Six tips for emotional health and wellbeing

Tips for emotional health and wellbeing

When somebody feels emotionally and mentally overwhelmed it could that they are heading for or having an emotional breakdown. Normal daily life becomes an impossibility.

Even something simple such as having a shower, going to meet a friend or a trip to the supermarket can seem too much. In fact, everything can feel terrifying.

Also called reaching rock bottom, burnout, or having a mental or nervous breakdown, there can be lots of reasons for such a debilitating emotional state. It can last from days to years.

Life problems that are known to bring on an emotional breakdown include relationships ending, financial insecurity, illness and injury, bereavement, trauma and stress.

Major warning signs of emotional breakdown

Major signs of emotional breakdown

Living in this era of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is making existing issues much worse for many people. For others, it is causing problems for the first time.

Either way, more than ever it pays to know the possible warning signs of emotional breakdown. They can present differently in people, although here are some aspects to look out for in yourself or anyone you know.

  • Dizziness.
  • Unhealthy eating.
  • Anxiety.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Shaking/trembling.
  • Stomach upsets.
  • Depression (sometimes with suicidal thoughts).
  • Drug addiction and/or alcohol abuse/alcoholism.
  • Loss of care for personal hygiene and appearance.
  • Emotional outbursts, sometimes for no apparent reason.
  • Sweating.
  • Loss of sense of self.
  • Stress.
  • Trauma flashbacks.
  • Isolation.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Paranoia.
  • Muscle tension.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Chest tightness and/or pain.
  • Clammy hands.
  • General apathy towards life.
  • Nightmares.
  • Insomnia.

Getting and staying emotionally well

Getting and staying emotionally well

If a person is emotionally well you can often spot it immediately. They will usually be relaxed with a steady self-assuredness.

They will be able to fully focus on every task or conversation โ€“ and when there are any problems they always seem to know the best way to handle them. Thankfully, there are certain simple things that anyone can do to help themselves gain emotional wellness โ€“ and then keep it.

1. Be here now

Stoic philosopher Epictetus said something about 2,000 years ago that is still relevant and important today: โ€œCaretake this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. Quit evasions. Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.โ€

If we avoid problems or put anything off that needs to be done, we start to weigh ourselves down. By living in the moment โ€“ and a day at a time โ€“ we can deal with and do whatever needs to be down as it arises. 

Do only one thing at a time and focus absolutely on it. This way even the seemingly mundane can be fascinating โ€“ think of the childlike wonder we all once had and that’s because children nearly always live in the moment.

As well, do not regret or have remorse for the past or worry about the future. No one really knows what will happen tomorrow and worrying about it won’t change a thing โ€“ except ruin the present moment with worry. 

Likewise, no amount of regret or remorse can change the past. But learning and growing from it can make sure that we do not repeat mistakes.

Keeping life in the present moment means your emotional wealth is not getting spent up in the past or the future. Instead, it’s there for each and every moment as it happens.

2. Stop, meditate and listen

Many emotionally healthy people realise the benefit of meditation. Perhaps especially on waking up, meditation has been known for centuries to help us. It’s obvious that if on waking up you rush headlong into everything that needs doing that day, your emotional energy levels are not going to be at their best.

Starting a day in calm and stillness, focussing on such as your breathing, will give the greatest emotional energy for the day ahead. It can be beneficial in fact to relax and be calm at any time of the day.

Emotionally healthy people know they need to relax like this at regular intervals. Meditation is the ultimate relaxation.

Think of it as recharging your phone’s battery. Our phone can do so many amazing things, but if the battery is flat it’s just as useful as a rock.

3. Always look on the bright sideโ€ฆ

Someone who’s emotionally strong will habitually be focussing on everything they have in life. They will be full of optimism โ€“ and this gives great energy and motivation. It will actually release the body’s feel-good chemicals and is wonderful for emotional wellbeing.

Emotionally healthy people also know quickly when something is out of their hands and can let it go rather than using up emotional and physical energy chasing shadows. They realise that there’s one thing always in our control โ€“ and that is our attitude and response to something.

If we reach acceptance swiftly about anything over which we are powerless it means we can get on with life. We will have a clearer mind and more emotional vitality for things that we can influence or change.

4. Let resentments go

When someone has done something that causes a resentment, an emotionally healthy person can let it go. They won’t let that person (or institution) stay “rent free” in their head. 

In fact a person who is emotionally healthy will barely get resentments. Clinging on to a resentment takes lots of our emotional resilience and potency.

Someone with healthy emotional wellbeing will be sincerely interested in others and always looking to help other people. Letting go of resentments allows them to do this much more and to their greatest ability.

Emotionally well people know that forgiveness is good for the world around them โ€“ and also themselves. Keeping a resentment against someone is really like drinking poison โ€“ then waiting for the other person to die from it.

5. Make sure you’re connected

A key aspect of many mental health conditions including addiction is that people feel disconnected from other people and frequently the world around them too. Emotionally healthy people understand the phrase “everyone is one.” They will always focus on similarities and not the differences.

An emotionally well person feels the connection they have with other people and with nature too. They will listen carefully to try to understand other people โ€“ even if they disagree with that person’s behaviour or point of view. This is because emotionally strong people are in tune with their spirit โ€“ something that naturally comes with such as meditation, as well as knowing how to pay attention to feelings including the often overlooked gut instinct.

A key aspect of emotional wellbeing is being connected to your own feelings. This means knowing yourself and that leads to finding meaning in life. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl wrote in his bestselling book Man’s Search For Meaning that it’s having a meaning that gives happiness to people’s lives.

6. Show self-love

This means exercising five times a week for 30 minutes, at least, and eating and drinking healthily. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and eating at regular times every day, without rushing any meals.

Anyone who’s emotionally well will also take care of their appearance. So they will dress accordingly and also carry themselves well. Because they value themselves they will know to value their time too and always be thinking of how they can contribute to the world around them every day, whether that’s their family, workplace or community.

Healthy boundaries will come naturally too. It’s a certain sign of emotional wellbeing.

Emotional health is always helped by sleeping well too โ€“ for at least seven hours each night. Sleep revitalises our emotional health and wellbeing.

Finally, having self-love means having kind thoughts. Emotionally well people know they have a choice over which of their thoughts they pay attention to each day. So they will swiftly banish the negative and critical thoughts โ€“ about others as well as about themselves โ€“ and instead focus on kind and loving thoughts. This all gives positive feelings and that keeps up their healthy emotional wellbeing.

Frequently it is only when someone has an emotional breakdown or hits rock bottom that they will do something. It could be said that breaking down is waking up. Many emotionally healthy people today reached this point and chose to look at ways to help themselves.

Our excellent team of experienced professionals has helped people with all emotional and mental health problems. Get in touch with us today at CFHH for a confidential chat to find out how we can help you or someone you love.

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