5 Keys to Emotional Wellness

woman open arms to sunrise at seaStaying active and motivated throughout the day, week, or month can be difficult. This becomes even harder to achieve when we neglect our mental well-being. Unfortunately, for many people emotional wellness comes second to physical health. However, our mental well-being is intrinsically linked to our bodies’ health, and keeping our minds relaxed and well is essential to feeling healthy.

Your body responds to the way you think, feel, and act. If you are struggling with chronic stress, your hormones can be thrown off balance. Your immune system can also be negatively impacted, making you more susceptible to catching colds and other infections.

When you are experiencing anxiety or depression, your body may signal that something is not right. These signs may include:

  • Back pain
  • Change in appetite
  • Exhaustion
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss or gain

When you are going through a difficult time, it is important to remember that there are things you can do to keep your mind and body healthy.

Here are some keys to emotional wellness:

  1. Acceptance: Accept and recognize the strong negative emotions you are experiencing. Many times, people will allow negativity to insidiously take hold of their lives because they are unwilling to accept, share, and open up about their emotions. Find the root cause of your sadness, anxieties, and stress, perhaps with the help of a therapist, and talk about it with friends and family.
  2. Stay positive: Part of your routine should be to make positive affirmations about yourself and your life. Try to avoid guilt, blame, and shame, and remember that everyone makes mistakes. Look on your past as a lesson you can grow from. Do not let it drag you down.
  3. Be active: Staying active when you are tired and depressed is hard, but keeping an active routine can help you escape the darkest places. Exercise has been proven to not only decrease stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine, but has also been shown to increase feel-good chemicals known as endorphins. A simple walk around the park is a good start—not only are you helping your body to relax, but you enjoy a breath of fresh air as well as the beauty that nature has to offer. It can also help to find a sport or activity that appeals; this will make it easier and more fun to stay active. In order to get the full stress-relieving benefits of exercise, try to stay active for 30 minutes or more at a time.
  4. Eat healthier: Studies have shown that high blood sugar can often lead to irritability. You also have to be careful of low blood sugar, which can cause anxiety, depression, and lethargy. Low levels of vitamins, minerals, and low intake of fatty acids and omega-3s can also impact your mental health. Having low levels of vitamin D can lead to mood swings. Try to eat well-balanced meals, but do not feel pressured to do a complete overhaul. Start slow. The healthier you eat, the more energy you will have to get through your day!
  5. Slow down: Another important thing we forget when we are going through a difficult situation is to take time out to relax. Do not see it as something you can do, but rather as something you should do. Doing something you love, like a hobby, reading a book, meditating, or taking a hot bath, can change your mood instantly. Finding quiet time can be a challenge, but do not fret—just take a few minutes out of your busy and stressful day to sit, relax, and take a few deep breaths. Remember that staying mentally fit is as important as being physically fit for a happier, healthier life.

References:

  1. Exercise. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.stress.org.uk/Exercise.aspx
  2. Mind/Body Connection: How Your Emotions Affect Your Health. (2010). Retrieved from http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/emotional-wellbeing/mental-health/mind-body-connection-how-your-emotions-affect-your-health.html
  3. Smith, Melinda; Segal, Robert; and Segal, Jeanne. (2014). Improving Emotional Health: Strategies and Tips for Good Mental Health. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/improving-emotional-health.htm
  4. Tartakovsky, Margarita. (2012). 15 Tips to Boost Your Well-Being and Happiness. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-tips-to-boost-your-well-being-and-happiness/00010428
  5. White, Donna M. (2013). Improving Your Emotional Health through Healthier Eating. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/improving-your-emotional-health-through-healthier-eating/00015925

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  • Beck

    Beck

    November 21st, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    There are those weeks when you are on the go constantly and you sometimes do not even realize just how exhausted you are until you have time to finally slow down… and then you are just beyond the point of even being able to recover! Those are the times when I have to swear off work for a little while and take a little bit of time for me, to recharge my batteries and to clear my head. These times are for reading, for walking, for just generally doing the things that I enjoy and that I know will take me back to a healthier state of mind.

  • ElAiNe

    ElAiNe

    November 21st, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    I am pretty sure that a lot of the physical problems that I have stem directly from just how much stress I am under at work but I never quite have the right answers for letting go of that stress. I am in a management position with a lot of people who depend on me and I have to make a lot of last minute decisions based on that position. As a result I know that a lot of the success of the company depends directly on me and while I can appreciate that they trust me like they do there are times that I feel kind o lost and alone, and like they are looking for ways to trip me up. When I start feeling this way I just have these waves of dread that consume me and I know that this can’t be healthy.

  • Tora

    Tora

    November 22nd, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    You take care of the body, then that will take care of the mind.
    Simple but true lesson
    Your body takes in so much junk, sop how can we veer expect it to give us anything other than junk back when this is all we feed to it?
    get up, get moving and get active, and eat something other than from a drive thru for the most part.
    I can almost assure you that you will feel 100% better after only a few days of changing your lifestyle from something sedentary to something active and healthy.

  • Zell

    Zell

    November 24th, 2014 at 3:42 AM

    I don’t want to make this sound super easy but there is some truth in the fact that once you begin to pay attention to all of the bad things that you do to your body, if you make the time to make some changes there then you will begin to feel better. Eating healthier and exercising can be such critical pieces of this puzzle.

  • robby

    robby

    November 27th, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    this was supposed to be my year to be positive and stay ahead of the game a little more than I have in years past

    was I a success? not so much- than goodness it’s already time for a new New Years Resolution now

  • melba

    melba

    November 27th, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Take a lesson form stuart smiley… hokey but always the truth!

  • Murph

    Murph

    November 30th, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    It’s time to take a little time to slow down and smell the coffee so to speak. We all get to moving way too fast at times, and to compensate the body sort of shuts down and is not doing the normal things that it should to keep things balanced and maintained. Just slow down a little.

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