Easy Ways to Achieve Emotional Wellness

Do you sometimes feel like you can’t cope with all the issues in your life? Do you typically feel low when things don’t seem to be going your way? If so, it doesn’t have to be this way! You can break through those negative feelings and thoughts.

Try these tips to strengthen your emotional wellness and bring more peace to your life:

  1. Know the signs of depression. You don’t need to be worried about your mental health to do some research and be able to recognize the signs of possible depression. In all likelihood, you’re simply battling some low points. If your symptoms do point toward depression, take action to seek help. Some things to consider:
    • What do statistics say about people with depression?
    • What are the major factors contributing to depression?
    • Do you have traits that make you prone to anxiety or depression?
    • How can you tell if you’re spiraling downward?
  2. Have a strong support base. A huge part of achieving and maintaining mental wellness is having a network of family and friends. Life’s challenges can really take a toll on you, but you’ll be better able to cope and overcome if you have supportive people around you.
    • Spend a lot of quality time with family members and friends doing things you all enjoy.
    • Instead of internalizing unpleasant feelings or thoughts, talk with your support network about them.
  3. Stay positive. Working to maintain a positive outlook is significant in helping you to achieve and sustain mental wellness. Being optimistic isn’t an overnight accomplishment if you’re accustomed to feeling down in the dumps. But little by little, you’ll be able to build the emotional strength to stay positive much of the time.
    • Talk to people around you who have been able to turn negative occurrences into positive learning experiences.
    • Connect with your spiritual side and find your strengths.
    • Spend some time each day meditating and re-centering. This will help you create mental stability and resilience.
  4. Keep an active mind. When your mind is active, there’s very little room to entertain negative, depressing thoughts. An active mind that’s engrossed with healthy thoughts and processes will likely stay well, even in some of life’s toughest times.
  • Get involved with a charitable organization and focus your energies on giving hope and help to the less fortunate.
  • Take up a sport or hobby that engages you both mentally and physically. The sense of achievement as you learn and perfect the activity will help you to develop mental wellness.

With the myriad of concerns that can present themselves in our fast-paced lives, mental and emotional balance isn’t always easy to achieve. However, with positive effort and focus, you can cultivate resilience.

The steps above are just a beginning. As you go forth on your journey toward happiness and wholeness, you’ll find even more techniques that work for you. Embrace your challenges as opportunities to grow, and you’ll be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams.

Journaling to Increase Self-Understanding

Do you feel like your emotions are complicated and confusing? If you struggle to understand why you feel or react the ways you do, you might benefit from using a journal. Journaling can help you appropriately identify and express your feelings to increase self-understanding.
Once you learn to identify and deal with your feelings in acceptable ways, you have truly mastered self-understanding. By simply jotting down what’s going on with you and how you feel about it, you can get a handle on your emotions.


Writing your feelings in a journal helps increase self-understanding in four ways:
1. Journaling compels you to think about and process a particular situation or occurrence. When you write about an event, you automatically process the event through words and description. Recording the situation in writing can lead you to notice details you hadn’t noticed when the event took place, thus increasing your insight about the situation.

* While journaling, put aside other thoughts and just focus on the situation.

2. Journaling allows you time to identify feelings about the situation. Chances are you may not have time to analyze every event as it occurs throughout the day. However, if you pledge to journal, you know that you’ll later take the opportunity to reflect on important occurrences and consider how you felt about them.
* Labeling your feelings leads to a better understanding of how you respond in certain situations.
* Use “feeling” words when describing your emotions about a situation or event. Examples of feeling words are, “pumped,” “annoyed,” “ecstatic,” and “angry.”
* A helpful sentence structure to use in your journal is, “I felt __________ when ________ happened.”

3. Journaling helps you see why you felt the way you did. Journaling provides an opportunity to fully explore your emotions about an event or situation and come to a conclusion about your feelings. Writing about your feelings can even assist you in changing negative feelings in the future, once you figure out why you felt the way you did.
* Knowing why you responded in a certain manner increases self-understanding and also allows opportunities for change.
* When completing a journal entry, consider all the reasons why you may have felt or responded in the way you did.
*  Theorize and decide which theory best fits to explain your feelings and behavior.

