Mental and Emotional Health is the next component to talk about in The 6 Components of Wellness series. Last week I touched base on Physical Health. Now we will talk about how we can start to gain Mental and Emotional Health.
So, what is Mental and Emotional health? The Mental Health Foundation has a great definition…
‘A positive sense of wellbeing which enables an individual to be able to function in society and meet the demands of everyday life; people in good mental health have the ability to recover effectively from illness, change or misfortune.’
Emotional wellbeing is an important part of wellness; it helps us recover from life’s stressors. Having M&E Heath can help you overcome loss, gain, illness, and all the other things life likes to through our way. It honestly just helps you get through the day.
After some careful thought and meditation I have come up with 6 parts that have helped me gain Mental and Emotional health. Let’s just jump right to it
- Physical health
- Being clutter free
We already talked about a few of these in the past post of the series and I am sure we will talk about some of them in the next 4 Components of Wellness yet to be covered. I mentioned every part of wellness is connected; they all help one another. I think the best part of a wellness journey, is while you’re working on one component you’re actually working on multiple components.
As I mentioned in the past, sleep is important to your health in a number of ways. Having a healthy sleep routine is essential to your Mental and Emotional health because it helps you relieve stress and stabilizes your mental wellbeing. You should have a healthy sleep hygiene routine before bed and in the morning. Allowing yourself to get 6-9 hours of restful sleep will improve your mood, stress bashing capabilities, body image and memory.
Something that we found, and use in our home, is guided meditations and sleep hypnosis’s videos that help build a healthy sleep cycle. We use free ones that are all over YouTube. They can help you fall asleep and stay sleep for the whole night. Getting enough sleep through the night helps you in the morning too; you can get out of bed, perform your morning routine and feel well rested. Being well rested helps your stress levels stay even throughout the day, fatigue, cravings and even headaches.
Physical health is important for your M&E health because it gives you self esteem, positive body image and relieves stress. How can you not feel good about taking care of your body? You can’t. When you take care of your physical health something changes in your mental health too; it makes you want to do more, learn more and stay healthy. Check out my last blog The 6 Components to Wellness: Physical Health to give yourself some ideas on how to improve your physical health.
Besides therapy, meditation and being mindful are probably the most important practices I have found to help my emotional wellbeing. We will talk about therapy in a little; let’s start with being mindful.
Mindfulness is an act of being receptive while holding your attention open to the present without judging the activities, thoughts, or emotions that we are constantly dealing with on a daily basis. Being mindful helps you to not judge your
thoughts and feelings, good or bad. When you are able to open yourself up you can stop letting your life pass you by. Some people refer to it as living in the moment. A good mindful practice lets us live in the moment while being aware of what is going on around you. It empowers you to learn from the experiences life is handing you, while you are living those experiences.
Meditation helps mindfulness go to a new level. Quieting your mind not only helps relief stress and helps sleep, it can help you learn who you are, where you are going and pretty much every answer to every question you ever wanted answered. It takes practice. I am not saying you should sit in full lotus, “Om’ing” for hours and hours. I am saying stop and breathe through your stress. Stop and quiet your mind for a few moments every day until you can learn to sit for 30 minutes at a time. Even 5 or 10 minutes can make a huge difference in your day. Simple mantras are very helpful in the practice of meditation and mindfulness.
When you are feeling stressed try to stop, take a few deep breaths and say to yourself something like “I am safe, I am calm, I choose to be here” It takes 30 seconds to remind ourselves that we are going to make it through whatever may be raising our stress levels. I learned this from Grace Smith, her hypno-affirmation is one of the best ways I have learned to slow myself back down and bring me back to the present. If you haven’t already you should really check Grace Smith out, she is an AMAZING women she will help you!
Meditation, mantras, affirmations and simply quieting one’s self are all great ways to bring us back to our mindfulness practice and keep our emotional wellbeing stable. All of this takes practice but as you practice your mental health improves and the less you need to stop throughout your day to refocus because it will become first nature.
Therapy is the most important part of mental and emotional health if you have any mental disorders, depression or anxiety. A therapist can help you find coping practices and give you information about medicines that may help regulate you if you need them.
I am not a medical professional and if you are feeling like you need a therapist you should contact your doctor. Therapy is for anyone of any age and it should not be looked down upon. I believe therapy can help everyone. There are many forms of therapy; behavior, hypno, art, talk, play and your doctor can help you find the right one for you. Sometimes your therapist can become a “friend”.
I talked a little about gratitude and positive attitudes in Don’t B!+ch About it; Be About It. Your M&E health can improve with a positive change in your attitude. Having a positive attitude and surrounding yourself with positive people will help you see the gifts life is giving you; this also helps you become more mindful.
A good way to get in the habit of positive thinking is starting a gratitude journal/practice. Adding gratitude journaling to your morning and nightly routine will change your mental health. Every morning, think of three to five things you are grateful for, say them out loud, to the mirror or journal them so you can go back to them later in the day. Then do the same before bed to finish off your day with a positive ending. This can change anyone’s sleep health, going to bed positive and thankful. (Win, win!)
It is good to include your family in this practice also, especially at the dinner table. Telling your partner why you are thankful for them can help lighten up their day along with yours. It is okay for it to be the small things; any positive thing is something to be thankful for. Gratitude and positivity is a great way to exercise mindfulness throughout the day. Being positive lifts the dark cloud over your thoughts and helps your mind clear. There is nothing better for your mental and emotional wellbeing then a clear head.
This brings me to the last part of Mental and Emotional health, being clutter free. Have you ever had the best day away from home just to come home to a cluttered messy house? Clutter is self damaging. It drains all the good thoughts and replaces them with everything you should have, could have, would have BUT didn’t. It holds lots of stress, dirt and germs. Holding on to things that are not needed can add unwanted stress. Not just for yourself but for your friends and family too. Having stuff everywhere raises anxiety levels, holds onto negative vibes and kind of just sucks. This all affects your body and mind. You cannot have a clear mind without a clear space to clear your mind in. You are not going to be able to think of positive things when you are over whelmed with the negativity of stuff. Donating can be like paying it forward, selling it can help add extra money to the family; both things will help relieve the most common everyday stressor, finances. Clearing your space will clear your mind. It will feel like a burden off your mind, body and soul.
Mental and Emotional health is just one step towards wellness. There are so many steps on the wellness journey. The good thing is they all help each other. Once you work on one it leads to the other. Taking it one day at a time will help you climb the staircase of health. Once you devote yourself to a journey of wellness you will start to see and feel the benefits of the journey, and want to learn more and work towards a better life. As you move forward every step becomes natural and it is easier to move on to the next.
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