7 Ways to Improve Your Emotional Wellness

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

According to the University of California (Davis), emotional wellness “involves the awareness, understanding, and acceptance of our feelings.” It’s a key element in maintaining a healthy balance in our lives and our relationships.

Of course, maintaining emotional wellness has its benefits: It can lead to success in work, relationships, and health. When you’re emotionally healthy, you’re also in control of your emotions and behavior; you’re better able to handle life’s challenges, you develop strong relationships, and are able to reboundĀ from setbacks.

Being emotionally healthy also means you have:

  • A sense of contentment
  • A zest for living and are able to laugh and have fun
  • The ability to deal with stress
  • A sense of meaning and purpose (in both your activities and your relationships)
  • The flexibility to learn new things and adapt to change
  • A healthy balance between work and play, rest and activity, etc.
  • The ability to develop and maintain fulfilling relationships
  • Self-confidence and high self-esteem

How to Improve Emotional Wellness

Just like you work to improve your physical health and wellness, you should work on bettering your emotional wellness as well. In fact, taking care of your body is a great first step towards emotional health since, of course, the mind and body are linked. Exercise strengthens your heart and lungs while also releasing endorphins, a chemical that energizes us and lifts our moods. Other ways you can take care of your body (and by extension, your mind) include getting enough sleep and eating well.

And here are seven ways you can improve your emotional wellness:

  1. Learn or discover something new. You could take an adult education class, travel somewhere new (it doesn’t have to be far), or visit a museum.
  2. Enjoy art or nature. Check out a local art show, or take a walk through your neighborhood or a park.
  3. Manage your stress levels, and limit unhealthy mental habits like worrying. Practicing mindfulness and meditating are great ways to lower stress levels and help you worry less.
  4. Do work that’s meaningful and/or creative. This doesn’t have to be something you’re paid to do; it could be drawing, painting, knitting, or gardening.
  5. Take time for leisure. Watching a movie, reading a good book, talking to a friend, and listening to music are a few ideas.
  6. Practice gratitude. Take some time to focus on what’s good in your life.
  7. Connect with others. Ways to do this: Spend time face-to-face with loved ones; volunteer; join networking or other special interest groups in your city.

When to seek help

Below are red flag feelings/behaviors that might need immediate attention:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Concentration problems that interfere with your work or home life
  • Feeling down, hopeless, or helpless most of the time
  • Using nicotine, drugs, alcohol, or food to deal with difficult emotions
  • Negative or self-destructive thoughts or fears you can’t control
  • Thoughts of death or suicide (if you’re experiencing this, please call this number: 1.800.273.8255).

If you identify with any of the above, consider making an appointment with a mental health professional.

“Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.” – from Approaching the Natural: a Health Manfiesto

How do you make sure you’re emotionally well? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Source; Photo Credit (123rf.com/Michael Simons)

P.S. — Join me on Periscope (@blackgirlcalm) for my new series!
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