How to Know if You’re Emotionally Healthy or Not
When you’re emotionally healthy, you can handle the inevitable challenges that life throws at everyone. Even when challenging things are happening, you’ll be able to:
- feel how you’re feeling
- name how you’re feeling
- accept how you’re feeling
- wait to respond to how you’re feeling without knee-jerk reacting in the moments of freaking out.
Emotional wellbeing is connected with managing big emotions, such as anger, rage, sadness, or despair, without losing yourself when something bad happens.
Some red flags that emotional regulation might be a problem for you and the people around you include feeling like your emotions are in charge of your choices. As a result, you might’ve lost relationships, jobs, or good opportunities because you couldn’t seem to get out of the way of troubling emotions.
Another red flag is if people have told you that you’ve got anger issues or that you need to get a handle on your emotional outbursts.
On the other hand, you might not seem very excited by much; you’re more sort of blah, ho-hum, whatever.
Are you having difficulty feeling angry or telling others when you are? Everyone feels angry sometimes, no matter how hard you pretend you’re cool and everything’s OK. That’s another clue that you’re not comfortable with your feelings.
And everyone gets sad and anxious. The question is, are your emotions taking over your life?
Some more questions you can ask yourself are:
- Do you know how you’re feeling?
- Do you know why you’re feeling that way?
- Have you learned how to communicate your feelings to others in healthy and kind ways?
- Are you scared to say how you’re feeling?
- Does it seem like you’re always angry? Always tense and anxious? Awake in the middle of the night worrying?
- Are you trying to ignore your feelings just to keep the peace?
Here’s a list of 7 ways to improve your emotional wellbeing.
1. Increase Your Self-Esteem to Strengthen Emotional Wellbeing
When your self-esteem is low, you just don’t feel good about yourself. And even worse, when you don’t feel good about yourself, you’re likely spinning a constant story in your head of what a failure you are.
That constant monkey-mind story in your head increases the anxiety, and makes it easy for you to confirm your own worst fears about yourself, among many other not-so-great things.
But when you slow down, and begin taking apart why you’re feeling so crummy about life, you might discover that it’s directly related to your self-esteem and self-confidence levels.
The good news is there’s a lot you do to increase your self-esteem. And when you do that, you will strengthen your emotional health and well-being.
2. Having a Reliable Circle of Friends Means You’re Emotionally Healthy
Isolation is a terrible thing. Suppose you’re too isolated, feeling disconnected from people and experiences that bring you joy and nurture your soul. In that case, your emotional well-being is in trouble. Which can lead to compromising your physical health, as well.
When you feel confident enough to reach out to new people, even it’s scary or seems too hard, you’re on the road to health, happiness, and success.
Isolation isn’t solitude, which everyone needs once in a while (and introverts and HSPs need it a lot). It isn’t.
It doesn’t matter how big your friend circle is; it only matters that you have even one person who’s got your back.
Humans are hard-wired for connection with other humans. We need other people. But if you’re having trouble getting past your fears and hesitations and the stories you tell yourself about why you can’t … you’re missing out on a critical piece of the emotional wellbeing puzzle.
3. Be More Open About Your Feelings
To enjoy emotional well-being means that you’re able to be more open about your feelings. That’s true for a couple of reasons.
One is because you’ve got people in your life (remember, even one person is enough) to be honest about how you’re feeling. It’s crazy how hard this is for so many people who were taught as children that you’re only allowed to have “good” feelings and that “bad” feelings were, well … bad.
Heads-up: there’s no such thing as a “bad” or negative emotion. Emotions are just emotions. All of them are important.
Another reason to be more open about your feelings is that it means you’re not afraid of them. Anything you avoid, especially something as important as your feelings, will only make everything worse. It doesn’t take long for a world of hurt to build up as a result of being too scared to deal.
4. Are You Having Any Fun?
People, fun is critically important! The simple joy of laughing out loud, especially if you’re doing it with someone you feel safe with (see #3), can be everything.
Fun re-sets the nervous system, putting all the worry and anxiety and sadness to the side. It reminds you that there’s more to life than work and productivity and having to always do the right thing for everyone else.
But what about you?
5. Emotional Wellbeing: How to Deal With Anxiety and Depression
Thoughts and feelings are so closely intertwined that it’s hard to separate them, honestly. What you think about, even subconsciously, triggers emotions. Which then trigger behaviors.
Shamanism teacher, author, and internationally renowned visionary Sandra Ingerman said to me one day as we walked across a downtown Santa Fe street that every thought is a prayer.
