Stress comes into all of our lives in varying amounts. Depending on our demands, emotional health can take its toll on us.
CONNECTICUT– Did you know that your emotional well-being has powerful effects on your overall health? Mental and emotional stress can translate into adverse physical reactions, a weakened immune system, and serious health problems.
Emotional health is just as important as physical health, although it is more difficult to achieve. However, emotional well-being is often neglected, particularly in the workplace.
With hectic daily schedules, social media bombarding you at every turn, and modern life becoming more uncertain, it’s more crucial than ever to maintain a sense of calm and balance. The Month of Emotional Well-Being , Observed in October, it reminds you to unplug and take some time for your brain to rest and recharge.
Since 2004, defenders from the National Center for Emotional Well-Being have recognized October as the Emotional Wellness Month .
What is Emotional Wellbeing?
Let’s start by defining what we mean by wellness. According to the National Wellness Institute (NWI), wellness is: “An active process through which people become aware and make decisions towards a more successful existence.”
In addition, they define six dimensions of well-being:
- Occupational Wellness
- physical well-being
- Social Welfare
- Intellectual Wellbeing
- Spiritual Wellness
- emotional well-being
To read full definitions of the first five dimensions of wellness, click here. For the purposes of this article, we offer a simplified definition of emotional well-being from the National Center for Emotional Well-Being: “Emotional Well-Being is the awareness, understanding, and acceptance of our feelings and our ability to effectively manage our emotions through challenges and changes.”
Now that we’re attuned to what wellness in general and emotional wellness specifically means, we’ll move on to the real question: how do we support or enhance our emotional wellness?
Managing Emotional Well-Being
Top 7 Tips for Improving Emotional Well-Being
1. Identify your emotions
Learn to recognize, define and describe your emotions. This is really the first step. You need to be able to identify what you are feeling in order to manage and process those feelings in a healthy and productive way.
2. Express your emotions
Once you learn to name your emotions, the next step is to express them in a healthy and productive way. This means that if you are happy about something or someone, share that emotion. And if you’re unhappy with someone or something, share that too, but of course do it in a kind, compassionate and respectful way.
3. Manage stress
Stress can lead to negative emotions. To manage stress, it’s important to cover the basics: eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and moving your body or exercising daily. These three habits are the foundation of both physical and emotional well-being.
4. Learn mindfulness
Meditation, yoga, and tai chi are what most people think of when they hear the word mindfulness. But did you know that mindfulness is a state of consciousness, rather than a set of esoteric practices? mindfulness means slow down and pay attention to your inner and outer life as it is in the moment without judgment . This means that mindfulness can happen anywhere and at any time. You can take a mindful walk. You can cook and eat mindfully. If you are mindful while doing it, then that activity counts as a mindful activity.
5. Find balance
If your job stresses you out, find a way to get more personal or family time. And if your family stresses you out, find a way to spend more time alone or pursue your hobbies. If something you do threatens to overwhelm your emotions and take control of your thoughts, find a simple and practical way to address it and restore balance to your life.
6. Find a purpose
You may find meaning or purpose in your work, your family, your hobbies, or your passions. Your meaning or purpose may be spiritual or it may be secular. It can be neither, or it can be both. Whatever form it takes, wellness experts say having a reason to get up in the morning improves emotional well-being.
7. Seek connection and support
Human beings are social creatures. In general, we thrive in communities where we feel loved and supported. For millennia we lived in small family groups or groups of families that provided this support. We still do, although in the modern world many people live alone. Whether you live alone or with your family, it’s possible to feel lonely and disconnected. When that happens, our emotional well-being suffers. To maintain your emotional well-being, yes, even if you’re a hermit type, we recommend finding groups of people where you feel accepted, loved, and supported.
This list is far from complete. But if you follow these seven tips, we’re sure your emotional well-being will improve, if it needs to improve. And if your state of emotional well-being is in a good place, these tips will help you maintain it.
In Connecticut you can call 2-1-1 or visit www.healthylivesct.org/ for more information or support groups