How to Boost your Emotional Wellness

If you want to boost your emotional health then build the following into your life:

1. Develop a good group of friends. If possible, try to have a wide group of friends. Then, if someone moves away, or you change your work or hobbies, you’ll still have a healthy support system in place.

2. Learn to appreciate solitude. Isolation isn’t the same as solitude. Isolation is being cut off from others for negative reasons; solitude is enjoying space and time for yourself. It allows you to recharge your batteries.

3. Invest time in getting fit. People who are fit and healthy generally feel better about themselves. Also, exercise releases feel-good hormones so we feel happier, more optimistic and relaxed.

4. Allow yourself to goof off and have a laugh. Too much work will drain your energy. And we all benefit from letting our hair down.

5. Discover your passion and invest time in that. We all have something that brings us alive, and seems to resonate with who we are inside. Find things that so this for you.

6. Plan for difficulties and problems. We all encounter problems and hard times in this life. Expecting that to happen helps us feel more in control.

7. Work on increasing your self-awareness. If we can learn about ourselves, and our natural tendencies, we can learn to master weaknesses, and work to change and grow.

8. Be willing to take risks. Though it’s hard to step out into unknown territory, you’ll find it’s more rewarding to stretch yourself, and grow.

9. Watch out for energy vampires. There are people who tend to drain your time and energy. Learn to practice self-care by having healthy boundaries.

10. Ask for help when you need it. We all need support and encouragement at times. Also, offer help to others when their life is difficult.

“Life is about balance. Be kind – but don’t let people abuse you. Trust – but don’t be deceived. Be content – but never stop improving yourself.”

Know your Worth; Believe in your Worth

When you know your worth, no-one can make you feel worthless.”

What is Self-Worth?

Self-worth is basically the level of importance you place on yourself. It has an emotional component to it, and greatly influences how you feel about yourself, especially in comparison to other people. It also affects our choices and goals – both on a conscious and an unconscious level.

Self-Worth is something that comes from within. It’s what makes us accept our imperfections – whilst also recognizing we have gifts and strengths (gifts and strengths that we’re happy with, and value). Furthermore, a healthy self-worth keeps us on an even keel – even if we lose our status, our wealth, our looks, our reputation, or our relationships.

What Self-Worth is Not

The following should never be a yardstick for the value we place upon ourselves (or other people): career; education, achievements, and awards; age, colour, gender, race or sexual-orientation; whether we are in a relationship or not; wealth, how much you earn, what your family have achieved, or anything a family member’s said or done.

The Key to Finding Self-Worth

The following can help develop healthy self-worth:

1. Try constructing an inventory of your strengths or skills. What are you naturally good at? What can you do without too much effort? What can you offer to other people?

2. Forgive yourself for making awful choices or mistakes. We all have skeletons in our cupboards. None of us is perfect; it is part of being human. And we all need to learn how we can let go of regrets. If we don’t, we will always struggle with self-worth.

3. Be willing to take risks. Trying new things is what enables us to grow, and become better versions of ourselves.  If you don’t quite succeed, don’t give up, just try again.

4. Surround yourself with people who can clearly see your worth, and who affirm and encourage you to see this in yourself. Also, surround yourself with people who have pushed through obstacles, and fought to have a health self-image, themselves. This will rub off on you, as well.

Why Moving on can Feel like Abandonment

Sometimes when you think about letting go of a traumatic past, it can feel like abandonment.

It is not.”

When you think about moving on with life, and leaving a traumatic experience behind, it can feel threatening – and even wrong. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. What happened was huge. It blew your world apart. Life as you knew it changed on that day.

2. What happened came completely out of left field. It was absolutely shocking, and entirely unexpected.

3. The impact has reverberated through the whole of life. It has impacted your life in a million ways – and often in ways you could never have imagined.

4. The fallout, and the pain and the disorientation are something you had never experienced before, and especially not to that degree. The words you would use to describe it are extreme … excruciating, anguished, tormented, crazy-making, horrifying, shocking, and unbearable.

