Optimal health is not merely being free from disease or disability. It covers all aspects of your life, helping you become and stay comfortable, healthy, and happy. It’s impossible to be truly satisfied if you only focus on one aspect of your life. Today’s focus is on Emotional Wellness
Emotional Wellness is more than just managing stress. It is our ability to understand ourselves and handle change. You are aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and can accept your feelings and have an optimistic approach to life, and enjoy life despite its ups and downs, occasional disappointments and frustrations.
6 strategies for improving your emotional health according to the National Institutes of Health
BRIGHTEN YOUR OUTLOOK
People who are emotionally well, experts say, have fewer negative emotions and are able to bounce back from difficulties faster. This quality is called resilience. Another sign of emotional wellness is being able to hold onto positive emotions longer and appreciate the good times.
To develop a more positive mindset:
- Remember your good deeds.
- Forgive yourself.
- Practice gratitude. Create positive emotions by being thankful every day.
- Spend more time with your friends.
- Explore your beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life.
- Develop healthy physical habits.
Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Stress can give you a rush of energy when it’s needed most. But if stress lasts a long time—a condition known as chronic stress—those “high alert” changes become harmful rather than helpful. Learning healthy ways to cope with stress can also boost your resilience.
To help manage your stress:
- Get enough sleep.
- Exercise regularly.
- Build a social support network.
- Set priorities.
- Show compassion for yourself.
- Try relaxation methods.
- Seek help.
GET QUALITY SLEEP
To fit in everything we want to do in our day, we often sacrifice sleep. But sleep affects both mental and physical health. It’s vital to your well-being. When you’re tired, you can’t function at your best. Sleep helps you think more clearly, have quicker reflexes and focus better. Take steps to make sure you regularly get a good night’s sleep.
To get better quality sleep:
- Go to bed and get up each day at the same time.
- Sleep in a dark, quiet place.
- Exercise daily.
- Limit the use of electronics.
- Relax before bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol before bedtime and stimulants like caffeine or nicotine.
- Consult a health care professional if you have ongoing sleep problems.
The concept of mindfulness is simple. This ancient practice is about being completely aware of what’s happening in the present
means not living your life on “autopilot.” Becoming a more mindful person requires commitment and practice. Here are some tips to help you get started.
To be more mindful:
- Take some deep breaths in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5. Repeat often.
- Enjoy a stroll, notice the sights around you.
- Practice mindful eating. Be aware of each bite and when you’re full.
- Be aware of your body. Do a mental scan, bring your attention to how each part feels.
- Find mindfulness resources, including online programs.
Coping with Loss
When someone you love dies, your world changes. There is no right or wrong way to mourn. Although the death of a loved one can feel overwhelming, most people can make it through the grieving process with the support of family and friends. Learn healthy ways to help you through difficult times.
To help cope with loss:
- Take care of yourself.
- Talk to a caring friend.
- Try not to make any major changes right away.
- Join a grief support group.
- Consider professional support.
- Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble with everyday activities.
- Be patient. Mourning takes time.
STRENGTHEN SOCIAL CONNECTIONS
Social connections might help protect health and lengthen life. Scientists are finding that our links to others can have powerful effects on our health—both emotionally and physically. Whether with romantic partners, family, friends, neighbors, or others, social connections can influence our biology and well-being.
To build healthy support systems:
- Build strong relationships with your kids.
- Get active and share good habits with family and friends.
- If you’re a family caregiver, ask for help from others.
- Join a group focused on a favorite hobby, such as reading, hiking, or painting.
- Take a class to learn something new.
- Volunteer for things you care about in your community, like a community garden, school, library, or place of worship.
- Travel to different places and meet new people.
How Are You Feeling Today?
We have made it through so much. Sometimes we still feel stressed or anxious. Remind yourself that today is a gift and tomorrow is a new day that could bring new celebrations and challenges.
Please consider signing up for the We Thrive Together Daily Check-in pilot program funded by Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. The program is designed to give you a daily boost of positivity and emotional support.