Improving emotional health

For our physical health to work at optimum level, we need our emotional health to do the same. It’s impossible to have one without the other.

For us to improve our emotional health, we firstly need to recognise we have emotions, what they mean so that we can understand them. Once we sort out the causes behind our emotions, like stress, anxiety and sadness, we will manage our emotions and health a whole lot better.

The following tips may also be of some help:

  • Expression and expressing one’s feelings is an important key to maintaining optimum health. Talking about how you feel to someone you can trust is vital.  If you cannot find someone to talk to, a doctor would be a good starting point. Your doctor will then advise your best course of action;
  • Resilience helps us cope with stress as and when it happens. With different strategies, resilience can be learned and strengthened. These strategies include social support, accepting that with life brings inevitable change, keeping things in balance;
  • Relaxing is a good way to unwind as it helps calm the mind and body. A good method of relaxation to learn is meditation, or spending 10 minutes on your own. It’s a way of bringing our emotions back into focus;
  • Living a balanced life is also another way of helping us improve our emotional health. It’s important that whilst we deal with negativity, we try to focus on the positive aspects of our life;
  • Keeping a journal of stress, anxiety and negative thoughts can help bring about positive change. Make time for the things you enjoy, whilst trying at some level to deal with the issues that stop you from moving on. Letting go is important as is dealing with the issues we’ve yet to deal with;
  • Take good care of yourself so that you can implement all the above.  Eat healthy meals, take exercise regularly and avoid drinking too much alcohol.

I have seen first-hand how difficult it is to function, let alone stay emotionally well, without talking about how we feel.

Carrying emotional baggage will only serve to hurt us more in the longer term. Speaking our truth may not make us altogether popular, but it will bring about those inevitable changes for us and that’s how it should be.

We don’t look to hurt anyone, but working on others’ perceptions of what we say is always difficult. What we say will always be open to different interpretation, but if speaking the truth in a conciliatory way helps bring peace into your life, then it’s important to continue to stick to saying what you feel.

It will eventually become your lifestyle choice.

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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