5. Also, you didn’t have the skills to cope with the trauma, and it turned you into someone you didn’t recognize. It turned you into a person you didn’t want to be, and it sometimes left you feeling that you’d lost your mind.  

6. The trauma left you feeling isolated and alone. And you felt that there was no-one who really understood.

7. And that is why you need to be there for yourself … because you feel that no-one else was (or even could be) there for you.  And there’s no way you can risk this ever happening again. You can’t let yourself suffer that intensity of pain. You have to stay in high alert, or you might put yourself at risk

9. Also, it feels like moving on minimizes all the pain, all the shock – everything that you have been through. It’s as it just erases it, and says it doesn’t count. And it doesn’t really matter than you suffered like you did.

10. But this isn’t true … And you can still be there for you … You can heal from the pain, and can rebuild your life again. You will not forget what happened. You will not forget the cost. But you will find you’re freer, and you’ve more self-confidence.

Quote of the Day

I promise you, little by little, the healing adds up.” – Ella Hicks

I know it doesn’t always feel as if this statement’s true … but every small investment in your healing really counts. It all makes a difference. It all adds up, over time.

So hang on to that hope when you’ve lost the will to fight. When you’re in the thick of battle and you don’t feel brave or strong.

You are starting to heal.

You are different from before.

All that hard work … it is worth it.

Keep on going.

Don’t give up.

Protective Walls or Prison Walls?

Make sure that the walls you build to protect yourself do not become a prison.” – Yung Pueblo

The Dilemma Around Having a Trusting, Open heart

It is very difficult when you have trusted someone deeply … and you’ve shared your true self with them … then that person broke your heart. The damage that it causes affects everything in life. It changes you completely. You lose your innocence.

Why We Build Walls

And in fact, it is instinctive to protect ourselves from harm – so we are never wounded or hurt like this again. And taking this position is an act of real self-love. It says that: “I have value, and I won’t be pushed around.”

The Problems Around Building Walls

But problems can arise when these strong walls become so solid that no-one can get near us, or ever touch our heart.  And, yes, we feel less fragile; more in control of life. But it can isolate us, and cut us off from love.

What to do About it

Below are some suggestions – some steps which you can take – to start to change those patterns, and deconstruct your walls:

1. Consider exploring the pain of the past with a counsellor or therapist. When doing this, choose someone who has specific training in trauma counselling.

2. Try to think about who – among your family and close friends – you could allow yourself to be more open and vulnerable with. This should be someone you feel safe with, and someone you believe that you can genuinely trust.

Also, the process of slowly opening up has to be done in small steps. Small steps which allow you to pull back if you feel you need to, and which allow you to slowly and carefully reflect on what this experience is like for you.

3. Keep working on your mental and emotional well-being.  This includes continuing to focus on self-compassion, self-kindness, self-esteem and self-worth.

4. Remind yourself that there is no schedule for working through this process. And it shouldn’t be something you feel pressurized to do. The most important thing is that you’re taking down the bricks in a way, and at a pace, which you find works for you. Always … you make the decisions. And you are in control. You’re doing this for you, and not for anybody else.

Emotional Safety in Relationships

As I began to love myself, my relationship with everyone changed.”    

Emotional safety is key to creating trusting, healthy, meaningful relationships. Some things to bear in mind as you think about this topic include:

1.To relax and trust in a relationship you need to feel both physically and emotionally safe. Even if we don’t we’re physically, at risk we may not feel emotionally safe with our partner.

2. Emotional safety is communicated by subtle non-verbal cues. For example, we can be triggered (so we start to feel unsafe) by things like tone of voice, a blank face, an uninterested look, a dismissive look, or by our partner turning away when we start to talk to them.

3. Words in themselves do not generally communicate safety, security, unconditional acceptance, and a feeling that we’re wanted and loved. Also, when our intuition doesn’t match the words we’re hearing we discount the words, and we trust our intuition. Generally, that is what is pointing to the truth.

