When it comes to overall health, it’s imperative to look at the whole picture—and that wouldn’t be complete without the colors and textures of your emotions. Much to our collective detriment, we live in a society that often discounts the emotional world, writing it off as something secondary or too personal to discuss in the workplace. But emotional wellbeing is at the root of our physical health, mental resilience, quality of relationships, and really everything.
As an emotional wellness impact coach, I teach people how to human better, and often find that a clients’ greatest blockage or place of being stuck at work can actually come from emotional underpinnings.
First, what is emotional health?
Emotional health confronts your internal states of being. Emotions can be a full spectrum, including love, anger, joy, and sadness. These can then be broken down into secondary and tertiary states. Because emotions and behaviors go hand in hand, our emotions conduct systems that affect all aspects of who we are—from our reactions and choices to our goals and overall perception of the world.
It’s not that an emotionally healthy person doesn’t experience difficult emotions, but they have the resiliency to work with and manage them. States such as stress, anxiety, and low self-worth are all emotional aspects of our health that require our attention, especially if they reach levels that become inhibitory of our wellbeing. “Good” emotional health looks like having a positive attitude, high self-esteem and self-worth, and a healthy body image.
Luckily, our emotional health is very much something we can work on, just like you might change your diet to lower your cholesterol. Some key ways we can tend to and improve our emotional wellbeing include the following:
1. Learn to identify your emotions
Being able to identify emotions happens to be extremely challenging for even the most successful people. It’s not something we’re truly taught to identify and then articulate. Start by simply becoming aware of your own emotional states and patterns. Once you become aware of them you can learn to successfully work through them in a healthy way, and ensure they don’t become overwhelming.
2. Master coping skills
Coping is a wonderful tool for tending to our emotional health and building resilience. Coping comes in many different shapes and sizes—it's important for people to build a toolbox of effective personal coping mechanisms. This also requires a period of trial and error. Coping can be done through things like meditation, spending time in nature, phoning a friend, doing breathing exercises, or journaling. Once you find a tool that works, add it to the ethereal toolbox and remember to pull it out in times of need.
3. Get to know you
Work on understanding yourself (aka loving yourself). The more you lean into yourself and show a desire to be curious and compassionate, the greater the likelihood of you shifting into emotional health. We spend a lot of time getting to know others but very little time getting to know ourselves—and we need to change that.
4. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity, and acceptance. The benefits of practicing mindfulness include decreasing depression, improving emotional reactivity, improving resiliency, and improving healthy coping skills. One of the most effective ways to improve mindfulness is to practice mindfulness meditation.
5. Get moving
Exercise is one of the places where we see how inextricably linked our physical and mental wellbeing is. It’s important to move your body frequently, and the Mayo Clinic reports that exercise can help to improve depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as improve mood and help you feel better overall. Additionally, exercise helps people feel more confident and releases feel-good endorphins. Aim for getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day on three to five days per week to get the most benefits.
A final note
How often should you work on your emotional wellness? The answer is really every day, and you can find ways to incorporate it into your work routine in small ways so it’s not overwhelming or another “to-do.” Make yourself a priority, stick with it, and enjoy the beauty of the results—in and out of the workplace.
Katie Sandler is a popular impact coach, and provides health and wealth coaching and personal and professional development. She offers retreats around the world, as well as private coaching and corporate impact coaching opportunities. She focuses on helping people become more successful so they can live with purpose and make an impact in our world. To learn more about Katie or her services, visit her site: katiesandler.com.
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