More often than not, emotions can get the better of you to such an extent, that you feel you can no longer cope. To begin with, it’s important to realise that floods of emotion are part of the human condition. Regardless of whether you’ve suffered a major tragedy or feel overwhelmed by what appear to be minor issues, having strong feelings is normal. The question is how you deal with these emotions and how to get through. This article aims to explore some simple ways to improve your emotional health.
Acknowledge and Accept Your Emotions
Whatever the set of emotions that’s overcoming you, be it anger, sadness, grief or pain, you firstly need to acknowledge your feelings. Befriend your feelings and realise that they are part of who you are. In all probability, these feelings serve a purpose. Trying to ignore, suppress or push them aside may work in the short-term but is probably a long-term recipe for disaster. So, when strong feelings well up, accept them as part of who you are. Whatever you do, do not berate yourself for having strong feelings. After all, you are human, and human beings have feelings.
Some psychologists call this process “validating feeling” which is indeed a very crucial process. When you validate your own feelings, you take them seriously and are willing to process them for improved happiness.
Take a Step Back and Calm Down
Another simple way to improve your emotional health is to take a step back when you are at the height of your emotions. After acknowledging and accepting your feelings, it’s best to try to take a step back. Acting out when emotions are raw is rarely a fruitful endeavour. Instead, put some distance between yourself and these emotions without suppressing them. This may seem like a contradiction but what you are in fact doing is cooling down so that you can take a more rational look at what is really going on. There are lots of practical and simple ways to improve your emotional health. Everyone has different ways of finding a calm space, including:
- Taking a walk outside
- Talking to a friend
- Working out
- Physical work or leisure activity
- Distracting yourself with a book or something else you enjoy
- Meditation or prayer
- Get creative; write, paint, make do
Physical exertion is a great way to calm down, but, whatever you do, sooner or later you will be calmer and better positioned to look at what’s made those feelings well up.
Explore the Root Issue
Once you’ve calmed down and feel less raw, begin to explore why you may be feeling that way. What is really behind those strong emotions? You may or may not be able to identify the root cause of your troubles. If you struggle, discuss your feelings with a friend or a professional. Sometimes, by expressing our feelings, their power vanes and you get a grip on your emotions.
As soon as you have identified the root of your strong emotions, you’ll probably begin to calm down. If you have major issue to overcome, you are going to have to give yourself the time and space to do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend or professional. What is undoubtedly crucial to remember is that every single person struggles with issues, so you are never alone. If you want simple ways to improve your emotional health, it’s best to seek support rather than struggle alone. Regardless of what the issue, there is bound to be a support network of friends, professional, or co-suffers in your area. Seek them out.
Find Ways of Tackling the Issue
Let’s say you’ve realised that you got extremely upset about some issues at work. In all probability, you’ll be reluctant or afraid to tackle the issue. Other people may be involved whom you may or may not get on with. Whatever the case may be, tackling an issue can be a scary prospect. Most people would rather not. Nonetheless, if you remember back at how you’ve resolved issues in the past, you’ll soon see the value of doing so. Again, speak to a friend, support group or professional to find ways of making necessary changes.
Confronting problems is difficult, but necessary for your emotional health. Burying your head in the sand won’t work in the long run. It’s important to remember the reason for tackling your issues, which is ultimately finding better emotional health and happiness.
Try to Tackle the Issue
As soon you have decided to tackle the issue, don’t delay. The longer you leave it, the harder it’s going to get. You’ll find lots of reason to procrastinate and shy away from doing so. Whether it’s grief you need to progress through, a conflict that you need to resolve, or a personal problem you need to face, you are brave to try to tackle the issue. Keep reminding yourself of the value of doing so, ask for whatever support you can get, and proceed as soon as possible.
Be gentle in your approach. Gentle toward yourself and whoever else is involved. Acting like an elephant in a porcelain store rarely works, and you want to spare your own and your counterpart’s feelings in as much as that is possible.
Ongoing Issues – The Healing Process
Most problems don’t get resolved in a single sitting. Emotional health is an ongoing issue that continues after you’ve taken the first steps to tackle it. Give yourself plenty of time to heal and don’t expect overnight results. More often than not, overcoming traumatic emotional experiences takes time and patience. Even just acknowledging and accepting that the healing process takes time is the first simple way to improve your emotional health.
Every day, you’ll grow a little in strength, and the pain will begin to ease gradually.
Maintaining Emotional Health – A Daily Job
Everyone is fragile and needs to gently look after a medley of feelings. Your life and the people and relationships in it produce an array of varying emotions every day. That’s just the way it is. By embracing your own vulnerability and the richness of your emotions, you’ll be able to integrate and process all your feelings as they arise and be the wonderful person that you are.