Emotional health is the most crucial aspect of wellness. Choosing to stay positive and focusing on our emotional wellness, despite the fear and desperation surrounding you and controlling your reactions to these overwhelming feelings is the only way to power through this pandemic.
As you look forward, one of the biggest things that you might be experiencing is uncertainty – a condition that is not in the least bit enjoyable. Humans are wired in such a way that they want to control or predict what happens in their life. While this need can protect and prepare people, it can also cause feelings of instability, and challenge their sense of emotional wellness.
Emotional wellness is an integration of a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy spirit.
And in order to have a holistic approach to emotional wellbeing, you must take a look at wellbeing through its 5 components – physical, intellectual, social, mental and spiritual health.
To be in a state of emotional wellbeing, it’s necessary that all these areas function optimally.
Here are some ways in which you can maintain emotional wellness, during such stressful times.
Focus on what you can Control
Formulate guidelines to keep yourself safe and away from other social contracts. These things are what you can control to ensure your safety.
Controlling your structure- you can establish routines and structure to your time and schedule to resemble a normal working day.
Controlling your reactions- you can control ourselves and how we adapt and react to changes taking place around us.
Focus on your Emotions
Observing your emotional state and the resulting urges is an important practice. Pausing to observe your reactions and urges gives you time to know how to react. When you are feeling an emotion you want to change, experiment with actions that are the opposite of the urge.
For example, if you start to feel anxious, notice that this is what you are feeling and consider listening to some music that could calm you down.
Focus on your Thoughts
It is easy to get into negative thoughts and focusing on that can send you down a negative spiral of thought patterns. It is your thoughts that trigger your emotions. When you are intentional about capturing the negative thoughts and then actively attempt to have a more positive thought, it can make you feel better.
Build a Gratitude list
Gratitude is a virtuous quality that allows you to see the best and be thankful about what you enjoy. Practicing gratitude daily can help you become more optimistic. Studies have shown that it has positive effects on mental health. By counting your blessings each day, you will be able to focus more on the positive and experience better emotional wellbeing.
Focus Outward rather than Inward
With all the uncertainty ahead, it is easy to feel consumed by your negative emotions. To combat this, it is important to practice empathy during this time, not just for yourself but for others. Empathy can make you feel less lonely and more connected. It will encourage you to reach out to others who may be in need of it. Listening to others, engaging in acts of service, lending a helping hand are all strategies that can build empathy.
Life has its challenges that you may not be able to control or escape. But the journey becomes a lot smoother when you control how you respond and react to these challenges. Most of all, it’s important that you remember to let go of your stressors.
Choose to put your burdens down, and choose to be happy even in tough times.
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Jean George is a professional mental health counselor with an M.Phil in Psychiatric Social Work. She has over 15 years of experience in counseling people on various mental health concerns and conducting training and workshop programs for educational institutions and corporates.