It is now widely accepted that self-care is one of the most important parts of your well-being. And self-care does not only mean taking care of your physical health. It stretches far beyond that. It involves being active in your mental, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional self-care.

Emotional Self-Care – Easy Ways To Improve Mental Health

It is now widely accepted that self-care is one of the most important parts of your well-being. And self-care does not only mean taking care of your physical health. It stretches far beyond that. It involves being active in your mental, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional self-care. 

People who do not engage in self-care are not in their best shape; physically, mentally, or socially. Therefore, it’s crucial to practice self-care to keep up with daily life. Now, let’s hop straight to emotional self-care as it’s one of the most neglected areas of self-care.

What Is Emotional Self-Care?

Emotional Self-care definition

Emotional self-care is being aware of your emotions and taking the right step to care for and honor these emotions. Research conducted to test emotional health effects on overall health shows that emotional distress can actually create distress and susceptibility to several physical illnesses like cardiovascular diseases, viral infections, and weak immune systems.

Emotionally healthy people can understand and take control of their feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. However, it does not mean that they are always happy. Even the people who are active with their emotional self-care can feel stress, sadness, anger, and other emotions. But they how to work through their emotions so that their emotions do not take over the best of themselves.

What Are The Benefits Of Emotional Self-Care

Emotional self-care is as important as taking care of your physical health. Yes, it takes time to properly start practicing it daily. But the work pays off as there are several benefits of emotional well-being:

  • Higher self-esteem – The way you feel influences the mode of your whole day. If your emotions are all over the place you will never be able to see the clear. Good emotional health will push you to feel the best about yourself and life regardless of the circumstances.
  • Improved energy – Being in control of your emotions provides a positive outlook. It also helps you to be focus where your energy is needed the most and regulates your emotional intelligence the best way possible. Whereas, poor emotional health would only deplete your energy and distract you from the good of life.
  • Better relationships – The better you are in control of your emotions the more you can handle your relationships. Emotional self-care will equip you to understand and manage your emotions to connect with others on a much better level. It also helps you to keep your emotions aside and hold an argument on facts.
  • Resilience to stress – Constant stress and worry can make you susceptible to several health issues. But if you are aware of your emotions and know how to tackle them the right way you can build a strong shield of resilience to stress.

Ways To Improve Your Emotional Self-Care And Mental Health

It’s an unsaid but perhaps a very common thing to push back your emotions as much as you can. Unintentionally, many of us are guilty of doing so. We ignore and disregard our emotions in hopes to not feel the same way again. However, that never happens.

Because our emotions are also like energy. They do not go away, ever. All they do is become bigger and more prominent. Sometimes it may lead to feelings of burnout or even several mental and physical health issues.

Being aware of your emotional health and actively indulging in emotional self-care will help you with your life. But do note that there isn’t a one size fits all approach. Emotional health is different for everyone.


Emotional Self-care and mental health

Luckily, there are several things that you can do to keep your mental health and emotional self-care in check:

1.  Find your coping strategies

There will be days when emotions will be out to get the best of you. Also, that is fine. It happens with all of us. The only thing that makes it manageable is knowing your coping skills. They will help you to respond to the emotional situation in the best way.

You can try the following:

  • Listening to your favorite music
  • Journaling
  • Talking it out with a trusted person
  • Meditation
  • Consulting a therapist

2.  Exercise at least three times a week

We have all heard about exercising making people happy. And this is so true. Even research has proved that exercise has multiple health benefits like combating stress, reducing depression, and improving overall mood and health.

Exercising helps your body to release happy hormones like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones promote feelings of positivity and happiness. Plus, exercise also reduces the activity of sad hormones like adrenalin and cortisol which promote feelings of tension and anxiety.

3.  Be mindful

Mindfulness is all about opening to and maintaining your attention towards whatever is happening in your life. Accepting the circumstances wholeheartedly and then taking the right steps to cater to the situation.

