One dimension of wellness that I have not directly addressed yet on the blog is emotional wellness.  This area is possibly the most important as well as the easiest to neglect.  Staying positive can be a challenge, especially when dealing with the stressors of day to day life.  It is difficult to find the time for one or two activities we enjoy, and it is even harder to set aside time to reflect on what will make tomorrow better.  Today I am outlining some basic steps to make positive change in your life and improve your emotional wellness.

Snuff Out Toxicity

Many of us, myself included, get taken advantage of multiple times before learning this lesson.  It is our nature to see the best in people, but the reality is that there are bad apples out there.  Removing or limiting contact with toxic or negative people is essential to emotional wellness, because even the most positive people are affected by negativity.

Sometimes this means removing certain people or activities, other times it means just decreasing their presence or influence.  It is also possible that these people are not even aware of just how they affect those around them.  It never hurts to offer to help and ask someone how they are doing.  Not only does it make us feel better, but it may just be exactly what that person needed.  This brings me to my next point.

Emotional Wellness - Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness

Doing something nice for others feels good, and makes others feel good.  Just like negativity brings us down, positivity is uplifting.  People remember the little things, and even something as small as a piece of chocolate or a greeting card can make someone’s day.  What is even better is that these acts cost so little in time or resources.

Many of us think about doing these things, but forget or shrug the idea off as silly.  In my experience, doing something nice, no matter how small or silly it seems is always a great idea.

Create A Culture of Positivity

In many ways this starts with getting rid of negativity, but just like life is not absence of death, a happy life is not the absence of sadness.  While culture is traditionally looked at on a large scale, we each have our own personal cultural environment that we create.  One of my heroes, Walt Disney, always said that “Happiness is a state of mind.”  I find this to be true.

When something bad happens, it is important that we take a moment to be frustrated, angry, sad, etc.  However, after that moment has passed we must put it into perspective and be thankful for all that we have and the good things in our life.

 Emotional wellness - positive change

Make Positive Changes

The most important aspect of all of this is making changes in our life, which is rarely easy but always worthwhile.  It is important to create a couple large long term goals and smaller intermediate goals.  This helps us see our progress each step of the way.

  • The best place to start is to take some time and reflect on what you would like to change and what you want to stay the same.
  • Second, make a list of these things and determine the two or three most important things that you want to change.
  • Third, for each of these items, list what steps you need to take to reach that change.
  • Fourth, take action!

In addition to taking the steps above, my challenge for you this week is to perform one or two random acts of kindness this week.  Go out of your way to give someone a compliment, bring them their favorite candy, etc.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and will share it with your friends, family, and acquaintances.  What is your philosophy regarding emotional wellness?  I would love to hear your stories, struggles, and successes.  Please leave them in the comments below, on social media, or in any way you prefer.  Have a great week and be well!

Resources

http://www.apa.org

http://link.springer.com/journal/11117

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