When doctors asks what your symptoms are, you will likely tell them everything that feels wrong and give a decent picture of what is going on with your body. Here, you are paying attention to your body, listening to what it has to say, and relaying that to a professional to get help. This is a skill you should practice more often, not just for physical issues but also for your emotional health.
Paying attention to your emotional health is something you learn, or are taught, while growing up. Emotions are usually not something you think about but should take some time to understand so you know what is happening when you are upset. If you are upset with something, or someone, there is a reason for it, and if you can understand that reason, you can move forward with fixing it if it is a fixable issue. This is the same as going to the doctor, presenting your symptoms, and the doctor coming up with the treatment for it. Think of this like taking your emotional temperature.
Your understanding of yourself should begin with identifying what you are feeling. This may seem pretty basic, but a lot of people gloss over this, and just think they are feeling, “upset”, or “depressed.” Those are good words to start with, but take some time to figure out what the right word is, what the right feeling is, and where is it coming from. When your spouse pulls away from you at night, do you react by feeling, “upset” or would a better word be “hurt and abandoned?” Put together the cause and effect of “when something happens, I think this particular thing, and then I feel this particular way.”
Also important to your emotional health is to also pay attention to when you are happy, grateful, or other more positive emotions. Those are just as important feelings too, and you want to understand how you got there, so you can re-create the steps you took. Part of being emotionally healthy is doing what brings you joy more often, and less of what does not, so pay particular attention to the sources of happiness in your life and what makes them joyous for you.
Emotional health, like physical health, is something you have to work at on a regular basis. No one is just emotionally healthy and good for life. You have to know what you are thinking and feeling, and realize when those thoughts and feelings are a problem. It is also important to know when to seek help, when those things are overwhelming, and seeking outside help is necessary.
Simply put, pay attention to yourself, and you will go a long way towards being emotionally healthy.
Join us at College of Allied Educators to learn more about your deepest emotions, and discover how you can overcome your fears, disagreements, and challenges in order to build a happier life for yourself and your loved ones.
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