When we are physically sick or hurt ourselves, we go to the doctor, and we rest until we get better. Unfortunately, when we are emotionally unwell, we don’t seem to think that we need to take the same steps.
Our emotional well-being is how we handle stress, negative thoughts and life challenges. It is also how we perceive and present life. Looking after our emotional well-being is becoming aware of negative thoughts and feelings and accepting them; it is showing ourselves kindness and compassion in all situations and it is having an optimistic outlook in life.
I didn’t really understand how important my emotional well-being was until I developed an eating disorder. Before it happened to me, I had no clue that ED’s were serious mental illnesses. Even though I didn’t look physically unwell on the outside, inside I was really sick. During my recovery, I learnt about emotional well-being and slowly put steps in place to improve it. Now it is a priority for my health and happiness. Here are some of the things that work for me that you might like to try?
♥️ Laughing. Laughing really is the best medicine for our mind and body as it decreases stress levels, boosts immunity and makes us feel good! I like to go to a comedy show, watch a funny movie (*my fave is Shaun of the Dead- gets me every time), watch a funny YouTube video and hang out with friends that make me laugh.
♥️ Looking after all aspects of well-being. Moving my body for fun, eating feel good foods, being out in nature, getting enough sleep, playtime and rest. Hanging out with loved ones and doing things that make me happy.
♥️ Being who we want to be and not who we think we should be. We are all unique and the experts of ourselves. Nobody knows us better than we do. Not trying to conform to something I’m not has made one of the biggest impacts to my emotional well-being.
♥️ Treating ourslves as we do with loved ones. I’ve stopped talking to myself like a piece of crap. I now treat myself with kindness, compassion and with no judgement: just as I do with my loved ones.
♥️ Letting go of anger. This doesn’t mean that I am saying that it is okay when people hurt us, but what I am saying is that we cannot control other people actions and we can’t let them affect us anymore than they already have. Our happiness comes first.
♥️ Accepting mistakes. Woah! This one was so tough for me. I am a perfectionist and would always beat myself up. But mistakes happen, we are human. Now I accept the situation, learn and grow from it (through gritted teeth haha!).
♥️ Reflecting on strengths and the things that we do well. I am so quick to focus on the bad, that I forget the good. But when I spend some time focusing on my strengths and the things I do well it changes my whole perspective.
♥️ Accepting that it is ok to be sad or mad. It is ok to be upset, cry, yell, stamp our feet and sulk. Accepting all emotions and dealing with them helps us move on from them rather than burying them.
♥️ Trying to find the positives in any situation. One of my biggest learnings was from my ED. Even though it was one of the worst things I ever went through, it made me the person I am today, and for that I am eternally grateful.
If you would like more health and happiness tips, you can sign up to the BYBF newsletter here.