It looks as if the world has come to a standstill right now. For the most part that is true and it has turned our lives upside down. Emotional wellness has always been a crucial aspect of our lives. However, it is now more important to focus on wellbeing, both emotional and physical.
Our lives, in general, were full of distractions such as being at work, lunches, and dinners, partying, shopping, entertainment of all sorts, etc. When all this is taken away, we are left with ourselves and overflowing set of emotions.
From an emotional state of being perspective, we ignore and deflect a lot of feelings by distracting ourselves.
We are, in most cases, quite defensive by nature. This helps us protect from the potential damage that we think it will cause us. For that reason alone, we would avoid confronting ourselves to deal with the feelings and emotions that we are going through.
What is Emotional Wellness?
To understand what Emotional Wellness is, we need to first know what are emotions. In simple terms, “a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others”, is what we call an emotion.
Some commonly recognized emotions are happiness, sadness, anger, nervousness, fear, disgust, and surprise. Although, how we feel and react to them could differ from one person to another.
For example, remember your first job interview, you know how scary that was. You were most likely scared, anxious, and nervous all at the same time. However, that changes when you gained experience in your work life. Job interviews won’t be as scary as they were.
Similarly, if we have made bad investments in the past, the idea of investment will always bring fear.
According to NLP terminology, this is “perception bias”. Our decisions and reaction are usually based on experience and emotions. If a situation brings fear we are likely to stay away from it and on the other hand, if it brings excitement or happiness we will carry on with it.
Emotional Wellness is a practice that helps us balance these aspects of life. It is not possible to remove some of the harmful emotions, however, we can learn to manage them in a healthier manner.
By now we all have realized the fact that both physiological and emotional well-being are equally important. There has been a noteworthy level of importance that has been given to the physical health.
You would have noticed for sure that a lot of people have changed their lifestyles completely. From eating healthy to working out frequently and paying attention to minute details about their general health.
Why is it more important now?
While the attention towards physical wellness has grown substantially, for some reason growth in Emotional health has been comparatively slower. This is not because no one wants to take care of their mental state of mind. A possible reason is the lack of knowledge about how everyday emotions and feelings affect us.
Let’s take an example of our regular work day. How often do we pay attention to the level of stress that we go through. Oh yeah, we come back home and complain about it with our partners, which by the way, is basically transferring the emotion to them as well.
That’s one way how we, directly and indirectly, absorb these states. But, have you thought about the people who have severe conditions such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar. Think about it for a second, do you think that sometimes voluntarily or involuntarily we end up leaving them in an exaggerated set of emotions.
Over 3 Billion people in the world are under lockdown in various countries. This has resulted in a huge influx of emotional outbursts within the society that we live in. For obvious reasons, this was inevitable. We are social beings and without physical contact with each other, we would crumble.
I am sure there are people who don’t have any issues with the current policies. However, there’s a chunk of the population that thrived on many things that are not accessible at the moment. They are particularly not happy with being stuck indoors.
The reason why it is more important to focus on our psychological health is primarily because of what we are facing right now. This situation, in a way, is a large scale social experiment.
Let’s take a look at how ignoring our emotional wellness affects us.
Our emotional well-being is linked to plenty of benefits at the same time when ignore it can have adverse effects on our health.
One of the first effects is a high blood pressure. It has been known throughout that stress has been one of the major contributors towards heart attacks or cardiovascular diseases. Stress can also affect the fertility in human beings, especially in men.
Depression is a mental disorder where someone goes through severe sadness, constant fatigue and lack of interest in performing their regular tasks. It affects their ability to make decisions which can lead to a very tough life battle that will be hard to win.
Grief is an intense feeling of sorrow due to some form of loss. In most cases it is death of a loved one. Some people experience lack of sleep and poor appetite which eventually brings other health issues. It can lead towards depression & alcohol/drug abuse as well.
People that suffer from severe anxiety will typically have panic attacks, headaches and unbearable breathing problems. Most of these emotions are interconnected and sometimes one things leads to another. The anxiety alone is quite life threatening as well.
A recent study indicated that lung capacity was significantly lower in people who were angry and hostile. Anger is also known to be associated with liver and gallbladder. When some lives in prolonged state of rage, they’re bound to see their organs getting affected
The intensity of guilt someone experiences can vary. One would suffer from low to mild levels, if they are guilty of having being rude to someone (for example). On the other hand, let’s assume that someone is responsible for a mishap in someone else’s life it could be far worse.
I remember watching the movie “Joker” lead by Joaquin Phoenix. You would agree that it is one of the outstanding performance delivered by the actor. After Heath Ledger’s delivery, it was tough for anyone to fill in those shoes.
Going back and watching those little clips on YouTube. This visit leads me to the comment section where the majority of people complained that movies like those could have a negative impact on society.
To a certain level, I agreed to that comment because movies and media have an influence on us and our psychologies. The movie showed that someone with a mental disorder and who is not happy with the society will resort to criminal ways.
What surprised me later was, why didn’t we pay attention to the poor man’s suffering?
The joker in one of the scenes, complains that if he was lying on the roadside and people would just pass by without even noticing him. What if, someone would have shown him the compassion he deserved.
Nobody thought of it in a way that we let so many people suffer from mental illness and refuse to seek help. Not because they don’t want to but most likely because they are afraid and embarrassed.
Do you know the difference between Psychiatrist and Psychologist?
Some of you will say yes, some will say no and some will say that I just realized that there are 2 of these things.
Just because we get angry some days, grieve at one point or are stressed out at work doesn’t mean that we have a mental problem. Even a healthy person will go through these emotions from time to time. Some more frequently than others.
