Emotional Well-Being – What Does it Mean
Are you feeling drained, exhausted, or disconnected? These feelings are likely to impact your daily activities, relationships as well as your ability to adapt to change and handle stress. Your life’s journey may be different than you envisioned, but the way you respond is the key that makes all the difference.
Your holistic well-being includes fueling your body with nutrient rich foods, engaging in movement/exercise, self-care as well as your emotions, mood, thoughts, and feelings. You, like many others, may not have connected feelings, mood, and thoughts to your overall well-being. Personally, I don’t recall discussing emotional well-being in my high school health education class. Attention to this area of health and wellness has thankfully increased over the years.
Emotional well-being enables you to focus on the positive and manage negative thoughts, feelings and emotions that may arise in a given situation. The basis to emotional well-being is resilience. It impacts how you face and think about challenging events. You can begin by taking time to observe your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Once you are able to identify the triggers and take a step back. When you take a step back you give yourself a chance to take a few deep breaths which help you to calm down. Taking a step back also allows you to use emotional intelligence to think about how you will respond in a reflective and constructive manner. You become less emotionally reactive and judgmental. In exchange your understanding, empathy, humor, and compassion increase.
When you are faced with thoughts or feelings that challenge your emotional well-being following these tips:
- Start with the words you use to express your thoughts or feelings. Remember the words related to your thoughts or feelings do not have to be spoke aloud they are often just said in your head. Switch out the negative talk. For example, “I can’t do anything right.” can be switched to “This didn’t come out the way I expected.”
- Question your thoughts and whether they truly reflect how you feel. For example: Your boss sighed when you were speaking to him/her. Your thoughts – “She/he thinks I’m not capable of getting things done. I’m going to be fired.” Pause and consider if you really feel that to be true
- Dive in further and question what you think you know. Your brain can easily trick you into believing self-made-up thoughts/doubts. However, they are false and not based on anything that is real. For example: You have been working for the same boss for 5 years and you have done so much. Are you taking the sigh personally? (Possibly, if you think everything is about you.) Maybe the sigh was related to something else your boss is dealing with.
- Engage in movement. When you’re moving and stay active it increases your oxygenation, increase production of mood elevating hormones, and decreases your stress.
- Make time for yourself and the things you want to do. You are more important than all the other things that seem to take priority. If you do not nurture and care for yourself, you will not be able to continue doing the things you do.
- Build and maintain relationships. The relationships you form are your support system. People to not only share life events and experiences, but who will lift you up and be there for you.
- Get enough sleep. When you are tired you cannot function at your best. Sleep helps you focus and think clearly. Try to keep to a bedtime schedule, create an environment that is conducive for sleep and limit use of electronics before bed.
- Be kind to yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the need to keep busy and keep doing. However, you are not a machine and there are only so many hours in a day. You need to find time to decompress and allow yourself to put things aside for another day or time. If you don’t your health and wellness will suffer and eventually force you to make some changes.