4. Where trust has been broken, and we’ve been betrayed, it is hard to trust and feel safe again. We’re always on the look out for those tiny subtle cues that confirm the message that we’re not really loved, and this person isn’t safe, and isn’t really there for us.

5. One of the deepest forms of betrayal is sexual betrayal. However, betrayal can also include things like sharing personal information you’ve entrusted to your partner; not being there for you at a time of crisis, or when you really need their love and support; not being interested in you at all, and things that matter to you, and you care about.

6. Emotional safety is created by our partner listening carefully to us, and giving us their empathic and focused attention, when we take the risk and open up to them. It is responding with tenderness and understanding when we reach out for support, and feeling they pick up on our worry or distress.

&. In addition, we feel emotionally safe when we feel we can real – when we feel we can express our true self with this person, and we feel we are accepted just the way we are.

Being our authentic self also means being able to express negative thoughts and feelings without it leading to some kind of attack, or ending up in a bitter argument.

7. Related to this, we feel emotionally safe when a person respects our boundaries, and we feel unsafe when they breach our boundaries.  Boundaries can be physical (which includes our need for space and distance), sexual, financial, psychological and emotional.

8. Transparency and openness are crucial for creating emotional safety and trust. This is a two-way process, and includes us feeling that our partner or spouse is being open and transparent as well. When we are being transparent and real, neither us nor partner have anything to fear. We know we’re not being deceived as everything is in the light. In fact, if our partner gets angry or uncomfortable when questioned, or when we reach out to them for warmth and reassurance, then this should be a warning bell. Two well-known statements to remember here are: “Those who have nothing to hide hide nothing”, and “Reactions speak louder than words”!

Quote of the Day

“She was a forgiver. Her heart was so large that she couldn’t give up on people – because she always believed the best of those she loved. It wasn’t until she’d been walked on so many times that she had no choice, and finally let go of those who burned holes in her heart.” – Unknown

Sometimes you just have to do it.

You have to put yourself first … to stop yourself from being destroyed.

Even if you’re gentle and compassionate.

Even if you always look, and hope, for the best.

There are times when it is right to say: “Enough!”- and walk away.

You owe it to yourself.

It’s time to have some boundaries.

To the Warrior in You …

“I have endured. I have been broken. I have endured hardship. I have lost myself. But here I stand, still moving forward, growing stronger each day.”

Yes, you have lived through something really awful.

Yes, you have felt as if your world was going to end.

But deep down inside, you found the courage and the strength to push on through the darkness. To make it. To survive.

And though it isn’t easy – there are days when you feel hopeless. Days when you feel empty. When you lose the will to fight.

Keep on going. You will make it. It’s not over. You can do this.

Each day you’re growing stronger.

You will live and laugh again.   

How to Stay on Top of Life when you Feel Depressed

The only thing more exhausting than being depressed is pretending that you’re not.”

Some basic advice for those bleak, tough days ….

1. Acknowledge how you feel, and accept that this is going to be a more challenging day. Call it for what it is, and respect your limits.

2. Commit to doing only the absolute essentials. Don’t push yourself to do anything more than.

3. Prioritize what’s important right now. For example, if you have a report that has to be submitted, then choose to work on that. However, if it is something that can wait, set it aside for the moment.

4. Work through your (short!) to-do list in small chunks of time – making sure you get plenty of breaks.

5. Talk to someone who will understand. If you can’t talk face to face, then call or text. Don’t keep your feelings to yourself. We need to get support when we’re feeling low.

6. Be wise in your use of social media. It may be good to deactivate a few accounts for now, or to switch off your phone to protect yourself from images and comments that leave you feeling worse.

7. Make sure you leave the house and get a change of scenery. If possible, get some exercise as well.

8. Deliberately invest in some form of self-care, and remember that tomorrow is another day.