Psychology Today even reported that some studies show that mindfulness can help with improving mental health. Including mindfulness into your emotional self-care plan will help you clear your head from the fog of overwhelming feelings and put your focus back where it’s needed.

4.  Strengthen your social connections

Human beings are social beings. Without a healthy social life, you can actually cause many health and mental issues. That’s why you have to be active in your social self-care as well.

A study conducted to see the relationship between social life and well-being showed that connecting with others and forming good relationships is very important for mental wellbeing. It helps to regulate positive emotions which include self-esteem, empathy, sense of belonging, and many others.

5.  Sleep is necessary too

Sleep will help you to recover from mental and physical exertion. I am sure you are already aware that sleep and health are very much related. Poor sleep patterns will only lead you to poor health.

Studies show that sleep deprivation can significantly impact your mood and disturb your mental health. People who tend to sleep for only a few hours a night are prone to feeling more stressed, angry, exhausted, and sad. Therefore, never skip or disturb your sleeping pattern. It’s advised to sleep at least 6 hours a night.

6.  Know what triggers you

You experience a very wide range of emotions that relate to a specific event every day. Be it joy, frustration, distress, excitement, or confusion, etc. How you respond to each situation will be very different from others.

But there are a few situations that may cause a rise of an emotion that might trigger an intense emotional reaction.  These responses might be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Knowing what may or may not trigger an intense reaction is one of the most important parts of a good emotional self-care plan.

7.  Work on your boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries is an important part to keep your mental and emotional health in check. Poor or lack of boundaries will make you do a lot of things that you wouldn’t want to do. Plus, it will drain so much of your energy and time.

Lack of boundaries makes you feel as if you have to hold everybody else’s feelings above yours. This can make you feel even more anxious, angry, stressed, depressed, and sad. Whereas, enforcing boundaries and not letting others make decisions for you, is indeed empowering.

8.  Self-compassion isn’t self-pity or selfish

Many people can understand, love, and accept others. But at the same time, find it very hard to inward the same effort to themselves. They feel self-compassion as an act of selfishness and self-indulgence.

Whereas, compassion is about showing love, concern, empathy, and acceptance to yourself. It can never be an act of selfishness. Rather it’s a part of an effective self-care plan. Self-compassion will help you with several mental health issues like anxiety, self-esteem, and insecurities.

9.  Accepting compliments are a good start

Accepting compliments is one of the areas where we all have some room to grow. I understand that accepting and receiving compliments can sometimes be a little weird. For example, if someone compliments you on how well you manage your life, you might respond by saying something similar to, “well, thank you but anyone could have done the same. “

Rather than responding negatively to the compliments. Try accepting the compliment genuinely and believe that you are worthy of the compliment you’ve received. It will make you feel confident, accepted, loved, and will also help will social anxiety.

10.  Watch your sorry train

Apologizing for mistakes that aren’t even yours is never going to help you improve your emotional or mental health. Because you will always hold yourself responsible for whatever went wrong.

Plus, feeling sorry for being yourself is not a great idea either. This will make you feel unacceptable, ashamed, and guilty just for putting your true self out there. While apologies are actually healthy, but self-pity, low self-esteem, shame, or feeling like a burden should never be the reason to be sorry.

Take Away

Emotional self-care is not something that you can achieve in a week. Establishing and then regularly practicing the emotional self-care plan is a journey in which you will excel with time. Because it takes time to train the brain to control and manage your emotions in your best interest.

love yourself

Allowing yourself to fully experience the emotion you are going through is the best and one of the first steps you can take towards your emotional self-care plan. Letting your guard down and knowing that the only way to cope through this phase is to let your emotions sink in.

Once you learn how to experience your emotions, then you can move on to monitoring and regulating your emotions. You can use coping skills to manage your emotions and tweak a few things here and there to put your health and self-care first.

Remember that self-care, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or social, is never selfish in any way or form. You have to keep yourself first to be the best version of yourself for others.

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