March 20 is the International Day of Happiness 2022. But how can we “be happy” when we feel “too emotional” and out of control? These twenty valuable tips can help everyone manage emotions and create a happier, healthier life.
1. Listen – Listen to yourself. Find a quiet place and close your eyes. Open yourself to your emotions. Take note of anything you feel or any wisdom you glean.
2. Discuss – Take time to discuss your emotions with a trusted individual who you are confident will not share your feelings with others. This person might be:
- A trusted friend or family member
- A trained mental health professional
- A professional group counseling or group therapy session
- An online safe chat group with anonymous friends
3. Spiritual practice – If you are faith-driven, a daily spiritual practice (such as meditation or prayer) will boost emotional and mental health. Surrender the situation to your higher power or the highest state of consciousness and consciously fill yourself with loving energy.
4. Gratitude – The daily practice of conscious gratitude is life-changing. Keep a gratitude journal of what you are grateful for each day. Look for the blessings, however small they may be. For example, “I\’m grateful for the homemade pea soup my neighbor gave me today,” or “I\’m grateful for the sun in the sky.”
5. Affirmations – Writing or speaking life-changing affirmations is a classic behavioral modification technique proven successful in numerous research studies. Affirmations are only effective if we begin where we are. For example, stating, “I am happy.” will not be as effective as, “Today I love and accept myself when I am stressed or worried.”
6. Education – Educate yourself about mental and emotional health issues, options, and treatments. Trust professionals who are credentialed, experienced, and knowledgeable. Read articles online or passages from inspirational books before sleeping or at the start of your day.
7. Massage – Massage can be an effective relaxation technique and help release tension, dissolve emotional blocks, and remove stress.
8. Visualization – The daily discipline of visualization techniques can effectively shift from negative thinking to positive imaging and aid in manifesting a successful outcome. Train your mind to choose healing thoughts that support a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
9. Nature – Getting outside in natural surroundings is highly therapeutic. Breathe the fresh air, listen to the birds, feel the warmth of the sun, smell the flowers, and watch the sunset.
10. Eat healthy foods – Consult with a dietician or nutritionist to plan a healthy diet giving you the boost you need for a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Consider raw or living foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Studies show that a healthy diet can lower the risk of dementia and improve brain health.
11. Exercise – Research shows that exercise improves mental health. Yoga, Tai Chi, swimming, walking, or daily stretching will spark creative imagination, boost energy, and stimulate the mind. Work with a coach or physical therapist to design a program for your unique needs.
12. Listen to uplifting music – Music effectively reduces symptoms of stress anxiety and alters the mood. Choose music that lifts the spirit or is associated with a happy memory.
13. Choose positive input – Watch inspiring movies, listen to motivational speakers, and avoid depressing social media. Take note of the feelings you experience while in various situations. Practice discrimination. Reduce or eliminate future involvement with anything triggering negative emotions.
14. Set goals – Make a list of what you plan to do each day. Set small achievable goals. Adjust goals when you need change. Reward, celebrate, and pamper yourself when you accomplish your goals. You might take a bubble bath, go out to the movies, buy something new.
15. Take time to be sad or mad – Allow yourself time to be alone with your feelings and express them each week. It\’s alright to cry or yell. Write or draw a picture of your feelings. Arrange a time to experience your emotions privately. Cry, punch a pillow, scream, or write. Do what works best for you to release emotions.
16. Determine your triggers – What situations jumpstart your emotions? It might be seeing children playing, taking a test, standing in an elevator, or hearing music. Keep a journal of your unique triggers and feelings. Is it fear, melancholy, anger, etc.? Create a supportive and loving environment for yourself.
17. Love and care for yourself – Bathe, vacuum, walk the dog, pay bills, answer emails, or take a nap. When we accept responsibility, we remove stress from our lives. If you cannot care for yourself, arrange for someone to help you.
18. Help others – Volunteering helps lift the mood, relieve stress, and bring joy. Do something nice for a friend or loved one. Donate money or time. Help set up or clean up before or after an event. Listen and ask, “Is there anything I can do for you?” When we lovingly give time to others, we learn to love ourselves.
19. Receive compliments – Everyone has positive attributes, talents, and gifts, no matter how challenging one\’s life may be. Make a list of your redeeming qualities. If this is difficult, ask a friend or family member to help you compose a list. Then wholeheartedly receive the compliment. Return the favor.
20. Make a list of abandoned dreams – A common cause of emotions is living a life that does not align with our life purpose. Close your eyes and imagine you have limitless abilities, freedom, and resources. Write down every hope and desire you have for your life. Now imagine your dreams have come true. What do you see? How does it feel? Sit with it and enjoy it.
Emotions are a necessary part of life. If practiced diligently, these twenty tips will raise emotional awareness, boost gratitude and joy, and increase one\’s potential to live a happier, healthier life.
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Jean Voice Dart is a Certified Expressive Arts and Grief and Trauma Coach (CCF), Credentialed Expressive and Performing Arts Teacher (MS), Registered Music Therapist (RMT), and Master Level Energetic Teacher. Those working with Jean identify, embrace, and release blocked feelings and emotions through the creative, expressive, and performing arts. She has over forty years of experience in private and group sessions, helping people triumph over physical, mental, or emotional challenges.