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Year of Wellness: Finding Balance in Emotional Wellness

Top 5 Tips to Benefit Your Mental Health through Emotional Wellness Practices

Close to 60 million Americans or around 23% are currently impacted by a mental health condition. That number jumps to over 36% of people aged 18 – 251. And, people with chronic physical health conditions are twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety compared to those without chronic conditions2. Thankfully, there are many ways to help manage and find support for these conditions. Today we will be focusing particularly on fostering positive emotional wellness.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the demands of daily life. From work deadlines to personal commitments, it can seem like there’s never enough time to take care of ourselves. However, finding balance in emotional wellness is essential for our mental health and overall well-being. But, what is emotional wellness? Let’s explore this as well as practical tips and strategies to help you achieve a sense of balance in your emotional and mental health.

Emotional Wellness drawing on a chalkboard

As a note: The content of this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet, exercise, medication, or other health-related routines.

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Understanding Emotional Wellness

Before diving into tips for finding balance, let’s first understand what emotional wellness entails. Emotional wellness refers to our ability to cope with life’s challenges, manage stress, build resilience, and maintain positive relationships with others. It involves being aware of and expressing our feelings in healthy ways, as well as having a sense of purpose and fulfillment in life.

Benefits of Good Emotional Wellness Graphic

Why Is Emotional Wellness Important

Achieving balance in emotional wellness is crucial for several reasons. First, it allows us to navigate life’s ups and downs with greater ease and resilience. When we’re emotionally and mentally balanced, we’re better equipped to cope with stress, maintain healthy relationships, and make informed decisions. Moreover, it enables us to experience greater happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction in our personal and professional lives. It can even enhance our physical well-being and lower our risks of many health concerns.

How Does Mental Health Relate to Emotional Wellness

When it comes to mental health, certain factors may increase your risk of developing a mental health disorder. These can include genetics, stress, trauma, abuse, chronic health conditions, chemical imbalances in our brain, alcohol or drug use, loneliness, and various environmental factors3. Although we cannot control all of these factors, having a strong sense of emotional wellness can aid in the management of these mental health diagnoses. 

Factors that can impact Mental Health Graphic

As someone diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, the tips below, combined with regular movement, proper nutrition, and other general wellness changes have allowed me to manage these conditions without medication. This may not be the case for everyone and that is okay if it is not. I personally had many negative side effects from medications and did not see the outcome that was expected. So, I worked with my doctors and mental health professionals to find a process that works for me at this moment.

As a reminder, make sure to speak to your doctor before making any lifestyle or medication changes. Also, this article is not meant to simplify or dismiss many of the real struggles that come with mental health concerns. I strongly encourage speaking to a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms that are impacting any aspect of your day-to-day living.

Practical Tips for Finding Balance in Emotional Wellness

Now that we understand the importance of emotional well-being, let’s take a look at ways you can best foster a healthy balance of emotional wellness.

1. Develop a Healthier Mind-Body Connection

Developing a healthier mind-body connection can be done through journaling, mindfulness, meditation, and similar activities. The goal is to understand your emotions better, how they manifest in your body, what triggers those emotions, and where they stem from.

Emotions Wheel Graphic - Sad, disgust, fear, anger, surprise, happy

A way to start understanding what emotion you are feeling is to learn the types of emotions through tools such as the emotions wheel. Brene Brown’s Atlas of the Heart also beautifully breaks down emotions and how to better know what you are feeling. 

  • Atlas of the Heart Brene Brown Book
  • Atlas of the Heart Content Page
  • Atlas of the Heart Content Page 2
  • Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage
  • The Four Horsemen Atlas of the Heart
  • Cultivating Meaningful Connection Atlas of the Heart

Once you know what you are feeling, regular reflection can help you to understand why you are feeling that way. Reflect on the people you are around, the food you are consuming, the sleep you are getting, your support systems, etc. This will help you to then identify more what your body needs to find balance in your body.

