10 Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellness
You can improve your emotional wellness, that state of being that means understanding and accepting the entire range of human emotions and living well through the ups and downs of life. Emotional wellness is within reach of everybody. It’s a skill that is learned and a trait that can be developed rather than something someone is born with or without.
These emotional wellness tips will help you build this skill.
10 Emotional Wellness Tips
- Develop awareness
The more in tune we are to our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, the more we can take charge of them and the less control they have over us. Practice paying attention on purpose. Rather than waiting until you feel overwhelmed or out of control, stop frequently during the day and assess how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and what you’re doing. Becoming aware of your shifting emotions lets you tend to them before they flare.
- Separate yourself from what happens around you
In acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), this is known as defusion (you are de-fusing, unsticking yourself from an emotional situation). Contrary what it often feels like, we are not tied to what is happening around us. We also aren’t the sum of our problems. When you mentally and emotionally separate yourself from events and others by focusing on your strengths, values, goals, and actions, you begin to stop taking things personally. Your self-criticism diminishes. You become emotionally healthy.
- Accept your feelings
We are human with a wide range of feelings. Emotional health does not mean having only good feelings, nor does it mean ignoring the bad ones. Letting yourself feel all your emotions reduces their punch because you’re not fighting and resisting—and thus focusing on—them.
- Develop your perspective
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) are two approaches to mental health that address thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Both assert that problems aren’t our problem. It’s our thoughts and feelings about the problems that become difficult ("What is Mental Wellbeing? Definition and Examples"). Begin to see things from different perspectives. Is there good in a bad situation? Could the person who just snapped at you have a reason for her behavior other than you?
This is also known as cognitive reappraisal and is similar to perspective-taking. To be emotionally healthy is to be able to look at things in new ways. In reframing, you find the good in situations. Someone with social anxiety, for example, might accept his fear of attending a dinner and see the event as an opportunity to enjoy good food. He plans to enjoy the food and talk to two people he knows will be there. This way, he still has some anxiety, but it doesn’t overpower him.
Humor is powerful. Finding something amusing in a rough situation shifts our emotions. Laughing is good for us. As you develop your perspective, include adding humor to your life. Even taking laugh breaks and watching funny videos is good for emotional health.
- Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is an excellent tool for emotional wellness because when we practice mindfulness, our focus is on what’s going on right here, right now, in the present moment. Our strongest emotions are usually about the past or the future. Staying mindfully in the present keeps us grounded.
- Enhance emotional regulation
Emotional regulation involves keeping our emotions in check. We are aware of them, we allow ourselves to feel them, but we don’t get consumed by them. Emotional health means our emotions don’t dictate our actions. Impulse control is part of emotional regulation. Practice noticing your feelings and choosing not to act on them.
- Don’t try to pursue happiness
Emotional health doesn’t mean forcing positive emotions. Looking for happiness is a trap because the more you “look” and try to force it, the further away you become. You miss all the good that is truly within you and around you by trying to force yourself to be happy. Emotionally healthy people let themselves feel their emotions, express them appropriately, and move on.
- Be optimistic
While emotional health isn’t forcing positive emotions, it also isn’t about sticking to the negative. Optimism is a component of healthy perspective-taking. It means knowing that bad situations and feelings exist, but they aren’t permanent, and they don’t define you. A glass-half-full is a common description of optimism. Perhaps, though, there’s a better way to think about it: Imagine you have a glass that tips over and all of the water spills out. Do you throw away the glass, feeling that it is worthless, or do you pick it up because you know you can refill it? Practice picking up your glass.
As you make these 10 emotional wellness tips part of your life, you will improve your emotional wellness and be emotionally healthy.
Peterson, T. (2018, May 12). 10 Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/self-help-information/10-tips-improve-your-emotional-wellness