In our daily quest for the well-being lifestyle, we often overlook our emotional well-being. In counseling my clients, I often remind them to step back and enjoy the moment. With the techie advantages we enjoy we are always on—-Flex hours at work give us the ability to start earlier and work later; email synced with mobile devices allows us to be connected around the clock, every single day. And let’s get real, sometimes we want to take a time out— we need to take a time out and unplug from the continuous connections for our emotional well-being.
Following are guidelines to help ensure that you’re taking care of your emotional health on the journey to the well-being lifestyle.
Live in the Present
Whether it is a special occasion, event, or unexpected compliment, enjoy the moment and savor the thoughtfulness of others in recognizing or complimenting you. Don’t dwell on “I should have” or “if I had more time I would.” Recognize that you are deserving and worthy, simply relax and revel in the good thoughts and intentions of others.
One of the most consistent things is change. Though change may not initially be viewed positively, our ability to adapt, accepting changes that impact our lives contributes greatly to emotional well-being. When change arises, it is important to keep a positive self-image, reach out for support from those who are close to us, and keep things in perspective.
Connect with family, friends, and colleagues building and nurturing relationships. The feeling of connection that results from relationships with others contributes to feelings of self-worth and happiness. Relationships enable us to share our feelings and concerns, with others who understand and care about us. These connections create a support system which fosters emotional well-being.
The ability to laugh is priceless, and easy to do. Laughter is powerful medicine for both the mind and body. Its benefits include relaxation and boosting our immune system by decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells which improves our resistance to disease. Laughter is the catalyst for the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. They create an overall sense of well-being, and are heart healthy. The hearty (pardon the pun) chuckle improves the function of blood vessels, increasing blood flow which helps promote cardiovascular health.
Find an activity that you enjoy and include it as a regular part of your life. This can include volunteering, musical pursuits, sports, exercise or even something sedentary such as reading or word games. This activity gives you something to look forward to, relieves stress and contributes to overall well-being.
Practice Gratitude and Giving
Start each day considering the things you are thankful for. These thoughts of gratitude help give a fresh perspective and positive outlook. Giving does not have to be financial-it can be something as simple as a word of encouragement or compliment to another person. It may be donating time or talent, or asking someone how they are and really listening, instead of the pseudo listening that we often do.
This advice to ensure good emotional health is one aspect of the well-being lifestyle. This lifestyle is multi-faceted. It’s about wise food choices, good nutrition, emotional health, activity and balance. Make sure you create a space for each one.
Take Away: Emotional well-being plays an essential role in the well-being lifestyle. Consider it along with other elements as you strive for a healthy lifestyle.