Health Q&A

Your New Year Emotional Wellness Toolkit

January 3, 2019

What is emotional wellness?

Emotional wellness is the purposeful practice of being mindful and attentive of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour, both positive and negative, and being able to manage these emotions in a manner that allows you to lead a positive and fulfilling life.

What is the connection between emotional wellness and mental and physical health?

Emotional wellness is just as important as mental and physical health because it has a direct impact on the quality of your life. We all experience daily stress and struggles, but it is our approach to dealing with life’s challenges that has a direct impact on the outcome and our state of mind. This is because how you feel will affect your ability to perform certain activities.

Don’t hide your feelings: dealing with your emotions is a learned skill

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) encourages people to deal with their emotions. Failing which you could put yourself at risk of developing a severe mental illness like depression or physical conditions like high blood pressure or headaches.

The path to emotional wellness

Topmed encourages you to practise emotional wellness, which you can achieve by following these insightful tips:

1.Develop a sense of self-awareness

Encourage yourself to be more self-aware and fully cognisant of how your emotions affect your thoughts and behaviour. Through this you will be in a better position to assess and evaluate situations so that you can process your emotions in a more productive manner.

2. Learn to be objective

This is where you make a conscious effort not to take everything too personally. Rather focus on the bigger picture or the end-goal so you can come up with alternatives or solutions to a problem rather than dwelling on the negatives.

3. Foster acceptance and reframe negativity

Constant self-criticism can lead to a poor self-image, loss of confidence and poor self-esteem.  Foster acceptance and reframe destructive negative thoughts. For more information, look at our article on Body Positivity: The Link Between Self-Esteem & Mental Health.

4. Develop perspective

This means that you shouldn’t dwell on the problems or limitations in your life. Be proactive and decide how you can solve these issues and feel better about yourself in the process.

5. Learn to laugh

People often underestimate the power of humour. A robust sense of humour can shift your emotions from negative to positive, which may be just what you need to lift your spirits.

6. Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness is the art of being purposefully aware, by paying attention, to the present moment. It also helps you stay in touch with your emotions and has been linked to positive thinking.

7. Regulate your emotions

Improved emotional awareness will help you regulate your emotions so you don’t become completely overwhelmed by them. Too often we bury or ignore unpleasant emotions, like frustration or anger, only to have these accumulate and resurface later at an inappropriate time or place.

8. Choose to be optimistic

Choosing to be optimistic is a conscious decision that will set you on the path to a positive can-do attitude.

9. Practise self-care

Self-care is a deliberate and ongoing process where you commit to taking care of yourself and being responsible for your own physical, mental and emotional needs. You can support your self-care efforts with tips outlined in Self-care: An Essential Ingredient For A Healthy Mind & Body.

Emotional wellness examples

Practising emotional wellness means that you need to move out of your comfort zone, like:

  • Not taking criticism from your boss too personally and instead focussing on how you could use this feedback as a challenge to improve your skillset

 

  • Taking a walk with friends when you’re feeling anxious or upset and would rather be curled up alone on the couch.

Emotional wellness allows you to experience a range of feelings and will enable you to manage stress or adapt to difficult situations better. At Topmed we encourage good mental health, so practise emotional wellness for improved body and mind. Get in touch today and sign up for cover for yourself and your family.

 

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