When you’re crazy with anxiety or drowning in depression, your mind can quickly become overwhelmed with negative thoughts, catastrophizing, and worst-case-only-scenarios.
That will then have a negative impact on how well you sleep. And when you’re sleep deprived, you’ll spend your days feeling even more anxious and depressed.
The good news is that there’s so much solid research on how your brain/mind/body works, with many evidence-based therapies available to help you manage anxiety and depression.
Did you know that a lot of people suffer from high-functioning anxiety and high-functioning depression? It’s a miserable way to live.
And there’ll come a time in your life when you can no longer power your way through the misery. Guess what powering through does? Makes everything worse.
Note: in no way am I minimizing chronic clinic anxiety or depression. If you’re suffering from those, please get help from an experienced therapist.
6. Peace and Tranquility Will Strengthen Emotional Wellbeing
Reducing stress is a key component of emotional wellbeing. If you’re revving at an 11 most of the time, your brain is on constant high alert for threats and danger. When this happens, there’s an ongoing cascade of neurochemicals in your nervous system that can keep you feeling a little bit crazy.
It’s not a pretty picture. You’re feeling …
- on edge,
- contracted and tight both psychologically and physically,
- a lack of trust in yourself and others,
- seeing others as the enemy,
- more and more isolation,
- higher anxiety,
- deeper depression,
- more illness,
- less sleep,
- more carbs, fewer veggies … like that.
So what to do instead? Simple stress reduction techniques can be a good place to start.
Take two little minutes. Sit down without any electronic devices beeping or blaring. First, feel your feet on the floor — what do you notice? Is your right big toe cold? Squished? Just notice.
Next, look around you — what color is the most appealing right now?
What do you hear? Birds singing or children laughing outside? Can you hear your breath as it moves in and out of your body?
Simply notice what you notice, including how you’re feeling at the end of two minutes.
There’s nothing you can do wrong. There aren’t any mistakes. You’re OK, however it is for you.
7. Manage the Wild Horse of Your Mind
When I lived in Boulder, CO, I began a serious study and practice of mindfulness. Dr. Reginald “Reggie” Ray once said to a group of meditation retreat participants, including me, that we can think of our minds as a magnificent wild horse running free in a high-country meadow.
The problem with that wild horse running free is that it’s your life that’s being controled. The solution is to learn to manage that horse, to guide it in ways that support your emotional health and well-being.
It’s not necessarily the easiest task. But it’s pretty simple when you begin learning ways to help soothe your mind using contemplative practices like process journaling, writing, dancing, or using an app like Calm or Headspace to do a 5-minute guided meditation.
A little bit goes a long way when you begin learning how to manage the wild horse of your own mind.
The Santa Fe Therapist Can Help You Manage Emotions
I’m Melanie, the Santa Fe Therapist. My compassionate, creative approach to therapy in Santa Fe, NM weaves together my advanced degrees, years of specialized training, and professional experience.
I’ve also had to learn to focus on my own emotional health and wellbeing … it’s that important.
Clients usually work with me once a week for 8-12 months. As we work together, you’ll learn how to make friends with your feelings, and begin making choices in brand-new ways that leave you feelings fulfilled and satisfied rather than restless and unhappy.
You’ll begin learning how to step into the world again, on your terms, in an emotionally safe space. And please know that I welcome ongoing conversations about making therapy the best experience it can be for you.
The Santa Fe Therapist Offers Online Counseling in Santa Fe, NM
Online therapy helps women struggling with emotional wellbeing find the time away from day-to-day pressures to calm their nervous systems. It also makes it easy and convenient to process emotions and learn new neuroscience techniques to cope with challenges, heal the past, and begin building your future.
I strongly believe in the power of online counseling. Along with the research that proves its effectiveness, I see the positive benefits for clients every week. Click here if you’ve got questions about online therapy.
Online counseling from anywhere in New Mexico, including Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos, Los Alamos, Pecos, Las Vegas, Tesuque and El Dorado.
How to Get Counseling Help for Emotional Regulation Skills in Santa Fe, NM
You don’t have to suffer alone anymore. Please, send me an email, and let’s schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org, for therapy in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and throughout New Mexico.
Other Services From The Santa Fe Therapist
The Santa Fe Therapist specializes in several health, wellbeing, healing and recovery areas. My services are individualized to each client, and are based on your values, your needs and desires, and your goals.
I know that one size never fits all.
I offer individual adult counseling and guidance in Santa Fe, NM for: