Last week I listened to a daily webinar taught by Jody Moore, each day focusing on one of the 5 Pillars of Wellness: Emotional, Physical, Financial, Social and Spiritual. I want to share some things I learned about emotional wellness with you today!
What is emotional wellness? Jody says it’s understanding what causes our feelings and knowing what to do with them.
Our feelings come from our thoughts and we have three options for what to do with them:
- Resist them. This will usually compound the negative emotion. For example we might get mad at ourselves for feeling guilty about something.
- Avoid them. We try to escape our feelings through food, scrolling on our phones, Netflix, shopping or any kind of buffering behavior.
- Process them. This means allowing the feeling to move through us. This is the best option.
Jody also taught us specifically how to do #3:
- Relax and breathe. Name the feeling, which separates it from you (I am angry vs I feel angry).
- Get out of your head and into your body. Describe the feeling, where does it live, what does it feel like?
- Be curious while allowing the feeling. Feelings are part of being human. “Oh I’m going to do anxiety right now, okay”, “I wonder where this is coming from.”, “This is just from sentences in my brain.”
If we allow the feelings they won’t stick around long. However, it’s not something we can do once and then never feel that feeling again, the brain takes ongoing maintenance. If we practice though, we will get better at handling negative emotions. She recommended a book by Brene Brown called Atlas of the Heart for more information on this topic.