Think about people who live in a prolonged state of these emotions. Do you know someone that is angry all the time, stressed out every other day, or showing signs of lack of interest in daily activity?
Some studies and news reports
Considering that in normal circumstances, we meet a lot of people in regular lives that we would surely come across people with emotional imbalance. According to a WHO report, one in four people suffers from some sort of neurological or mental disorder. About 2/3rd of that population would not seek help to avoid stigma and discrimination.
Nearly 10 million men and women are physically abused by their partners each year. This number is just for the United States. Global statistics could be far more shocking.
Hubei province in China reported a 3 times increase in the number of domestic violence cases. With the lockdown in place, the vulnerable ones have no escape than to live in this horrific situation. Each day is a threat to them.
Another study conducted among a sample of the Belgian population reported a rise in susceptibility in people. Only 25% of the population was highly resilient towards stress. 31% of the people were medium risk, 21% were high risk and 23% were high risk on toxic levels.
Do you see what I mean by why emotional wellness is important now more than ever?
Let me share an example from my personal life. I suffered 3 heart attacks in the span of last 3.5 years. First couple of them were because of excessive cigarette smoking and the 3rd one was due mismanaged stress. Most people who are in touch with me know about it.
What they don’t know is the amount of anxiety I went through, mild levels of depression and all arriving from PTSD. I knew that I can’t rely on medicine to find a cure for all the emotional imbalances that I was going through.
Being a firm believer in the energy work and related subjects, I quickly turned towards alternate therapy. Thanks to a friend that helped my find a valuable resource in energy work and some came up from my research.
It is important to identify, recognize, and admit that there is a problem. That’s when you would look for a solution. The more people become aware of it, the more likely they are able to seek help. There is a type of help available for whatever works best for you.
Let me share some basic ideas on how to improve emotional health.
These ideas are meant to give you a starting point on things that you can do to manage your feelings and emotions. They are by no means the only way to go. It may work for some and not for others, you can always try something new that works for you.
Do note that this is not medical advice and don’t just entirely depend on this. If you are ever in doubt, please seek professional advice.
Awareness of Triggers
Be aware of the triggers that throw you off the balance. It could be someone you know that is toxic in nature, a situation that you throw yourself in or it may be your work environment. Identifying them by paying close attention to the markers during the phase when you have a mental setback will help.
Once you know what causes these issues, you can be better prepared to handle it before you put yourself in those situations. I am not saying that you should avoid your daily life in that process. However, there are plenty of circumstances that we come across which can be easily ignored. To be honest, in most cases they are not worth it!
Build a Support System
What I call a support system is something that can neutralize the effect of overwhelming feelings. For example, we all have a friend or a family member that we can confide in and share what we are going through. Some people are naturally good at making us feel better.
Some people would spend time in natural environments, pursuing a hobby, gardening, or reading something pleasant. The idea is to achieve a state of calmness at that moment and once we are stable, we can reflect and try to find a resolution that will help us overcome these situations better.
Build a Healthy Routine
It is crucial that we practice a healthy routine in our regular life. I don’t mean to imply to have a day full of activities and follow it down the minute. In most cases that will be counterproductive. Include waking up earlier than what you would normally do. It gives you enough time to breathe and get into the proper headspace.
Make your bed (Sounds easy, but most people struggle) as soon as you wake up. It gives signals to your brain that the lazy time is over. Plus, just by doing this on a daily basis can significantly improve your discipline levels.
Other things such a simple and easy walk, at least a healthy breakfast, taking a break and listening to your favorite song or a podcast or maybe read a book.
When you inculcate these habits in your regular life, it will become a part of you. On the days when you don’t feel 100%, you would naturally feel inclined to at least do these basics that have helped you keep you in focus.
What we are trying to achieve here is conditioning our brain consciously so that it helps you from subconscious during a bad day.
Knowing what our limitations are, is crucial to our growth. We all have flaws, the way we can fix them when admit to having flaws. I am not talking about negative self-talk. If we truly have a desire to live a fulfilling life, we need to overcome our fear of self-confrontation.
If I admit the fact I get stressed out a lot, like really dig in and tell myself that. I am more likely to take steps to get rid of the things that I that cause me stress. It’s like we have a bone fracture and we apply a band-aid and hope that it gets resolved.
There are some of the flaws that may not be fixed, such as it’s a physical condition. We need to accept ourselves the way we are and look at a 1000 other things we are in good shape of. Let’s just be grateful, I don’t we can be truly grateful without accepting ourselves the way we are first.
Learn to Meditate
We always come up with excuses not to get into meditations. Anyone could have second thoughts about it, considering that we know so little about the subject.
It has gotten science’s attention for decades and as per various researches, there have been noticeable benefits. Especially someone who has anger management issues, anxiety, stress and even depression.
I agree with you that it may seem like a daunting process, to begin with. The good thing is, unlike any other exercise regime, you don’t have to start with long sessions. Give it a try with a 2 min session each day for a couple of weeks and take it from there.
Promoting products is something that I wouldn’t prefer here, however, I want to share an app with you that I have found extremely helpful getting you started. Soulvana by Mindvalley is a great app to give it a try. It is available for both android and apple products.
They have a free version and a premium version for just $10.00 a year. Their paid version is definitely worth it. Try out their free option and see how it goes.
We as a society will have to work together if we are aiming to make this world a better place. Treat people with kindness because sometimes we won’t know what they are going through within. If we cannot make someone’s day better, then let’s just make it a point not to make it any harder than it already is.
I hope everyone stays safe, take care of your emotional and physical health. Remember that our body is our invisible soul and soul is our invisible body. Once we strike a balance between our physical and mental health, there is nothing that we can’t accomplish.