5 Tips For Improving Your Emotional Coping Skills
Our emotions have incredible power over us, but unfortunately, we’re not able to control them consciously. Created by a primitive part of our brain, the limbic part of the brain, our emotional responses tend to be outspoken, forceful, unrestrainable, and based on the need to survive.
“Feeling happy is a part of mental well-being. But it’s far from the whole…Of course, good mental well-being does not mean that you never experience feelings or situations that you find difficult, but it does mean that you feel you have the resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual,” says professor of public health at the University of Warwick and a well-being expert, Sarah Stewart-Brown.
You know those people that seem to have it together every time, all the time – it’s because of this resilience and well-being. Understand that these people don’t have a magic pill or potion that gets them through the hard times; they’ve simply gathered the tools they need for coping with the difficult situations they’re presented with while maintaining a positive outlook. They are capable of adapting because they know how to remain focused and decisive when things aren’t going their way. They have confidence in their ability to act in uncomfortable situations or under uncertain circumstances, in spite of their fears not for lack of it. Even when they are unsure how things will turn out, they have faith that it will all work out in the end.
Here are 5 tips you can start implementing today to help you stay emotionally healthy and balanced:
Focus On The Good
It’s easy to find the negative in almost any situation – and we’ve practiced the skill so much, it’s become almost effortless. But that doesn’t mean you should give into that “stinking thinking.” With persistence and strength you can retrain your brain to find the good in your life experiences. One of the most important things you can do is be open and accept what’s going on around you – without resistance and rejection.
Over time, you’ll learn to see others (as well as yourself) through the eyes of compassion. This will positively affect how you move through life and all the challenges it has to offer.
Connect With Others
Spending time with like-minded friends and family will boost your self-esteem, as well as decrease stress levels and increase the release of happy hormones in the brain. If your family is another source of stress, consider building your social network, making new friends, and boosting your connectivity to others even if it’s just through a smile, a handshake or by volunteering your time to help out your community.
Do Things That You Enjoy
This makes sense on so many levels. Realize that you still have more to learn and discover about the world around you. You can sign up for a class or learn how to play a musical instrument. You can join a book club or go back to school. These activities will give you a sense of accomplishment and will boost your confidence. Hobbies should have a place in everyone’s life since they bring joy and pride. It could be growing an herb garden, painting or collecting coins.
Eat To Nourish Yourself
What you eat not only affects you physically, but it affects how you think and feel. A diet filled with sugary, heavily processed foods will have a negative effect on your brain, on your body, and on your immune system. On the other hand, when you eat a well-balanced diet that minimizes blood sugar highs and lows, you give your brain the energy it needs to work to its full potential. This may also help you improve the quality of your sleep, your mood, and immune system. It’s also a great boost for your self-confidence and willpower.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Being around nature is a great way to calm the nerves and see things from a different perspective. It’s a proven way to suppress stress hormones. In addition, it’s been scientifically proven that regular exposure to sunlight improves your mood and boosts energy levels via the release of endorphins. It also increases levels of vitamin D in your body, which strengthens the immune system and guards against depression.
If you really want to reach that peak level of emotional health, make it a priority to exercise outdoors. Try to incorporate it in your weekly schedule to get the most benefits and boost levels of health-promoting neurochemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
If you hate working out, or keep making excuses, check out this post on Eliminating Your Excuses for Fitness Failure