Mental Health Awareness

8

Does what you say and do each day affect your mental wellness in a positive or negative way?

People feel a wide range of emotions every day. We feel frustration when stuck in traffic and joy when we laugh with our friends. We can feel happiness and sadness all at once. This is normal.

Because normal human emotions change so fast and vary so widely, they can sometimes seem overpowering. It is important for each of us to discover our own effective ways for managing strong feelings. Our emotions have a big impact on our mental wellness. To be our best selves, we must try to create balance between our minds, hearts, and emotions.

These ideas can help us manage our emotions and feel more in control.

  • Breathing: Take a deep breath, hold it, and then slowly release. Repeat as needed. Deep breathing exercises are good for our nervous systems, help us check in with our feelings, and raise awareness about how the things we do or think can affect us positively or negatively.
  • Mindfulness: Dealing with negative feelings like anger, frustration, and nervousness may leave us feeling hopeless. Instead of avoiding feelings, being mindful of them helps our brains learn ways to cope that we can use in the future. Ask yourself, “How have I successfully managed this feeling in the past?”
  • Name it to tame it: Naming our feelings can help us feel in control. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” Try to go further than just “happy” or “sad”. It is good practice to regularly explore our feelings and how they change.
  • Practice self-care and gratitude: Eat healthy foods, drink water, and get enough sleep. Avoid gossip and discussing or dwelling on the negative. Choose instead to focus on and emphasize the positive things you see and hear.
  • Journal: Writing helps us reflect on our feelings and explore how we can deal with them.
  • Pause: Sometimes we need to distract ourselves temporarily to avoid negative feelings or overreaction. Walk around the neighborhood, help others, or do something that brings you joy and emphasizes the good things in your life!

Every action we take, big or small, has the power to contribute to or take away from our mental wellness. Check in with yourself and find what works to support you. After all, you know yourself best!