Do you need practical ways to improve your emotional health?
We all have seasons of life that try and knock us down.
How we respond to those situations is more important than the situation.
All of life is a process and you need to be looking for ways to improve your emotional health because life doesn’t stop.
Understanding how your emotions impact you and what coping mechanisms you use can determine how emotionally healthy you are.
Ways to Improve Your Emotional Health
Don’t stuff your emotions down
When you stuff your emotions down they don’t go away. In fact, they can continue to grow and show up at unexpected times.
How many nights have you spend laying in bed thinking about a past hurt or argument?
Pent-up emotions can lead to insomnia.
An emotional trauma that isn’t dealt with can actually cause health problems, muscle cramps, and depression.
Feeling emotions come up to the surface can be painful but it’s necessary to feel the emotion and then release it.
Here are some ways you can release emotions:
- Write them down in a journal
- Tell a friend you need to vent for a few minutes
- Speak your feelings out loud saying “I’m feeling ____”
- Take a deep breath and visualize yourself blowing out the emotion as you exhale
Cry when you need to
Somehow our society has placed a stigma on crying and many think it is a sign of weakness but nothing could be further from the truth.
It takes so much strength to feel an emotion and allow yourself to cry.
When you are walking through sadness or grief it’s totally okay to give yourself permission to cry.
What you don’t want to do is camp out in that place forever.
Give yourself a good amount of time to grieve or experience sadness. Obviously, if you lost a loved one that time would need to be longer.
After a certain amount of time, it’s healthy to try and move on. Especially if you lost a close friend or family member, they wouldn’t want you to stay in that place of grief forever.
They would want the best for you and to enjoy the life you have which means to honor them, you must find joy again.
Keep an eye on your thoughts
The thoughts you have in your head actually signal your brain to make appropriate chemicals.
If you have negative thoughts all day long that will weigh heavy on your emotions.
You could be producing negative chemicals all day long just because you can’t control what you’re thinking about.
How often do you say “I’m so stupid” or “Why bother, I will just fail again”?
Default thoughts like these keep your emotions heavy and you lose your ability to see opportunities in your life.
One of the best ways to improve your mental health is to learn how to take your thoughts captive.
You need to catch those negative thoughts as soon as they come and learn to replace them with the truth. If done on a regular basis, your emotions will catch up and you will start producing happy hormones.
Find a healthy coping mechanism
Stress and problems will never go away but we can choose how we react to them. Your reaction to a problem is often a bigger problem than the problem.
Learning how to respond instead of reacting will bring positive emotional health.
When you encounter stress what is the first thing you want to run to? For many, it can be food, drugs, or other self-destructive behavior.
It’s important to have a healthy set of coping mechanisms so you don’t self destruct when you encounter stress.
Healthy coping skills are one of the best ways to improve your emotional health.
Next time you feel stress or encounter a problem here are some positive things you can try.
Take a walk
Before you freak out or fly off the handle try stepping outside and walking around the block or even around your yard. It’s vital to take some time before you respond to a problem and give yourself space to think. Walking is a positive way you can respond instead of reacting.
Talk to a friend
Before you decide to react to a problem or stressor, try asking a friend their opinion.
Sometimes a third party opinion can bring a new light to the issue or show you a different perspective you haven’t noticed.
They may not view the issue as seriously as you do and could offer some advice on what steps to take next.
Next time you decide to freak out…ask a friend first.
Write it down
Getting your problems or toxic thoughts out on a piece of paper is so helpful.
I often write out a problem and then list off solutions and perspectives under it.
This gives your brain a different perspective and you may see the problem as an opportunity to grow or learn.
Often you need to stop and remind yourself what you have made it through in the past. You are stronger than you think and sometimes you just have to remind yourself of that.
There are times in life when you have to be your biggest cheerleader, seasons when you have to encourage yourself because no one else will.
Improving emotions doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s important to be patient with yourself, all of life is a process.
What ways to improve your emotional health have you used and which ones worked for you?
How do you choose to respond to a stressor in your life?
What healthy coping mechanisms do you practice during stressful times? Comment below and let us know!