How to improve emotional health
Does the world around you feel out of control? You’re not alone. Today’s ever-changing world can make it seem like tomorrow is a complete unknown. Add to that the very real current experiences Americans share such as layoffs, increased childcare responsibilities and lack of social interaction, and it’s easy to see why emotional well-being is declining for many of us.
But letting the world around you dictate how you feel is no way to go through life.
You can decide to change your story and change your life. You can put yourself first and learn how to improve emotional health. When you do, you’ll begin to find meaning in life again.
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What is emotional health?
Emotional health, or emotional well-being, is our ability to acknowledge and cope with our own emotions and with life events that can affect those emotions. It’s a combination of emotional intelligence – or the ability to identify emotions in yourself and others – and emotional regulation, or the ability to control those emotions in a healthy way.
While emotional well-being is a component of overall mental health, it isn’t the same thing. Mental health is made up of emotional, psychological and social well-being. It is similar however, because just as you can improve your mental health, you can learn how to improve emotional health using various emotional wellness activities.
Why is emotional health important?
Emotional well-being is essential to finding happiness in life. If you’re not able to recognize and master your emotions, your life will be dictated by your circumstances instead of by your own desires and decisions. Emotional well-being can even affect your physical health: studies have linked emotional distress to cardiovascular disease and lowered immune system, as well as substance abuse.
So why is emotional health important now more than ever? The world today seems more disconnected and unpredictable, causing stress, anxiety and even depression. Emotionally healthy people are better able to navigate the challenges of a changing world and overcome obstacles in their lives without turning to unhealthy habits like substance abuse.
How to improve emotional health
To create an extraordinary life, no matter what’s happening in the world, you must discover how to improve emotional health. Use these emotional wellness activities to shift your mindset and improve your well-being.
1. Let go of what you can’t control
Do you always want to change others? Do you let circumstances beyond your control – like the weather, the actions of others or events in the world – affect your emotions? The need for control hurts our emotional well-being more than anything else. It’s natural to desire certainty, but you must realize that that only thing in life you can truly control is yourself.
2. Focus on what matters
Once you shift your focus away from things you can’t control, you’re free to focus on what matters: finding fulfillment in life. Does fulfillment really come from having perfect weather or letting yourself get burned out at work? Or does it come from spending time with loved ones, giving back to your community and building a life filled with positivity? Focus on what matters and learning how to improve emotional health becomes easier.
3. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude shifts your perspective and fills your life with positivity. Tony tells us that “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” Negative emotions like fear and anger cannot coexist with gratitude. This ability to replace negative emotions with empowering ones is key to emotional well-being.
4. Take time for self-care
Self-care likely comes to mind when you think of emotional wellness activities – because it works. Healthy habits like eating an alkaline diet, finding exercise you enjoy and creating a morning ritual give you the energy and focus you need for emotional well-being. Be sure to take time to relax and pamper yourself, too. You can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself.
5. Connect with others
Connection is one of our Six Human Needs: our deepest needs as human beings that drive everything we do. When we don’t fulfill this need, we begin to feel hopeless, lonely and depressed. This connection doesn’t have to be romantic. Set up a weekly call or video chat with a friend. Join new groups online. Volunteer if you are able. Create that human connection that makes life worth living.
6. Find your purpose
Do you know someone who never seems to let anything get to them? They’ve likely found their purpose in life. When you know your purpose, you realize that life is happening for you, not to you: Everything you experience is connected to living out your purpose in some way. Stop focusing on short-term goals and desires and look deeper to improve your emotional well-being.
7. Get the support you need
Sometimes we all need a little help with our emotional well-being. If you’re experiencing a serious issue like panic attacks or depression, you may need professional support. But if you’re just feeling overwhelmed with all that’s going on in the world, you can turn to friends and family and let them know what’s going on. A Tony Robbins Results Coach can also help you get your emotional health back on track. Don’t be afraid to ask for the support you need.
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