5 Emotional Wellness Activities That Can Change Your Life
Intentionally pursuing emotional wellness activities can change your life in ways that last.
Emotional wellness is about more than managing your emotions and feelings. That's part of it, of course, but true emotional health encompasses all of who you are. It's a lifelong process of becoming fully you. Emotional wellness is an attitude, and it's a lifestyle.
Here are five emotional wellness activities that can become an integral part of your emotionally healthy journey.
5 Life-Changing Emotional Wellness Activities
To have a positive relationship with your emotions requires a strong yet flexible foundation to provide support for the myriad feelings that come and go in varying intensities as you navigate life. When you engage in these emotional wellness activities, you'll develop a rich mindset that will nourish your emotional health.
- Make meaning. Whether it's in your job; your role as a partner, parent, caregiver, or friend; or in the little things you do every day as part of being alive, discover a sense of purpose. Having a sense of greater meaning helps you put even horrible things, like loss or extreme adversity, into perspective and make sense out of chaos.
Takeaway activity: List three of the things that are the most important to you in your life, and describe how they inspire you.
- Cultivate your sense of awe. We tend to ruminate, brooding over things like the past, current problems, and even things that haven't yet happened. This can lead to anxiety and depression, and it can make us feel estranged from others and even from life itself. Engaging in activities that inspire a sense of awe (stargazing, visiting the ocean, walking through a beautiful garden, going to a museum with incredible works of art) pulls you out of yourself and your emotions and puts you in the midst of something bigger. Letting yourself fill with awe and wonder decreases stress, anxiety, and depression and replaces them with emotional health.
Takeaway activity: Create a collage of things and places that inspire feelings of awe within you. Keep it on hand as inspiration, and plan outings to experience them in person.
- Seek connection. Emotionally healthy people connect with others in meaningful ways. Introverts and extroverts alike connect with others to share experiences. Connecting in some way with another human being is a powerful experience that enhances emotional health. If you're a bit apprehensive about this, take heart; you don't have to be the life of a party or even go to a party at all. Talk to people you encounter during your daily routine. Such interactions are short and sweet and have a profound effect on emotional health. Meet someone for coffee or a walk and just share your life experiences. As with awe, it pulls you out of yourself and connects you with something bigger.
Takeaway activity: Describe what a meaningful connection would be like to you. Create—and follow through with—a plan to connect with someone accordingly.
- Grow your sense of gratitude. Whether you're grateful to a higher power or have a general sense of appreciation for the good in life, feeling and expressing (privately or outwardly) gratitude increases emotional health. When you seek out and appreciate all of the positives in your life, your negative emotions and reactions diminish in intensity. When you do have bad days or encounters or situations, you can put them in a balanced perspective by noticing and being grateful for the things that are right in your life.
Takeaway activity: Keep a gratitude journal by your bed, and every night before turning in, write down one, two, or three things for which you feel grateful that day.
- Hone your humor. Humor is restorative. Humor is healthy. Being able to laugh keeps you from feeling heavy, and it can keep stress at bay. While, of course, you won't burst out laughing or start telling jokes when something horrible happens, having a sense of humor and allowing yourself to appreciate the lighter side of life provides relief as well as healthy emotional balance.
Takeaway activity: Laugh. Watch comedies (movies or TV shows), see a comedian, watch videos online, listen to audiobooks, check out corny joke books from your library and spend time with your partner or a friend telling dumb jokes.
The common theme in these emotional wellness activities is the sense of being part of something bigger than just ourselves. When we pull away from our emotions, we see them from a new perspective. Meaning, awe, connection, gratitude, and humor help all of us create a healthy perspective in which we know we aren't our emotions. We aren't even trapped by emotions. We are free, and we are emotionally healthy.
Peterson, T. (2018, May 12). 5 Emotional Wellness Activities That Can Change Your Life, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, March 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/self-help-information/5-emotional-wellness-activities-can-change-your-life