Most of us pay close attention to our physical health and attend to threats to our physical well-being as soon as they appear. We have a warm bowl of soup when we have a cold, we put a band-aid to cuts and bruises and we don’t pick at scabs as they heal. We sustain emotional injuries just as often as we do physical ones; but we are much less proactive about protecting our emotional health and well-being than we are of our physical well-being.
Maybe you’re just having that proverbial “bad day” – or perhaps a rough few weeks; feeling down, anxious, overstressed, as if you’re one breath away from that “last straw” that will break your back. Feeling anxious, stressed and low is very common and indigenous to humans. However, if living on the “last straw” has more or less become your way of life, chances are, there’s something on your mind that is crying out for your attention.
The key is how often you are feeling this sense of distress; how bad it gets, and how long it lasts. That is what can help determine the seriousness of your situation. Emotional health comes from being able to label, acknowledge and accept tough emotions.
To upgrade your emotional awareness is to know thyself better; knowing what is going on when things are going down.
Three good ways to ascertain one’s state of Emotional health or lack of Emotional well-being are
A) Your body knows before you do
- Unexplained physical symptoms – splitting headaches, a rumbling stomach, chronic backache, etc.); disturbed sleep cycles without a physical condition (sleeping more than usual or less than usual
- dramatic weight fluctuations/changes in eating patterns – gaining or losing a significant amount of weight without any changes in the diet or exercise regime
- constantly thinking about food – or repulsed by the thought of eating
- chronic fatigue, tiredness, and lack of energy – when the body cannot handle emotional overload, it simply begins to shut down and that is often manifested by a sense of extreme tiredness and fatigue.
If, despite a visit to a specialist or two, no one can find a reason behind your physical complaints, it may be your body’s way of expressing some kind of emotional distress.
B) Stress signals
Every person has unique indicators of stress, such as
- you’re ready to begin your day but you find yourself fussing over something very inconsequential, such as a shoe that you think doesn’t match your outfit anymore
- you think your nose is too big,
- you feel the weather is driving you crazy
You can tell that these are the signs of stress because on a good day; and actually most of the time, they stay dormant. It is on those bad days when you are emotionally maxed out that they show up. Identifying these signs can be useful in understanding your system’s way of letting you know your emotional world is in distress.
C) Decreased emotional range
A difficulty in managing/controlling anger or anxiety, etc. You may be fine when you’re by yourself, but frequently get provoked to an explosion by your partner, children, friends, etc.
This is an indicator of stress overload – a situation that is dangerous to your physical and emotional health; and unhealthy for those around you. Generally, the people who have anger-management problems do not recognise the symptoms, as they feel okay when they are by themselves.
This is something that only comes into play in relation to another person — so it’s easy to blame the other person for what is really your symptom. Moreover, those prone to anger and/or anxiety, often have difficulty identifying other, more subtle emotions. Having a limited emotional range keeps you from effectively sorting out what is bothering you the most; and keeps others close to you from understanding what you are truly feeling and needing.
The theme running through all of these is one of building a relationship with yourself; and getting to know yourself better. The key to happiness may be elusive, but taking advantage of a few simple strategies to identify, label and accept your emotions can do a great deal to improve your everyday feelings of well-being.
True well-being incorporates the broader notion of personal fulfilment, in which people may be willing to experience temporary deprivation or frustration to help them achieve long-lasting feelings of inner satisfaction.
This article was first published at https://maanastheinsidestory.wordpress.com/
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