2. Practice Self-Care

 Next, make self-care a priority in your daily routine. We cover the importance of self-care and how to prioritize it in my article on self-care tips. Self-care helps you to prioritize your emotional and physical well-being as a lot of times, that can get lost as we become busier.

Take time to engage in activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Try reading a book, going for a walk in nature, or doing something creative. Remember, self-care looks different for everyone, so find what works best for you. Not sure where to start? Check out how to put together a customized self-care toolbox, use a self-care checklist, or try one of the self-care ideas below.

Self Care Ideas graphic with a long list: bath, movie, spa, snack, exercise, read, hike, breathe, podcast, gratitude, journal, rest, walk, play, affirmations, class, meditate, music, food, gym, creative, vision board, massage, xozy, tea, nature, nap, yoga, detox, declutter, mindfulness, connect, volunteer

3. Work on Stress Management

Once you have a better understanding of your emotions and triggers, and have some tools in your self-care toolbox, work on further identifying sources of stress in your life. When you identify a stressor, find ways to manage, reduce, or eliminate the stressor. What is in the circle of your control?

Deep Breathing Exercises that help you relax, focus, and regulate your nervous system. Triangle breathing, box breathing, 4-7-8 Breathing, 5 Finger Breathing

For things that cannot be reduced or eliminated, what can I do to manage my stress? You could try deep breathing exercises (like the options above), progressive muscle relaxation, walks, or grounding techniques (like the one below). There are so many options so experiment with what works best for you, and prioritize those tools.

5-4-3-2-1 Emotional Grounding Technique, 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste

4. Cultivate Healthy Relationships

There are so many benefits to creating positive connections. Work on cultivating healthy relationships built on trust, respect, and open communication. 

Surround yourself with supportive and positive people who uplift and encourage you. Set health boundaries with your friends and family to help maintain that healthy balance with those you care about. Looking to make more healthy relationships or better nurture the connections you have? Take a look at my article on enhancing your social wellness.

Benefits of Social Connection Graphic. Improved mood, lower risk of heart disease, depression, and dementia, more longevity in life, and higher overall satisfaction in life

5. Seek Help as Needed

Therapy can provide valuable support, guidance, and coping strategies to help you with specific concerns as well as improve your overall well-being. Mental Health professionals can aid you in working through past or present traumas or stressors. And, they can provide you with resources for medications or other therapies if that is needed.

If you are looking for support in a more goal-oriented, present and future-focused way, consider Health and Wellness Coaching. Wellness coaches can provide you with education, resources, support, and accountability to help you progress in an individualized way on your wellness journey, whether your focus is emotional wellness or any other aspect of wellness. For more information on this and the services I provide, reach out to me here.

Conclusion

Achieving balance in emotional wellness is an ongoing journey that requires self-awareness, self-care, and self-compassion. By implementing these practical tips and strategies into your daily life, you can take proactive steps towards finding balance and living a happier, healthier life.

What about resources? Check back on May 20th for additional resources and tools to help you develop even more balance in your emotional wellness. Follow me on Pinterest and/or Instagram for daily tips and inspiration. What questions do you still have? What resources do you want to see?

IMPORTANT: If you are struggling with your mental health and are in need of immediate support, please contact a Crisis Line. In the U.S., call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org for additional information. Lifeline Chat is their online chat option as well. The Crisis Textline, which is available Globally, can be reached by texting HOME to 741741 or by visiting crisistextline.org. All of these services are free and confidential and available 24/7.

  1. Cooper, Mae, et al. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 2022. ↩︎
  2. Health (UK), National Collaborating Centre for Mental. “DEPRESSION in ADULTS with a CHRONIC PHYSICAL HEALTH PROBLEM.” Www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, British Psychological Society (UK), 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK82930/#:~:text=However%2C%20it%20must%20be%20appreciated%20that%20people%20with. Accessed 19 May 2024. ↩︎
  3. Mayo Clinic. “Mental Illness – Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, 13 Dec. 2022, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/symptoms-causes/syc-20374968. ↩︎

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