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This is the fourth blog in our series about the importance of Self Care. Make sure to check out the importance of physical self-care and psychological self-care as these two constructs, body and mind, set the stage for our ability to have good emotional regulation and emotional self-care.
Together with these other foundational practices, as the primary rings of self-care and the main focus of cognitive behavioral therapy, these three elements are important to master in order to move on to the deeper realms of spiritual, relational and professional self-care.
Emotional well-being can be defined as the overall state of one’s emotions, as well as their sense of purpose, and ability to pursue meaningful goals. However, emotional well-being is not the absence of emotions, but rather, the ability to understand the value of your emotions as signals of what is happening internally, and to use them to propel your life forward.
Becoming an emotionally mature adult involves first taking responsibility for the way that we feel, and the way that we communicate those messages to others. It involves ridding our vocabulary of the phrasing, “you made me angry! (frustrated, sad, violent, etc.)” or in essence, “you made me react that way!” In this process, it is imperative that we remember that emotions are not “good” or “bad”, and it is truly only our attitude and reactions that matter.
Often considered as a taboo subject in today’s culture, this aspect of our person is an intimate constituent of our happiness as indeed, taking care of your emotions is a delicate process.
However, it remains a necessary process, and involves the following considerations:
Practice giving yourself affirmations and praising yourself for a job well done. Set yourself up for success by planning out several small tasks throughout the day which you know that you can accomplish, this will help to boost your self-esteem and help to feel good about yourself. Start with making your bed.
Listen To Your Needs.
Pay attention to what might be going on in your emotional world, and seek out healing activities to bring comfort to the storm raging inside of you. Reconnect with your inner child by reading your favorite books again, or re-watch your favorite movies and leave space for yourself to connect with any and all feelings that arise.
Identify with Your Feelings.
In her book, Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown speaks of her practice of writing permission slips to herself as she goes about her daily life. This advice is useful for those of us who have a hard time expressing emotions.
Give yourself permission:
- To be sad
- To be excited
- To Cry
- To act goofy
- To laugh boldly
- To have fun
- To express your political or social outrage
Create a Healthy Support System
Make an effort to stay in contact with important people in your life, and balance your schedule to make time to be with friends or family members who really understand you. Devote time and energy to these and other relationships that bring you joy.
Although many people aren’t comfortable talking about their feelings, or what’s going on in their emotional worlds, we know that it is through our ability to have an honest connection with others that we are able to find true healing. Opening up about personal issues is never easy but can have huge effects. Whether in a community support group or with a therapist, talking it out and processing through your emotions can reduce your sense of helplessness and provide relief in the shared burden of your struggles.
Stay Tuned for the next installment in the Self-Care Series: Spiritual Self-Care.