Well-being is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning good relationships and accomplishment ~ Martin Seligman

 

Emotional self-understanding, healthy interpersonal communication, as well as open and meaningful connections through dialogue with others all depend on your emotional well-being. Knowing your emotions and expressing them authentically are core components of emotional health that play a significant role in the ability to thrive in life.

 

What is the Status of Your Emotional Well-being?

Self assessing your emotional well-being by taking the time to get in touch with the state of your emotions (love, sadness/grief, fear, anger, worry, joy, happiness, stress or excitement), can reveal where greater balance may be needed or where change is called for to encourage more happiness or reset emotional well-being. As a way to assess your present emotional health status, review the following questions:

  • On a scale of 0-10 (10 being highest) how would you rate your present level of stress?
  • Using that same scale, how would you assess your satisfaction in your relationships with loved ones? Family? Friends?
  • Do you enjoy a healthy balance between family, work, leisure activity and quiet time for yourself?
  • How would you rate your self-esteem and confidence in your ability to make good choices in life?
  • Are you engaged in pursuits in your life that give meaning, purpose and make a difference for yourself and others?
  • How do your respond to change? Can you easily adapt and ‘go with the flow’?
  • What is your life outlook – optimistic? Pessimistic?
  • Do you have fun and enjoy laughter often?

 

Avoidance Behaviours

If you are stressed, unhappy, feel unfulfilled, worried or anxious, or struggling with grief or sadness, it is necessary to face these emotions and work with them rather than avoid them. Not addressing them can result in:

  • neglecting the issues by constantly pushing them down or running away from the discomfort by engaging in distracting behaviours.
  • medicating with drugs, alcohol or self-destructive activities.
  • engaging in denial and magical thinking, believing that if you ignore the issues long enough, they will simply ‘go away’ or you will simply ‘snap out of’ whatever you are facing.
  • Justifying not reaching out for help or support due to excessive cost, no time, or reduced chance of successfully resolving the emotional issues.
  • stuck in ego thinking that the way things are simply is reality and there is no possibility for change or improvement.

 

Tips for Improving Emotional Health

Despite excuses or avoidance behaviours against dealing with emotional health, there are numerous opportunities and actions you can take to become resilient, develop tools and achieve a more positive and future-looking emotional perspective:

      

       Manage stress:

  • calm stress and relax anxiety by reaching out to caring and trusted people in your circle who are good listeners
  • join a group of like-minded people to ensure you have face-to-face experiences with others.
  • utilize calming breathing techniques – inhale deeply into the stomach through nose to a count of 4 hold for count of 8 then exhale to count of 10 through the mouth.
  • try engaging progressive muscle relaxation techniques

       

       Embrace self-care:

  • Commit to making time for quiet, reflection and peace during your day – take a walk in nature, soak up a few minutes of sun, sip your morning coffee in a peaceful place, meditate, read, journal.
  • Consistently schedule regular times to spend with close friends or family or to be alone with your spouse.
  • Regularly allow time for just being lazy – watch TV, chill out, listen to music – just let go of all the ‘having to do’ items in your life.
  • Add uplifting scents, candles, fresh flowers to your environment
  • Schedule a Breathwork session, massage, or join a group meditation or yoga class
  • Assure you get adequate rest and refreshing sleep
  • Find ways to have fun – take in a movie, go out with friends, travel

      

      Find fulfillment through giving:

  • Volunteer to help others
  • Commit to assisting a friend or stranger each day in some small way (donate time, offer food, share a word of encouragement)
  • Engage in meaningful work that is fulfilling for you
  • Consider adopting a shelter pet

 

When you are emotionally healthy, you give yourself the gift of being able to handle and meet the stress and challenges (big and small) that are part of living; your relationships are a mutual source of love, discovery, strength and support; you are resilient enough to manage the bad days as well as the good; and you are able to meaningfully identify and communicate your emotions and needs to others.

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