Definition of Emotional Health
What is the definition of Emotional Health? I’m not sure exactly and I think it might be different for everyone but one thing I know for sure is that it does not mean being happy all the time. Being in constant bliss is a goal a lot of people have and that is an absolute unachievable end which will always allude and frustrate.
Instead I think we might move toward observing our emotions, whatever they may be, accepting them as part of the human experience and then working at getting to the cause of the emotion if it is one you do not want to live in for very long. Example: “I am sad/angry/frustrated(etc.) today and that is ok. I will sit with it and let it ride through. I believe I am sad, etc. because I do not have a job and cannot take care of my family. To alleviate this emotion I will try…..”.
The important thing is to admit what you are really feeling and allow yourself the freedom to feel that for as long as you need to. Pretending you are feeling something other than what is real is quite an unhealthy expression of our selves and will cause all kinds of emotional and physical issues down the road. Of course we all want to be happy more often than not. That is a reachable state.
Last month I wrote an article: 12 Steps to Health which describes easy peasy methods to add healthy habits to your life without changing your life-style too drastically. I like the list however it addresses only physical health. We know physical, emotional and spiritual health are interrelated so following those 12 steps to physical health will likely enhance health in other areas but here are some steps to take specifically to improve emotional health/healing.
1. Speak Your Mind.
This does not mean you have to insult someone if you don’t like their clothes, etc. but it does mean to not smile when you are sad, to not agree with something when you don’t. Be true to yourself. Take off the mask.
2a. Learn To Say No.
There is no need to feel guilty about not participating in something that is not going to enhance you in some way. Be firm and direct when you say no. Yes, people will be mad, angry, insulted and then they’ll come around. Or not. And if not they are not people you need in your life because they are not wishing for the best you.
2b. Learn To Say Yes.
I’ve noticed that as we age we tend to get into a routine (which is a nice word for rut). We do the same things at the same times day after day and we say ‘no’ to any change in that behavior. This is a slow ride to death if you ask me. Expanding your horizons and trying new things every once in a while keeps you vibrant and young at heart. Try saying ‘yes’ the next time the opportunity arises. Even better, create the opportunity if you are so inclined!
3. Take Time For Yourself.
Put yourself into your calendar. Simple as that. Do it! Start small if you must but do it. Example: Every Wednesday from 3:00-4:00 you will shut off all media and schedule something for yourself: read a book, get a massage, so some meditation, take a class, go bowling. There are 168 hours in a week. You deserve to dedicate at least 1 to yourself!
4. Do Things You Enjoy.
You are entitled! It seems that once we begin our adult journey into work/family we forget this and things become only drudgery. We are here for a larger purpose than getting mired down in this work-a-day world and you will be so much better equipped for that purpose once you participate more often in things that you enjoy.
You know what I’m talking about and you know who I’m talking about. They are like a cancer so spend as little time near them as possible. If you’re one of those people come and see me for a Reiki/Crystal Healing Session!
6. Do Not Watch/Listen/Read The News.
I know this sounds ridiculous but we have become numb to the hype of the news and we really do not realize how deeply it effects us spiritually and emotionally. You risk becoming unaware of what is happening in the world, but try it 1 day/week at least and see what effects you notice.
7. Take A Meditation And/Or Yoga Class.
Doing this will help you with all the other items on this list as well as giving you plenty of other benefits both emotional and physical.
8. Shut Down All Electronics For At Least 1 Hour/Day.
Similar to being bombarded by the news, we are now constantly connected via phone/computer and we don’t have a moment when we’re ‘off’. In addition, these electronics are spewing out EMFs (which are carcinogenic) as well as radiation and who knows what else. Take a break. Try it!
9. Release expectations of yourself and others.
Think about how you can employ this suggestion in your life.
10. Seek support when needed.
So many people are reluctant to seek help. They feel that will make them seem weak. Some are so out of touch with themselves that they don’t even know when they need help. If you are struggling in any way and have tried many ways to rise above on your own but have not succeeded consider seeking support of some kind. We ALL need a hand at times and it is ok.
11. Accept all range of emotions!
See paragraphs 1,2 & 3.
12. Open your heart. Lead with your heart. Listen to your heart. Let your heart guide you in all that you do.
This is so scary sometimes but if you are brave enough to try it a few times even though you may get hurt, you will also let so much love in it won’t even matter. The pain will be insignificant when you’re in a state of love.
All of these steps to emotional health are difficult to engage at first. I’ve been working them for years and I still have a lot of work to do. It’s a boatload of work to focus on these issues but it is very well worth it. I recommend starting off slowly so that you don’t get discouraged. I find the best way to start a new habit is to use it diligently for a month and then add another a month later. It takes that long for a new and better habit to form. Let me know how you make out and if you have any questions just send them along.
Lisa Hassett, Reiki Therapist, CYT
Healing For Body, Mind & Spirit
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Reiki of Greater Boston
Healing for Body, Mind & Spirit
160 School Street, Suite 1-1
Waltham, MA 02451