4. Re-reading your journal sheds light on your progress. When you process situations through journal writing and read about them later, you’ll likely see patterns of emotions and responses that recur in similar situations.
* You might want to learn to more openly express your emotions upon identifying these patterns. Or maybe you want to work to change your pattern of responding.
* Re-reading your journal might reveal unhealthy reactions to certain situations. In this case, these reviews of your entries could help you make a commitment toward more positive and helpful reactions.
*  Take notice of your progress over time in responding to situations in positive ways.
* Regardless of whether you choose to accept your feelings or make a change, you still increase your self-understanding through reviewing your journal.

You might feel confused at times and be at a loss to explain why you responded in a certain way. However, you can improve insight by reflecting further about these situations and the feelings you experienced, especially if you see patterns of similar reactions.
Sometimes your feelings are deep-rooted and go back to an incident that happened many years ago, so similar situations now trigger similar feelings. Writing and reflecting on your journal entries may help you remember the previous incidents so you can understand your feelings and decide if they benefit you now or if you wish to pursue more positive outcomes in the future.

Try journaling today to explore how you feel and respond to life events. When you do, you’ll increase self-understanding and live a healthier, fulfilling life.

 

How to Fight Depression with Exercise

Is turning to therapy and medication the most effective solution for fighting depression? Studies are beginning to show that you can fight depression at home with a change in your activity level.

It’s true! Physical activity can have a profound impact on your ability to overcome what ails you. If you’re feeling depressed, it might be time to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle.

Exercise comes in many different forms and you can find a regimen that fits you. Avoid overdoing it when it comes to exercise; just ease into some physical activity and see how you feel.

Try these effective strategies to fight depression with exercise:

1.      Experience the runner’s high. Following a good workout, your body will experience what is known as a runner’s high, which results from an endorphin surge in your body. The temporary mood lift that this endorphin surge provides can be beneficial in reducing depression on a short-term basis.

  • When you’re feeling tense, overwhelmed, or down in general, seek a temporary pick me up in the form of a workout. Go for a short walk, hop on a treadmill or elliptical, or ride your bicycle. Even yoga, Pilates, and strength training workouts can provide you with a boost of endorphins to pick up your mood.
  • Working out for at least 30 minutes to combat symptoms of depression can also provide you with a boost in energy and concentration, which can reduce some of the negative feelings associated with depression.

2.      Improve your overall well being. Strength training is a great way to improve your health and well being, which can reduce symptoms of depression. Lifting dumbbells, for example, can build long, lean muscle, which improves metabolism and builds a stronger and healthier body.

  • While strength training may not directly impact your depression symptoms, its ability to improve your health can have long-term effects on your overall well being.

3.      Exercise daily. Exercise at least 30 minutes each day, six days per week. According to the Journal of Preventive Medicine, several weeks after you establish this regular exercise routine, you’ll begin to feel relief of your depression symptoms on a much more consistent basis.

4.      Replace medications with exercise. The Journal of Preventive Medicine recently featured a study of patients with depression who worked out for at least 3 hours per week. This study found that the remission of these patients’ symptoms was comparable to cognitive behavioral therapies and medication treatments.

  • While exercise may not be able to completely replace your need for other treatment options, it can benefit your mental well being in many ways, making it an excellent way to balance the therapies that you rely on for relief.
  • If you’re currently in treatment or taking medication, discuss any changes in therapy or medications with your doctor before you change them.

5.      Develop a routine. Developing a regular routine for exercise can have numerous benefits. Not only will you be combating your depression with exercise itself, but also having a routine to look forward to can boost your spirits and ward off the overwhelming feelings of depression.

The Bottom Line

Depression can negatively impact your life in many ways. Experiment with different therapy and treatment options to get the help you need. Exercise is a great way to reduce the symptoms associated with depression: helping to clear your mind and improve your energy, while also giving you a general sense of well being.

If you don’t already have a regular exercise regimen and you’re suffering from depression, then this is a treatment option that is well worth considering. It may work well in conjunction with current treatment options or it may replace those treatment options altogether. Please consult with your physician to learn more.