Emotional wellbeing isn’t being happy 24/7.
Just like your body may be sore, yet healthy overall, you can also feel down at any given time, but nevertheless be emotionally healthy.
Emotional wellbeing is about being conscious of your emotions and understanding how to navigate them.
Conversely, emotionally unhealthy people completely succumb to negative, or even positive feelings for that matter, letting them govern their every move. Such people are often overwhelmed even by mere emotional impulses rather than fully-fledged, deep-seated emotions and moods, which are the equivalent of momentary pain as opposed to chronic ache.
So how do you improve emotional health? More easily than you probably think.
Emotions – good and bad – are part of life. Instead of running from the bad ones, you should face them head-first and trace them back to their roots.
This is one of the benefits of getting older – you also get wiser and more emotionally intelligent. Instead of a bummed-out teenager who hates everything, you now have the tools to understand where that hate stems from.
Putting emotions into words helps us make sense of them. It’s no wonder that journaling is such a widespread practice. It’s basically free-flowing, yet at least somewhat structured self-reflection, which you can revisit to juxtapose your emotions from day to day.
Find the Right Book
Speaking of putting emotions into words, that’s basically what a writer’s job is in a nutshell. Virtually all emotions are shared on some level among us, but only a handful of people can express them eloquently. This is why books, fiction or not, can feel so personal.
The same goes for art in general, but books, in particular, tend to delve into emotions in more depth and detail.
No matter how introverted you may be, all humans crave connection on some level.
Whether it’s with loved ones or a professional, sharing your feelings instead of bottling them up, even if it’s just for the sake of getting them out, can go a long way toward understanding them and getting that coveted release.
It’s crazy how gratitude can flip our perspective upside down. Gratitude is not about settling for less, it’s about appreciating what you have and using that as motivation to aspire for more.
For example, instead of being upset for not being able to afford quality running shoes, be grateful, that you have healthy legs.
When you do good, you feel good. Doing good is the best kind of selfishness.
Volunteering, especially for causes that truly resonate with you, can give you a strong sense of purpose.
But even if you don’t have time for that, simple, random acts of kindness and empathy can redirect your focus away from your problems and onto others’. And by the time you go back to your negative emotions, they might be gone altogether.
For one, exercise is a proven way to release “happy” hormones and that make you feel good, even if it’s merely on a chemical level.
But the positive emotions from exercise go beyond mere brain chemistry. You get a sense of achievement, the feeling you’ve done something healthy for both your body and mind. This respectively boosts self-esteem in an organic way, which then feeds back into more positive emotions. Exercise is like sustainability, the gift that keeps on giving.
And even on a shallower note, as the saying the sports circles go, “if you look good, you feel good, if you feel good, you play well.” And when you play good, that just makes you feel good even more, creating a sort of a positive feedback loop, so to speak.
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