Having good mental health and emotional well being enables you to work well in everyday life. It makes you feel confident to face challenges, take opportunities and enjoy life.
In the mind-body-spirit system, all three parts need attention to make up your emotional well-being.
“Our essence is change. We are a movement. Being out of balance is life.” – Chris Boucher
Start taking steps to improve your emotional well-being. It’s not rocket science, but sometimes it’s not that easy.
1. Live in the present.
Learn from the past and project yourself to the future but without forgetting to enjoy every moment of your life.
Remember that if you sow today, you will reap tomorrow. Care your pet, hug your parents, appreciate the things you have, laugh out loud.
Always try to live in the present without holding past or worrying about the future.
2. Check in with your body.
It doesn’t lie.
Stop checking in with your head. There are no answers there, only lizard brain chatter that will keep you trapped in a maze of self-defeatist thinking.
“Stay out of your head. It’s a dark and scary neighbourhood!”
Close your eyes, breathe, and then scan from the tips of your toes to your head. Feel what’s going on in there. Your body is always communicating. Are you listening?
“The physical language of the body is so much more powerful than words.” – Bill Irwin
3. Sleep well.
Having a good sleep is very important, as sleeping restores mind and body. Go to bed at the same time every day.
Practice habits that help you to have a restful sleep to avoid feelings of tiredness, confusion or anxiety during the day.
4. Be willing to grow.
Everything in life is given the opportunity to grow and become more of itself. Same goes for you.
Opportunities for growth surround you. Some you will naturally step into, others you’ll have to look for. Either way is fine; get the learning and move forward.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings
5. Be with your emotions.
Newsflash (but not really): suppressing emotion is NOT healthy. Instead, let your emotions flow through you so you can move on with freedom.
Your emotions will flow through you like weather if you let them. You don’t argue with Mother Nature, do you?
There’s no bad emotion. It’s the meaning you give it and how you respond that’s unhealthy. Like #2, emotion has a message. Pay attention.
“We need never be ashamed of our tears.” – Charles Dickens
6. Practice your hobbies.
If there is something you like to do (paint, sing, dance, draw, play an instrument, etc.), do it.
Enroll in a workshop and meet people who are also interested in the same hobbies as yours. This helps you reaffirm your self-worth.
7. Get grounded.
Plant your feet, stand solidly in your body and feel your connection to the ground. Imagine roots growing out the soles of your feet reaching deep into the earth.
When you’re grounded like that, you can weather the emotional storms with greater resourcefulness.
“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” – J.K. Rowling
8. Feel your heart and breathe.
Your heart is beating. This means you are alive.
Right now. .notice and breathe. Is your breath shallow? Breathe just a little more deeply. Is your heart beating fast? Use your breath to slow it down.
“Listen–are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” – Mary Oliver
9. Take one action.
In a system, changing one part automatically impacts the others. Don’t worry so much about what the right action is. What if there is no right action, but only the next action?
Think of one small action that inspires you. Then do it!
Tomorrow? Do it again. Imagine a week of taking one action every day. The cumulative effect is mindblowing.
For example, I started setting a timer in my office to go off every 90 minutes. It’s one new thing I’m doing to remind me to get up from my desk and stretch, move about or refill my water glass.
“Most people think it takes a long time to change. It doesn’t. Change is immediate. Instantaneous! It may take a long time to decide to change. .but change happens in a heartbeat.” – Andy Andrews
Two ears, one mouth. What does that tell you?
No one was born with the ability to listen effectively, but like all communication skills, good listening can be learned. It takes time for breaking old habits and creating new ones.
In conversation, do you catch yourself thinking more about what you’re going to say next than on what the other person is saying?
Begin by noticing how often you want to jump in, correct someone and give your opinion. Then don’t. Stop yourself, take a deep breath and listen to what’s being said.
“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” – Jimi Hendrix
11. Express yourself.
Say what you have to say.
Tell the barista your coffee’s not quite right. Tell your server how great your meal was and ask him/her to tell the Chef. Tell your spouse you need more communication. Tell that someone you love them.
Then tell them again.
“Find yourself and express yourself in your own particular way. Express your love openly.” – Don Miguel Ruiz
12. Connect with nature
Living in a big city can cause stress and emotional fatigue. If possible, get in touch with nature whenever you can.
Walking on the beach or in a large park can help you tune your inner world to the outside world.
13. Get what you need.
How are you at asking for what you need? Perhaps an even more important question is, do you know what you need? This is an opportunity to check in:
Is it rest, exercise, nourishing food, meditation, an hour with a good book?
Get in touch with your needs at the moment. What you needed yesterday may not work today.
Or, notice what works reliably, and do that more often. Make time for it in your schedule.
“I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.” – Oriah Mountain Dreamer
14. Practice gratitude and compassion
This seems easy, but it is not. There is always something in life for which you can be grateful, even if it is: being able to walk, eat or live.
It doesn’t mean we do not have to fight to live better, but we must be aware that the simple fact of being alive is already a reason for joy.
Find something rewarding and feel it with your heart.
In addition, the attitude with which you face life will determine your emotional balance. You should practice compassion towards yourself instead of being so demanding.
15. Lighten up.
Make fun of yourself. Play a little. Laughter gets you back into your body and gets you out of your head.
Look around. Life is funny. How often do you look back and laugh at something you’ve done? Why wait. Laugh about it now!
“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” – Robert Frost
Pick one or two tips, and take them on as a practice for a week.
Small things done consistently over time eventually add up to big wins. Notice your progress. Notice the increase as you rate yourself again next week.
Notice your increased well being and celebrate.