Taking care of your emotional health is as important as taking care of your physical health. Really, they go hand in hand. Eating and sleeping well and exercising regularly can help you feel better about yourself. Conversely, if you are in a good mood, you are more likely to make good decisions related to your physical health. For example, when you feel good, you’ll look forward to exercise and not view it as a chore.
When I think about emotional wellness, several words come to mind:
Happiness – Are you making choices and doing things that bring you joy? Life is too short to waste it on things (and even people) that bring you down.
Acceptance – When things don’t go your way or you have a personal setback, you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. Take a step back, learn from your mistake and then make a plan to move forward.
Optimism – It’s emotionally draining if you always think the worst will happen. It can cause serious mental and physical health problems. So, try being more optimistic; focusing on the positives rather than the negatives in people and situations.
Resiliency – Life is full of setbacks. What defines us is how we respond to them. As the band Chumbawamba sang in their 1997 hit Tubthumping, “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You are never gonna keep me down”. These are simple words to live by.
Positivity – Much like optimism and happiness, it’s important to have a positive outlook on life. It is so much easier to attack challenges in life with vigor rather than dread.
According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking is linked to a wide range of health benefits including:
- Longer life span
- Less stress
- Lower rates of depression
- Increase resistance to the common cold
- Better stress management and coping skills
- Lower risk of cardiovascular disease-related death
- Increase physical well-being
- Better psychological health
This doesn’t mean that everything in your life will always be positive. It’s normal to have a variety of emotions. However, working to replace unhealthy thought patterns with positive ones will help prevent you from getting stuck in negativity. Give it a try and see what happens. I’m positive you’ll think it’s a better way to live!
I agree on the positive, however, I give myself permission to feel the losses that MS brings. I can’t positive-think my way out of what is daily challenges and changes. Having a safe person to vent to is great. I think I’m positive, but also realistically looking at what changes are, the impact, and how I can rise to that next challenge. There are days I just “make it through” and that’s okay! I have a tendency to beat myself up, so I let myself have quiet days, or bummed days once in a while; I give myself permission. I think there is room and space for “grieving” that is very health.
Thanks for the article!