The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us stressed and worried. During this time of uncertainty and instability, it’s quite important to take care of your mental state as it will help you emotionally deal with this outbreak and its effects successfully and be present as a support system for your family, friends and colleagues while keeping anger and tension at bay.
It’s good to remember that even negative emotions can be useful under certain circumstances, such as fear that keeps us from taking unnecessary risks or sadness that helps signal to others that we need comfort and assistance. It isn’t necessary that we simply put on a happy face when we don’t feel happy. Accepting our negative emotions is actually useful for our well-being while repressing them generally isn’t.
People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They’re able to cope with life’s setbacks, adversities and challenges. They are able to keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks.
Our emotional well-being helps us in solving problems and helps us lead a happy and contented life. Some of the ways we can work on ourselves so as to improve or maintain good emotional health are:
- Try to be aware of what makes you sad, frustrated, or angry. Try to address or change those areas. Keeping feelings of sadness or anger inside adds to stress.
- When we express our feelings in appropriate manners, it helps people close to you know when something is bothering you.
- Respond rather than react. This will help you remain calm before you say or do something you might regret.
- We have to learn to manage stress through relaxation methods. These could include deep breathing, meditation, and exercise.
- Try to strive for a balance between work and home, and between activity and rest. Make time for things you enjoy. Focus on positive things in your life.
- Your physical health is equally important where you can exercise regularly, eat healthy meals, and get enough sleep. Usage of excessive substances, drugs, or alcohol can create an upsurge of negative emotions and thus negatively impact your emotional health.
- Keep connected with your friends and family. These are great positive connections.
- Figure out what’s important to you in life, and focus on that and remain positive. This could be your work, your family, caregiving, or anything else. Spend your time doing what feels meaningful to you. Focus on the good things in your life. Forgive yourself for making mistakes and forgive others. Spend time with healthy, positive people.
- Despite all of the above, we also need to understand that people who have good emotional health can still have emotional problems or mental health issues. Stress and problems with family, work, or school can trigger mental illness or make it worse. Mental illness often has a physical cause. This could be from a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Emotional health allows you to work productively and cope with the stresses of everyday life. It makes you realize your full potential and be functional in all aspects of life. Research shows a link between an upbeat mental state and physical signs of good health. These include lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, and a healthier weight.
During such moments and continued negative emotional outbursts, it is well known that counseling, psychotherapy, support groups, and medicines can help people who have emotional problems or mental illness.
If you have an ongoing emotional problem and you want to feel better, please do not hesitate to meet up with a mental health professional. They are trained to help you.
Many people seek psychotherapy because they have felt sad, depressed, anxious, or angry for a very long time and have not been able to speak to anyone. You can also get help from a mental health professional if there is a chronic illness that is interfering with your emotional or physical well-being.
There are many others who may have short-term problems like an on-going argument, a teenager who is argumentative, struggling to deal with life’s painful challenges, loss of a loved one, non-caring spouse, loss of a job, over critical parents, etc., can get help from a psychologist to help them navigate through this.
Psychotherapy is effective at improving symptoms in a wide array of mental health issues. It can help families, couples and groups.
When you have thoughts, emotions, or behaviors that are out of control, especially when they are affecting your relationships, your work, or your sense of well-being, do not hesitate to connect to a psychologist. Never feel embarrassed to ask for help at times when you are upset or depressed.
Psychologists help you when you are confused, fraught with emotions and need the perspectives of a caring yet unbiased person to help sort among difficult choices.
Mental health professionals can give help in person or through a phone or computer (telehealth). Having your emotional health treated can also improve your productivity. It will help you understand how you can focus better on daily tasks and give you the motivation to get things done in a timely manner and create boundaries. Thus, improving your emotional health can even extend your life expectancy.
Roma Kumar, Co-Founder, Emotionally.in
Ref. CNBC TV-18