The 7 Ways of emotional wellbeing
The past 12 months have been unlike any other in living memory and the next 12 months well who knows what the future might hold? What can we do enhance our emotional resilience in the meantime? The upcoming year can bring greater appreciation and positivity – if we are willing to put in the work first. Now more than ever we need to connect, collaborate and participate. Not just for our mental wellbeing but our very survival may depend on it.
We need a deeper awareness and understanding of who we truly are and what we really want for ourselves, our families and communities. It is important not to succumb to the dense nature of negative emotions that weigh heavily in body, heart and mind. So how do we stay positive, proactive and present to ourselves and others? We are not bystanders or passengers, but the active travellers on our life’s journey.
1. Daily practice such as mindfulness and breath awareness will help us to reconnect with our bodies. Take us out of our heads and into somatic experiencing of our bodies ie bodily awareness. The breath anchors the body firmly to the present moment. Try not to ruminate on the past or become anxious about an unknown and as yet foreseeable future. These anxieties stress us. Breathe in deeply through the nose, feel your diaphragm move, and expel all of the old stale air from your lungs. Relax and release what no longer serves you.
You do not need to empty your mind, we have thousands of thoughts a day so it would be near on impossible to do so. Place your hands comfortably in your lap, try to relax your body as much as you can. Notice areas of tension and breathe into it ie your jaw, throat, belly, shoulders, back. Breathe in love for yourself and others and breathe out negative emotions such as resentment, anger etc. Try to relax like this at least twice a day more if you are able to and watch the tension melt from your body.
2. Sleep is the body and mind’s rest and repair mechanism. Research shows that that the quality and quantity of sleep is important for energy levels and clarity of thought through out the day. Try to set up a similar routine every night. Turn devices off in good time and give your body and mind time to relax, unwind. Traditionally tryptophan (amino acid) in warm milky drinks have a soporific effect.
Sometimes individuals struggle with going to sleep or staying asleep due to intrusive thoughts, anxiety and sometimes people have night terrors where they need to keep the light on. There are Bach Flower Remedies that may help the mind to gently let go of what no longer serves us. White Chestnut is a particularly effective remedy for sleeplessness. Sometimes called the thought flower, it is for lack of interest in the present moment, for mental chatter and intrusive thoughts. It is quite a fast acting remedy.
3. Walking, being in nature helps us to connect with a higher purpose and can give our lives meaning. Movement is important as more and more of us work from home, home school etc. Research shows the value of exercise for mental and physical wellbeing. Practices such as Yoga, Tai chi, Qi Gung integrates the false duality of body and mind. You cannot separate the body from the mind.
4. Try to reduce stress and pressure both internal and external as much as you can. As this impacts on the body’s immune system to fight disease. When we are stressed the body produces stress hormones such as Adrenaline and Cortisol. It is these hormones that are responsible for the fight/flight/freeze response in the body. Over a long period of time these hormones can result in a stress vulnerability to disease. Again there are remedies to help the body and mind to relax.
5. Try to eat a balanced healthy diet everyday, food is the building block of bodies and brains and frontline defence against disease. Stay well hydrated drinking 1.5 to 2 litres a day to avoid headaches, tiredness, dry skin etc.
6. Connect with others on a daily basis if you can remotely or via the phone. It is through others that we learn who we are and what we are really made of. Our relationship to self and others will be our most satisfying and most profound experiences of our life. Bringing both joy and sadness. Nothing lasts and loss is inevitable therefore remember to walk lightly and treat others with kindness.
7. Practise positive psychology, look for the joy in the everyday, giving back, serving others helps us to find true our natures. Staying positive strengthens our immune system and could increase longevity.
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