. 2012 offers all of us a new beginning!
I’m excited to share with you this New Year’s Ritual to support you in clearing out the past and opening up to a new future. When you presence your gratitude, acknowledge yourself and nourish yourself from the inside out, you will be able to let go of the past and open up to a new pure state of consciousness, one that you have never experienced before, one that will support you in growing and allowing new experiences into your life.
My intention is to support you in letting go of whatever it is that keeps you holding on to the person that you’ve been, no matter how great or un-great you think that person is. Why would I want you to let go of who you’ve been? Because there is a you that already exists inside of you, one that is just waiting to be discovered, that can deliver you an unpredictable, unimaginable, extraordinary life in 2012.
And here’s a quick tip for you. Since the process is one of the heart and not the head, I encourage you to write out the answers to the questions I ask you as quickly as you can so that you’re not thinking. If you find yourself trying to come up with answers from your head, just use your breath to reconnect with your heart where all the answers reside.
1. Begin by taking some slow deep breaths. As you breathe out, use your exhales to breathe out who you have been in the past, all that you know yourself to be, all the decisions you’ve made in the last few years that are old decisions by now, anything that stands between you and the you you don’t know yet. As you breathe in, allow yourself to breathe in new energy, inviting a state of consciousness you’ve never known.
2. Now allow yourself to see all that you’ve done in 2011 that you’re proud of. Make a list of the courageous acts, the changes, the breakthroughs, the accomplishments and the achievements in 2011.
3. Read this list out loud to yourself in the form of “Thank you for.”. Thank yourself – the you of 2011 – for all that you’ve done this year. As you thank yourself for every item on your list, allow yourself to feel like you’re being tickled in the heart.
4. Take another few slow deep breaths and let yourself to see what you would need to let go of and leave in 2011 so that you can feel the gratitude and appreciation for being you and for getting to play a role in this universe. Make a list of the thoughts, beliefs, habits, addictions, grudges, resentments or harsh internal dialogues that are robbing you right now of a new future. What is in the way of you standing in the joy and magnificence of life?
5. Now imagine that your list represents a weight keeping you stuck in your current reality, a weight that keeps you attached to the you that you are right now. See the items on your list as anchors that are weighing you down and then imagine that by unhooking from these anchors, you will be able to float to a whole new reality that is just waiting for you. Let yourself see what you would need to do — what actions do you need to take — in order to unhook from these anchors and move forward in your life. Make a list.
6. Take another sweet, strong breath and give yourself permission to expand beyond the you that you’ve been. Put all your energy around your heart and invite an inspired vision to come to you. As you see this new future for yourself, feel the energy and the light around your heart. Notice what makes your heart happy and joyful. See what turns your light on. Make some notes.
7. Feeling this love in your heart, ask yourself if you are willing and ready to be guided by this love in 2012. Are you willing and ready to be guided by this love in 2012? If you are, affirm that to yourself out loud seven times. “I am willing and ready to be guided by this love in 2012.” As you repeat this phrase, let your inner smile emerge on to your face.
8. Now let yourself see all your friends, all your supporters, all the gods and goddesses, and all the angels cheering you on, telling you it’s safe to let go and open up. Spend a few minutes basking in the love of this cheering squad.
9. Send deep love to all of your selves — the self you’ve known and the self that will emerge in this new year. As you’re giving yourself this love, allow a short statement — a love mantra for 2012 — to come into your awareness. Write it down and then repeat it to yourself seven times.
10. Pick one dramatic action to take in the first few days of the new year to demonstrate your seriousness to the universe about allowing a 2012 version of yourself to emerge. Maybe you will take all the beer out of your fridge if your 2011 self drank too much. Maybe you will remove your television from your bedroom if your 2011 self used it to avoid caring for yourself. Maybe you will write a letter of forgiveness to someone your 2011 self harbored a grudge against. Let yourself see the dramatic action you can take.
Transformational Action Steps
1. In the first week or so of the new year, take the dramatic action that will demonstrate your seriousness about allowing a 2012 version of yourself to emerge.
2. Take the other actions you identified that will support you in unhooking from whatever it is that keeps you stuck in 2011 or the you that you’ve been.
3. Repeat your love mantra for 2012 to yourself at least three times a day — when you get up in the morning, in the middle of the day and when you go to bed at night.
4. Share this New Year’s Ritual with your friends and loved ones to support them in having an unimaginable year.
From the bottom of my heart, I am wishing you a year filled with the knowing that you are the greatest gift there is. I support you in being the greatest expression of yourself in this new year. May your precious soul be watched over and protected each and every day. May you know yourself in a whole new way and may you see, even if just for an instant each day, how holy, divine and magnificent you really are.