Emotional health is something very important since it impacts not only our physical health but also several other aspects of our life. Absence of emotional health can even torpedo our success in life. A person who has emotional issues will have insomnia, indigestion and would find no charm or enthusiasm in doing anything. He would nurse negative emotions and it can turn to be dangerous. “Unchecked anger, depression, resentment, anxiety, and stress have the effect on your emotional and physical health like battery acid dripping on you 24 hours a day” warns Robyn Openshaw.
An emotionally weak person would usually withdraw from society, avoid social interactions and confine to his den. It could come to a precarious stage where he would start questioning the very meaning of life. He would eventually lose his faith in humanity and self worth. When emotional health is in turmoil the biggest off shoot is the lowering of our level of self-esteem. We have to meditate and search within us as to where and how things have gone wrong, deal with those things troubling us, and find remedy. We may even need to seek outside help sometimes. Jessica Moor says “When our past wounds get reactivated over and over again in our lives, they can throw our emotions seriously out of balance.”
Happiness life long
We can get into a conscious effort to wipe out those harmful emotions and step into the sunshine of a happy way of life.
Emotional wellness is not just about managing our emotions and feelings. It’s a lifelong process of becoming a strong person; it is a sound philosophy, an attitude, and life style. Noam Spencer puts it aptly like this: “mental health is not a destination, but a process. It is about how we drive, not where you are going.”
The secret of well being is plunging ourselves into a lot of mind building,energy boosting activities. But prior to that we need to identify our dreams and goals in life; need to have a focus and a sense of purpose in life. I you are a student you may set your eyes on becoming a great doctor pilot or something. If you are a family person you would wish to offer spouse and kid a wonderful life through your career progression etc.
In your path of achieving things you have definitely faced many hardships and disheartening things that have hurt you -caused tremendous embarrassment. You were upset over numerous things, but understand these are normal in human life. You are not the first man there to face adversities and calamities. We need to overcome our anger, resentments, anxiety etcetera.
Let us now talk about the activities that would change your life pattern.
Engage in activities that spark positive emotions
Walking over the sand and shells on a wet sea shore or among flowers in a beautiful garden, watching the clouds, listening to the birds chirping etc can help you to come out of your gloom, mental stress and turmoil. It can catapult you out of yourself, expel your grim emotions and put you in the greater joy God Almighty has set for you. Letting yourself fill with awe and splendors of nature and God’s glory minimizes stress, anxiety, and depression and fills your heart with immense and everlasting joy.
If you are an introvert that doesn’t matter; come out of that shell and make friends and connect with others in meaningful ways. Friendship is sharing of joy and sorrow. We have numerous examples where people have come out of their difficult situations and dreary existence with the active support of friends. Helen Keller was a totally dejected girl but she found meaning in life through the influence of her teacher and guide. All her achievements in life were because of the tremendous impact made by that great friend.
With friends we can share experiences and get enriched by their knowledge and experiences in life. Such powerful influences nurture and enhance emotional health.
For the wonderful gift of life and the glories offered to us in many ways we need to be deep in gratitude to God, our parents , family, kid’s, teachers etcetera. In some people we find this feeling of gratitude missing and it is a great drawback. In order to be part of this universe and its abundant bounty we need to have that feeling of gratitude. This would enable us to draw energy and glory from this universe, to bring in happiness into life and that brings forth emotional health. When you begin to appreciate the positives in your friends and family, your negative emotions, false approach and reactions begin to vanish. You may go off balance occasionally but would soon come back to even keel with your positive approach to life.
Look at this world and smile
Instead of getting upset with the annoying things that happen, try to take everything lightly. What you today think as a serious problem may vanish sometimes by itself tomorrow. I am not advocating inaction on all occasions -certain issues are needed to be encountered. But not all issues. Many a times we worry much about some things that are not really very important in life or relevant to our future. Having a sense of humor and allowing you to appreciate the lighter side of life provide a lot of mental relief and it is a good tonic for health.
Erin Haugen’s advise
Psychiatrist Haugen suggests engaging in at least one joy-promoting activity every day. These activities may be actually simple activities like feeding birds, watering plants, listening to music or caring pets etcetera. She advises us to play games we like or dance to whatever tune we liked as a kid back in school.
What is most significant among her advices is to become more creative. Tapping into our creativity and imagination helps us to express our emotions and promotes a sense of novelty and challenge that stimulates our senses and nudges us. Make it a part of your nature to look for fun in whatever you do and over a period of time you would learn to handle your emotional life better and reap its rich dividends. I conclude this article with the words of Sarah Ban Breathnach, the best-selling author, philanthropist and public speaker:
“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend…when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.”
Jose Vazhuthanapilly, BSc., LLB, DBM, CAIIB Retired in 2008 as AGM from State Bank of India. He had worked as a visiting faculty in the Bank’s Staff Training Centers for 5 years. He is a writer with 20 books to his credit including books on self-help/ psychology. He resides in Ernakulam, Kochi. He is active also in social service. He can be contacted at Josevazhuthanapilly@gmail.com