Author: Mallory Inselberg, M.A.
Emotional wellness is our responsiveness, understanding, and acceptance of our emotions and struggles. It often refers to our ability and capacity to manage effectively in times of change and hardship. When you are aware of your emotions, you become more aware of what is happening within your body and what is happening in your surrounding environment. The more you are aware of what is happening within you and around you, the easier it will be to integrate that awareness within your daily life, and thus, the more you can rely on those emotions to persevere through hardships and challenges. Resilience is our ability to persevere through hardship, adversity, trauma, or stress. Change may affect people differently, but it is in our unique human nature to overcome these situations. Resilience is enhanced through emotional wellness and is associated with profound personal growth. Therefore, the more you focus on your emotional wellness, the more resilient you can become and the more you can overcome these struggles. This can empower you to improve your life.
Ways to Enhance Your Emotional Wellness
Brighten your perspective:
- Remember all the good deeds you do and all the good things you have to offer.
- Explore your beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life.
- Develop healthy physical habits.
Reduce your stress:
- Get enough sleep and exercise regularly.
- Build a social support network.
- Set priorities, think positive, and seek help.
- Try relaxation methods.
Strengthen your social connections:
- Become active, build strong relationships, and share good habits with others.
- If you are a family caregiver, ask for help from others.
- Join a group focusing on a favorite hobby. Take a class to learn something new.
- Volunteer for things you care about in your community.
- Travel to different locations and meet new people.
- Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second, and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5.
- Practice mindful walking. As you walk, notice your breath and the sights and the sounds around you. As thoughts and worries enter your mind, note them but return to the present.
- Practice mindful eating. Be aware of taste, textures, and flavors in each bite, and listen to your body when you are hungry and full.
- Find mindfulness resources in your local community, including yoga and meditation classes, mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, and books.
You may be wondering how these things can these things that contribute to your emotional wellness actually build your resilience…
Ways Emotional Wellness Builds Your Resilience
Foster emotional wellness:
- Taking care of your mind and body enhances your resilience by giving you control over your mind and body. This may look like proper hydration and nutrition, regulating your sleep routine, or daily exercise.
Brighten your perspective:
- Considering things in perspective, while minimizing irrational thinking, helps you accept changes and ideals that are no longer realistic and attainable. This makes resilience more realistic and attainable.
- Maintaining a hopeful outlook and being optimistic can encourage you to think that good things will happen to you. Resilience is strengthened through perspective.
- Looking back at who or what was helpful in times of distress can teach you how to respond effectively to new difficult situations. Resilience is about adaptation to new experiences.
Strengthening your social connections:
- Prioritizing relationships by connecting with empathic and understanding people can remind you that you are not alone. Seeking out people who validate your struggles reinforces your resilience.
- Joining a community organizations and programs can promote your social support system and offer you more meaningful opportunities to build your resilience.
Be mindful and find a purpose:
- Supporting others by assisting and friend or relative of volunteering at a center can foster self-worth, which grows resilience.
- Being proactive in the pursuit of self-discovery. If a problem is too big, break it into smaller pieces. Resilience is built through achieving things step by step.
- Moving toward your goals by developing realistic goals and accomplishing small tasks towards those goals every day. Resilience is further supported by moving forward.
One of the hardest things to do is to seek help when you are struggling. As a way to improve your emotional wellness and to expand on your resilience skills, seeking help is always an option!
National Institutes of Health. (2021, July 16). Emotional Wellness ToolKit. National Institutes of Health. https://www.nih.gov/health-information/emotional-wellness-toolkit
Mayo Clinic (2020, October 27). Resilience: Build skills to endure hardship. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/resilience-training/in-depth/resilience/art-20046311
Palmiter, D., Alvord, M., Dorlen, R., Comas-Diaz, L., Luthar, S. S., Maddi, S. R., O’Neill, H. K., Saakvitne, K. W., & Tedeschi, R. G. (2012). Building your resilience. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience
Raab, D. (2019, October 10). What is emotional wellness? Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-empowerment-diary/201910/what-is-emotional-wellness