Improving emotional health

For our physical health to work at optimum level, our emotional health needs to do the same. It is impossible to have one without the other.

But for us to improve our emotional health, we first need to recognise our emotions, and what they mean; we need to understand them. Once we sort the causes out behind our emotions, like stress, anxiety and sadness, we will manage our emotions and health a whole lot better.

The following suggestions may be helpful:

  • Expressing our feelings is an important key to maintaining optimum health. Talking to someone you can trust is part of the process. If you don’t have anyone you can talk to, a doctor would be a good starting point. Your doctor will then advise you on your best course of action;
  • Resilience helps us cope with stress as and when it happens. With different strategies in place, resilience can be learned and strengthened. These strategies include social support, accepting that life brings inevitable change, keeping things in balance;
  • Relaxing and focusing on ourselves helps calm the mind and body. A good method of relaxation is meditation, or spending 10 minutes on our own, so we can focus on ourselves;
  • Living a balanced life is another way of improving our emotional health;
  • Keep a journal of what’s making us stressed or anxious is another good way. Sometimes seeing something written down helps bring about positive change.
  • Make time for the things you enjoy;
  • Deal with the issues that are stopping us from moving on;
  • Taking good care of ourselves. Eating healthy meals, taking exercise regularly and avoid drinking too much alcohol.

Carrying emotional baggage will hurt us more in the longer term. Although speaking our truth won’t make us popular, it will bring about necessary change and perhaps that needs to happen.

Our truth will always be open to other people’s interpretation, but it can always be done in a conciliatory way that helps bring about peace. It’s important we say what we feel and what’s on our mind.

22 Aug, 2010

6 thoughts on “Improving emotional health

  1. Good tips Ilana!

    I must add that nurses are someone you can talk to also as being a nurse I have had several occasions to talk with patients about problems they are having, that’s one benefit of the nursing profession to help others. Some doctors just want to deal with what you’re there for and nothing else. I’ve had the unfortunate time to be in this situation.

    When we found out mom’s cancer was back in her bones the doctor said he didn’t have time to discuss our concerns with us! Needless to say we didn’t see him anymore, we went to another doctor that would address our concerns. He really cared. I agree with everything you’ve addressed here. Again very good!

    1. Thanks Lisa. You are right, although nurses are probably not seen as counselors, but in their capacity dealing with poorly people, they know a lot more about their patients with all their complicated medical problems and will be able to empathise and help them out greatly there. You probably know more than some of the doctors… I’m sure of that.

      As you rightly point out Lisa there are good and bad doctors, it’s a case of sifting out the bad ones so we only get to see the good ones! Thanks for your wonderful comment.

  2. I do find it interesting how some people talk only about emotional health and some only discuss physical health, when really the two should be taken as one subject. Experience tends to hand this realization to us the hard way at times.

    As Randy said, these ideas are well-expressed as always. These really are good ideas.

    I must be honest and say that reading this blog and chatting with you over Daily Strength has been very valuable to me for getting an understanding of what I can do start living a more positive life, (I guess it has helped that we both have CP, but still I feel very thankful).

    1. David, I’m not sure people fully understand the connections between their physical and emotional health, which is why they may only talk about their emotional health.. although some don’t manage to do that either.

      Thank you for your kind comments of me. It’s great that we are friends and here for one another.

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