Emotions are powerful forms of expression. They can affect how you see the world and how the world sees you. Since emotions are such an important part of your inner workings, they can determine the quality of your life by shaping the way you feel, think and act. Healthy emotions refresh and reward while negative emotions can drain your energy in destructive ways. Here are some ways to cultivate healthy emotions in balance with your life in the New Year.
Get It Out
Keeping your emotions bottled up is a form of denial. Keep in mind that stopping an emotional response is not the only way to control it. Repressing your emotions takes a punishment toll on your mind and body. Minimizing or discounting your emotions can be just as poisonous. Learning to identify the cause of sadness, stress, frustration or anxiety in your life is the first step in earning to come to terms with them it. Listen to your emotions and understand why you feel the way you do. Identifying a problem helps you to keep it in perspective and helps prevent you from giving in to self-pity.
Seek Appropriate Outlets
It's OK to let close friends and family know when something is bothering you. Just make sure you're expressing your feelings at the right time, to the right people. Understand that your family and friends may not be able to help you deal with all your feelings. Do not overlook your doctor, therapist, counselor or religious advisor. Often it's best to seek professional advice and support to help improve your emotional health.
Be Open To Change
The secret to leading a balanced life is not about staying still and rigid in one place; Rather, it's about being able to adapt to change. Be resilient. Learn to cope with change and stress. Change is never easy but resisting change often makes things worse. Better to accept change and keep things in perspective.
Eating healthy foods can help keep your emotions in balance by preventing mood swings, panic attacks and even the onset of depression. You can begin by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Many of these contain antioxidants – substances that protect and nourish cells. Foods high in antioxidants include colorful fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, berries, broccoli, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Try to keep your blood sugar stable by eating smaller portions multiple times a day, making sure to start right by eating a healthy breakfast.
Avoid overeating and do not abuse drugs or alcohol. Using drugs or alcohol only creates other problems. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation, For women and anyone 65 or older, that means no more than one alcoholic drink a day. Men under 65 should indulge in no more than two drinks daily. If you smoke, stop. It's never too late. And be sure to get a good night's sleep. For most people, that means at least eight hours a night.
Keep Stress In Check
Try not to obsess about problems in your life. When you're stressed, your brain releases hormones that can make you feel depressed or anxious. Find ways to let go of the things that make you feel stressed and overwhelmed. This does not mean you have to prepare to be happy when you're feeling anxious or upset. You should attend to worrisome situations, but try to focus on the positive things in your life too. You may want to use a journal to keep track of the things that make you feel happy or peaceful. Research has shown that having a positive outlook can improve your quality of life and give your health a boost. Make time for the things you enjoy and focus on them.
Exercise makes you feel more energetic and alert. The best part is that you can make it fun. Pick an activity you enjoy, whether it's doing yard work or walking your dog. Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes at least five days a week. Start by increasing your physical activity gradually. Park your car farther away and walk the extra distance. Take the stairs instead of an elevator. When watching TV, ride a stationary bike. Just get moving. Regular physical activity can help you think clearer, feel better and lower your risk of many diseases.
Keep It Simple
Think about what's important in your life and what you can eliminate. Is it really necessary to check your email or monitor your Facebook friends repeatedly throughout the day? Slow things down and appreciate the beauty around you. Instead of constantly worrying about the future, remain focused on the present. Try meditating to calm your mind and body. Meditation is a useful way to bring your emotions into balance. People who meditate regularly also report lower incidences of illness and they feel more connected to the people around them.
Think Of Others
One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is by doing something special for someone else. Volunteering in your community strengthens your social ties and leads to a sense of greater self-worth. According to a study conducted by The Corporation for National and Community Service, researchers found a strong relationship between volunteering and lower levels of depression, especially for anyone 65 or older. Social service organizations, churches, schools and charitable groups are always looking for extra help. It's a great way to make lots of interesting new friends, too.
Be Good To Yourself
Most of us are harder on ourselves than anyone else. The more you beat yourself up for your mistakes and shortcomings, the worse you'll feel. Over time, negative self-criticism can even contribute to anxiety and depression. Give yourself frequent pep talks and focus on your positive qualities. Remember that happiness and good health are closely related, linked by our emotions.