The Emotional Health segment of the Wellness Wheel is about your feelings and emotions. Issues that are involved in your emotional health are:
- Your sense of well-being.
- Your mood stability.
- Balance between emotional states within you.
- Your ability to cope with the normal challenges of life.
- Your ability to lead a productive life.
Your emotional health is most closely linked to your spiritual health and intellectual health. Your emotional health can give you clues about your spiritual health. It can be regulated by your thinking and intellectual health. It is also linked to your physical health. If you are feeling good, you will live longer.
Your emotional health is specifically affected by your brain health, because chemicals and hormones that occur naturally in your brain are necessary for you to experience the sensations from your emotions. If your brain chemistry becomes unbalanced, your emotions can feel unbalanced. There are many factors that can contribute to the balance of the chemicals and hormones in your brain. Some factors are physical, such as nutrition, rest, aging, and genetic inheritance. Some factors are non-physical, such as habitual thought patterns. You can make changes in your emotional health by working on the physical and non-physical factors.
Tips for Improving Emotional Health
Balance your Wellness Wheel!
- Take time to notice and appreciate the good things around you, and to express gratitude.
- Allow yourself to recognize, experience and express your emotions in a balanced way.
- Learn to harness your emotions so you can stay in control of your thoughts and actions, while still feeling your emotions.
- Manage your stress by taking responsibility for the way you deal with triggers and problem areas in your life.
- Find a quick stress relief technique that works for you (e.g. breathing exercise, short walk outside, time with your pet, call a friend, listen to music).
- Practice self care - develop your creativity and hobbies, have fun, surround yourself with things and activities you enjoy, take mini- or extended vacations.
- Limit nicotine, alcohol, and recreational drugs – which decrease your ability to deal directly with your emotions.
- Get help with addictions like alcohol, food, sex, relationships (12 Step Groups, therapists).
- Practice reframing habitual negative thinking (like hostility, self criticism, revenge, victimizing) into more positive thinking (like being agreeable, affirming self-worth, altruism), to increase neurotransmitters for mood elevation, and to improve social support.
- Get exercise, at least 30 minutes a day: increase endorphins and dopamine that give you a sense of well-being.
- Enjoy sunlight, at least 30 minutes a day if possible: increase seratonin that elevates your mood.
- Eat a balanced diet, including fish and whole grains: increase GABA to reduce anxiety and tension.
- Take supplements that works for you to support brain health and emotional well being (Tryptophan, GABA, St John’s Wort, Eleviv).
- Get enough rest - eight hours of sleep a day for mid-life adults, more for children and teenagers, and sometimes less for older adults.
- Become familiar with how your emotions show up as physical sensations in your body.
- Develop your social health through a supportive network of family and friends.
- Take advantage of opportunities to join groups, and to volunteer for activities or causes you enjoy.
Environmental and Safety
- Seek medical attention for anyone whose emotional health issues interfere significantly in their life.
- Get immediate medical attention for anyone who might harm themself or someone else.
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