We’ve all heard about the importance of taking care of our mental and emotional health. If you have found yourself thinking, where do I even begin? don’t worry! You have to start somewhere.
Emotions play a key role in our lives. They influence our thoughts, our actions, and how we experience the world.
When we internalize, deny, and avoid our emotions they do not simply disappear. They stay within us, accumulate, and find alternative ways of surfacing. This may happen through bursts or explosions of emotion, or in more extreme cases, the development of illness or disease.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to stay stuck and to suffer longer than they need to.
When you think about the power emotions hold over us as human beings, it is almost unimaginable to work against something that can help us live better!
By learning to embrace and manage our emotions we are better able to problem solve, work through challenges, and thrive, thereby improving our quality of life.
The only way out is through.
– author unknown
Tips for prioritizing your emotional health
- Increase your self-awareness
Amid our fast-paced, sometimes even chaotic lives, it is essential for us to stop and pay attention to what we are experiencing in and around us.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I thinking?
- What emotions am I feeling?
- What am I experiencing in my body?
- What do I need?
- What happened to make me feel or think this way?
- What was my response to what is happening in and around me?
Taking a few minutes to connect with yourself on a deeper level will assist you in understanding yourself better and meeting your needs. It will also enable you to recognize and break free of patterns of thought and behavior that may be unhelpful for you or holding you back.
2. Do at least one thing to nurture yourself every day (meeting basic needs doesn’t count)!
People often aspire to achieve emotional well-being but don’t make time to do what is necessary to achieve this state. When it comes to mental and emotional health there is no quick fix.
The key is to find coping strategies that fit into your lifestyle. Consider the following:
- Spending time outdoors
You may have to get creative and try different things to figure out what works for you. You will also need to be consistent in your self-care practice, as these strategies tend to become increasingly effective the more you utilize them.
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
– Henry Ford
3. Be with yourself
As humans, we crave social connection, approval, and validation.
When we rely on others to get through challenges, make us happy, and meet our needs, we are limiting our self-growth and holding ourselves back from experiencing and achieving great things.
You have the power within you to make changes that will improve your emotional health and create the life you want to lead.
To do so, you have to learn to rely on and be with yourself. This means looking inward, acknowledging your limitations, and utilizing your strengths.
Be present for yourself by:
- Spending time alone
- Acknowledging the parts of yourself that you would like to work on
- Identifying your strengths
- Sitting with your emotions and thoughts
- Using your self-talk to build yourself up
- Validating yourself
We cannot truly heal and move forward until we look inward, recognize our struggles, our limitations, and our strengths, and accept them.
– Stacey Wharton
Connect with Stacey Wharton and be sure to read Chapter 19 in The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care, 25 Tools to Achieve Anything available on Amazon June 22nd.
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Release what no longer serves you. Reset your mind, body, and soul.
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Stacey Wharton is a social worker providing mental health services in a health care setting. She is passionate about helping others work through challenges and adversity to improve their emotional health, well-being, and quality of life.