It always strikes me to see how people underestimate emotional wellbeing. I personally know a few people suffering from depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Instead of understanding, their friends and family give them wisdom nuggets like “Shake it off! It’s all in your head.” Does it help? I can assure you, it doesn’t. Do you think, their family and friends want to hurt this person? I’m pretty sure, they don’t. Emotional wellbeing is as much as important as physical wellbeing. Too bad, the society doesn’t recognise it. You don’t have to be diagnosed with depression or other psychological illnesses in order to pay attention to your emotional health. As well as you don’t have to have skin cancer in order to protect your skin against the sun.
I really love the TED talk of Guy Winch on Emotional hygiene. He talks about emotional injuries, such as loneliness, rejection and failure. They can have a dramatic impact on our lives. Mostly just because we don’t pay enough attention to them and let them get worse. We all know, that hygiene is important for our health. We always wash our hands, brush our teeth, drink only clean water, disinfect wounds, take vaccines. All those activities to protect our physical health. You can ask yourself, what are you doing to protect your mental health? Did you know that chronic loneliness increases the likelihood of early death by 14%, suppresses your immune system and making you vulnerable to all kinds of illnesses? Long term non-treated psychological injuries can lead to cardiovascular diseases, eating disorders, alcoholism and develop into serious psychological illnesses, such as clinic depression.
How you can boost your emotional resilience from today
Emotionally resilient people are like bamboo. They bend when the strong wind blows, but don’t break. And even if they break, they know, it’s just temporary. Whatever happens in your life. Setbacks, rejections, personal tragedy. You recognise your emotions, understand them and heal your emotional injuries.
1. Avoid negative self-talk and raise your self-esteem
People usually react negatively on setbacks. They start thinking about the situation and replay it in their mind like a movie. Judging and blaming themselves. This is an activity, which in psychology called ruminating and can be a very dangerous habit. Dr. Winch suggest to distract yourself for about 2 minutes, when you feel the urge to recall all those negative images in your mind. It’ll help you to break the habit and get rid of all those self-destructive thoughts.
2. Examine and validate your emotions
All emotions are good, even sadness, anger and disgust. They are all important. For better illustration, I suggest you to watch the movie “Inside out.” It beautifully describes why all emotions are important in our life. Sheri Van Dijk, psychotherapist with a Master of Social Work, says, that each of us has a dam inside, which emotions sit behind. When your dam is full, small stressors can make it overflow. So you’re more likely to burst into tears and blow up in an anger storm. Pay attention to all your emotions patiently and process them as they’re coming. Give yourself permission to feel the way you feel. You probably don’t like to feel anxious. Nobody does. But it’s normal emotion and you shouldn’t blame yourself for feeling that way. Understand why do you feel like that, what is the context of your current emotional state.
3. Cultivate healthy habits
Do every day something small for your emotional well-being. Give yourself permission to express your emotions. Practice positive self-talk. Those are the small steps that make you emotionally resilient person.
My team and I designed a 90-days program called “Humanflex” for corporations and individuals, who need a resilience boost. We’re focusing on four types of resilience, emotional resilience is one of them. Feel free to contact me, if you’re interested. Otherwise, see you next Tuesday with another blog post about the third type of resilience. Have a beautiful resilient day!