How to Achieve a Healthy State of Emotional Wellness
Wellness is a complicated word. At a basic level, it describes anything health-orientated, but when it’s broken down, it can also define the individual parameters of physical, mental, and emotional health, too. During times of extreme – like right now, as we all face the uncertainty of a global pandemic – it’s important to hone in on your emotional wellness and make sure it’s been looked after, just as much as your physical and mental wellness.
Mental health and emotional health are often used interchangeably, and for the most part, that’s usually okay – no faux pas to be concerned about. But when you look at them individually, mental health is your ability to process information, whereas emotional health is your ability to express the feelings associated with that information.
With that in mind, they suddenly become two very different things. Expressing your feelings creates a physical release for the body – if you’ve ever experienced a “good” cry or even a “good” venting session with a friend, you’ll know exactly what that feels like. It’s so important to consider the importance of these two aspects of psychological wellness together, rather than separately.
Processing without expressing emotions creates a backlog of sadness, anger, and even depression. Expressing without processing creates panic, hysteria, and is usually associated with catastrophizing in a particular situation or event. Neither is healthy, but when achieved together, you can reach a place of balance and calm.
Generally speaking, it’s emotional wellness – the expression part – that often needs developing. So, how do you work towards achieving a healthy balance?
LOOK FOR THE LIGHT
It’s true that everything – good and bad – can offer a teachable moment. Using current events as an ideal example, every headline is frightening and anxiety-inducing. But a quick search away from the alarmist headlines show something else – stories of recovery and connection, support, and how some countries like Hong Kong and China are slowly, albeit with caution, coming back to life. Finding the light can help you exhale, release, and find relief in an otherwise frightening situation.
Be kind to your feelings especially the negative or panicked ones. Give yourself dedicated time to express them every day instead of bottling them up as an act of strength. You can do this in your living room or if you want to be more private, tell your family you’re taking a long bath or solo walk every evening, using the time to express whatever it is you’re feeling.
Cry, yell, or simply be still if that’s what you’re drawn to do. Don’t worry if you think of something later that you “should have” worried about or expressed – there is always tomorrow.
LEARN TO LEAN OUT
What right now triggers your emotions? The news? Facebook? Thinking about how to make healthy meals for your family? Lean OUT. This is the time to ask for support so you can step back from triggers. While it’s healthy to process any feelings you’re experiencing right now, it’s also a good idea to shut down the root cause of your emotional triggers, too. Create time in your day to read a book, paint, draw, or even knit to take your mind elsewhere.
Mastering your emotional wellness can be challenging at the best of times. Add in a global pandemic and while it may seem like a low priority when truly, it’s actually needed more than ever. As many of us will be spending time indoors for some time, be attentive to both how you’re addressing your emotions and what the root causes are. Welcome both positive and negative emotions and invite them to sit with you during a dedicated space each day. You’ve got this.
Looking for more ways to improve your mental and emotional health? Take a peek at these 12 Supplements For Mental Health Support!