Healthy Emotions: A Key To Effective BehaviorPhoto By: Roger H Goun / CC BY
Angry you didn't get that work promotion? Upset that your best friend did not invite you to her wedding? Depressed because your grades did not add to up an Ivy league education? These are just some of the situations where having healthy emotions can help you. Those with emotional health on their side can control not only their moods but also their behavior. Like physical health, mental and emotional health requires constant care as well. Improving emotional health can be a rewarding and enriching experience. It not only boosts your self-esteem, but it also adds resilience and enhances an overall enjoyment of life.
What is Emotional Health?
An emotionally healthy person is well in mind and not only the body. Your psychological well-being can make a difference to how you feel about yourself, your relationships and your capabilities to handle difficulties and the positive messages you give yourself during the day.
Contrary to popular belief, good emotional health does not just mean an absence of health problems such as anxiety, psychoticism or depression. It also has a positive concept such as:
- Being able to handle life's challenges
- Managing stressors
- Creating strong relationships
- Recovering from life's setbacks
Emotional health is compromised when you are burdened with stress and tension. The step towards keeping your emotions healthy is to be social: reaching out and connecting emotionally with others helps a lot.
Ways to Keep Your Emotions Healthy
Talk To Someone
A key factor in improving mental and emotional resiliency is the presence of supportive people who talk to you on an everyday basis. Human beings are sociable creatures, and they have a need to connect with others. After all, no man is an island. We are not means to thrive by ourselves. We need human company. Face-to-face interaction with those who care about you can make you feel better about yourself. Recovering from negative emotions and developing positive emotions can become easy through this. Having another person to hold your hand helps you to fight hormones that release stress. You can alter the stressful situation all on your own, provided someone is there to help you through the process.
Choose a good listener who does not interrupt, criticize or judge you in any which way. He or she will be sensitive to another person's emotions and does not have any agenda for helping you out. Reaching out to others is not a sign of some flaw in your personality. There are many social media sites and clubs to build friendships and enhance your support network. Don't hide behind a computer screen or the television. Virtual interactions have their place in human social welfare, but so do F2F interactions. Join social networking, social or special interest groups that meet on a regular basis and get to know other people with the same interests as your own.
The mind-body link is strong, and when you improve your physical health, mental and emotional well-being also undergo a positive transformation. This may sound counterintuitive , but to keep your emotions healthy, you need to exercise. Exercising regularly does not only strengthen the body and tone the muscles, but it also heals the mind. Endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals/neurotransmitters released by the body after exercise, lift your mood and provide more energy. Whether you have mental health conditions or are suffering from stress, memory loss or sleep disturbance, exercise can be your ticket to a healthier body and mind.
From breathing exercises to rhythmic exercises such as running, swimming, dancing or jogging, there are endless avenues for those looking to boost their moods and access healthy emotions. Exercises such as martial arts also create an additional mindfulness element which enables you to focus on your body as you move. This helps you to concentrate better and prevents stress from impacting your emotions.
Stress Management is a Must
Many people spend their lives feeling stressed and don't even realize it. But the trouble arises when stress becomes distress and damages everything from your mood to the quality of your life, aggravating mental and physical health problems. Social interaction and exercise are excellent to relieve stress but having a friend to lean on is also a good way to counter tension. Stress management techniques can range from yoga to biofeedback, breathing exercises, walking, and aromatherapy. Relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation are invaluable. So is managing your emotions by understanding them and accepting these.
A Healthy Diet= A Strong Mind
What you eat has a direct impact on your brain. Wholesome, fiber rich meals that are nutrient-dense enrich the brain and other parts of your body. Unhealthy or junk food takes a toll on the brain and mood. Bodies respond differently to foods based on genetic or health reasons, so you need a dietician or nutritionist to guide you. Foods that can affect moods in a negative way include:
- Trans Fat/ Partially Hydrogenated Oil
- Food with Chemicals or hormones
- Sugar filled snacks
- Refined carbs
- Fried Foods
Foods to Eat
Foods that you should eat include vitamin and mineral-rich greens such as kale, broccoli, spinach and fish-based foods such as tuna and mackerel which are high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids boost positive mood states and health. Moreover, nuts and foods that are whole grain are a better choice for keeping emotions healthy and the mind optimally functional. More control over your emotional health is possible through a diet that nourishes your brain besides your body.
Volunteer for a Cause
Studies show that meaning and purpose derived from donating time, money and efforts to charities can be a rich and emotionally rewarding experience. Helping others can make you happier. Give of yourself and invest in caring for others. You will learn valuable lessons for a better management of emotions.
Activities That Put You In a Positive State
This can range from getting enough sleep to sunlight and enjoying the beauty of nature and art. Engage in some fun filled activities such as playing beach-ball or reading a good book. Avoid isolation or limited social circle and limit screen time. Try to give up smoking and other stimulants.
Check For Signs of Emotional Disturbance
You need to seek help if you display an inability to sleep. Hopeless and helpless emotional states or substance abuse and thoughts of death/suicide as well as negative and self-destructive thoughts are red flags you should not ignore.
For those who see the glass as half full, life is a positive and enriching experience. Emotions can be regulated if you cultivate a tendency to look on the bright side. This is more so even in dark and depressing times. Accomplishing even small goals can help you to build up hope.
Accept Your Faults, Appreciate Your Strengths
No one is perfect and we all have our fair share of flaws and faults. But it is important to see the positive traits and avoid measuring your own worth by making comparisons with others.
A loving and supportive relationship with someone can help you to feel connected and understood. Close relationships can help you to meet emotional needs and it is important to nurture these over the course of time.
Every minute of sadness is 60 seconds of happiness lost. To be happy, you need to want what you have. People who are thankful for what they have are happier, more optimistic and better in terms of emotional health and well-being.
At the end of the day, you should feel satisfied with what you have accomplished. Living in the present instead of looking over your shoulder or despairing about the future is the best cure for unhealthy emotions. From relaxing the body to soothing the mind,keeping emotions healthy involves investing in ourselves as human beings.