How to Achieve Emotional Balance
by Dr. Grace Ravindran - Naturopathic Doctor
Emotions and feelings are part of every step you take as a person. You must learn how to manage them in order to reach your maximum potential in all aspects of life. Good emotional health leads to better physical health, prevents diseases, and makes it possible to enjoy life and be happier.
The implications of decreased emotional well-being are related to mental health concerns such as stress, depression, and anxiety.
The implications of decreased emotional wellbeing can contribute to physical ill-health such as digestive disorders, sleep disturbances, and general lack of energy. The profile of a person prone to emotional distress is usually someone with low self-esteem, pessimistic, very self-critical…, people who need to constantly assert themselves through their behavior. They also tend to be afraid, overly worried about the future, and focused on the past
On the positive side, enhanced emotional wellbeing is seen to contribute to upward spirals in increasing coping ability, self-esteem, performance and productivity at work, and even longevity. Thoughts determine our feelings, and thoughts are nothing more than firings of neurons. And those feelings that our thoughts generate make our body release extremely addicting substances like adrenaline and cortisol.
The connection between the mind and the body is so strong that mental and physical states feed into each other in both a positive and negative way. Feelings depend on thoughts and both determine attitudes and actions.
Emotional balance promotes physical health, and is a prerequisite for personal wellbeing and growth.
Emotions are part of our daily life. We experience different kinds of emotions every day and the success lies in the ability to strike a balance in them and make sure that they do not affect our day to day activities and cause an overall stress. Emotional balance is the ability of the mind and body to maintain equilibrium and flexibility in the face of challenge and change.
Below are few simple techniques to cope with emotional ups and downs and consider them to be a part of normal life.
- Accept your emotions.
Most of our physical, mental and relational problems come from our inability to adequately experience emotions.
We deny, bury, project, rationalize, medicate, drink away, smother in comfort food, sleep off, sweat out, suck (it) up and sweep under the rug our sadness, anger and fear. Some people spend more energy on avoiding their emotions than others do on actually feeling them. The key is to give yourself unconditional permission to feel your feelings.
When you feel safe enough to let your guard down, whether that’s alone or with someone you trust, you can focus on the situation, fully experience the feelings and may then be able to better understand why it hurts and what you want to do about the situation.
- Express yourself
Some people like to read to learn about the world, or escape into other worlds. Some people like to express their feelings through art, some like talking things through with others. Whatever your style, make sure you do express yourself - it will help you to stay connected, to discover more about you, your identity, and the person that you want to become.
- Don’t “stuff” your feelings.
Strong feelings can be scary and painful memories can be too terrifying to revisit. Yet constantly turning a blind eye and continually pushing down these tough feelings to maintain our outer persona can be highly detrimental. Though there may be some resistance and fear in addressing deep sadness, anger, rage and other troublesome emotions, once you dive in and face your fears, the more calm the waters become.
So, the more you accept the past and deal with it the more emotionally stable you become – ultimately leading to more harmonious you. Allow yourself to feel, really move into the feeling and ask “why?” “Why am I feeling this way?” Doing so will create better communication between the head and the emotions leading to easier processing of emotions.
- Never let your self-esteem down.
Having low self-esteem can certainly result from a number of the threats to your emotional health once your self-esteem starts to dip, it can become a self-perpetuating process. You start to question yourself and your worth, and pretty soon you are making those mistakes and missteps that you feared would happen.
Rather than becoming mired in emotional self-doubts, worry, and sadness, you can take actions that will help you see the world, and yourself, in a more positive light.
With low self-esteem also comes your greater vulnerability to other people’s critical comments (real or imagined), you feel responsible for the bad things in your life, you ruminate over your frailties, and will lack the self-efficacy that you need to succeed at important life tasks.
These include having compassion for yourself (and those frailties) and taking a mental catalogue of your strengths. Build up your mental reserves by practicing mindfulness, exercising your willpower “muscles,” and accepting the fact that occasional lapses and failures interfere with your best-intentioned efforts.
- Get a grip on your mind
Nothing causes more emotional distress than the thoughts we think.
We must do a better job than we usually do of identifying the thoughts that don’t serve us, disputing them and demanding that they go away, and substituting more useful thoughts. Thinking thoughts that do not serve you is the equivalent of serving yourself up emotional distress. Only you can get a grip on your own mind; if you won’t do that work, you will live in distress.
- Don’t let your emotions supersede your intelligence.
Perspective is everything. Sometimes simply changing the way look at a situation can be a game changer. Forgiveness toward yourself and others is paramount in emotional stability. If you’re struggling with forgiveness, acknowledge that you too have made mistakes and resentment does more harm to your own body than the person who you’re holding the grudge against.
- Practice Yoga and Mindfulness
Doing Yoga even increases your confidence in your abilities and helps you make more definitive decisions. Yoga can improve your self-esteem and get to know yourself without criticizing yourself. You can also get rid of the negative thoughts that limit you and fill your mind with positive ideas that allow you to grow. Without a doubt, this is a fantastic tool for seeing everything with more clarity. It also increases your vital energy.
When you do Yoga, the breathing helps to relax you. It makes you calm and helps you to see things from another point of view. You refine your feelings and you see the things that surround you better. Then, you feel more at peace with the world and your surroundings. By breathing correctly, you get rid of your feelings of anger, stress, and anxiety. Ultimately, it gets rid of all these feelings that make you feel bad. These are the feelings that won’t let you live in harmony.
Among the most popular theorized benefits of mindfulness are self-control, objectivity, affect tolerance, enhanced flexibility, equanimity, improved concentration and mental clarity, emotional intelligence and the ability to relate to others and one's self with kindness, acceptance and compassion which will help an individual to achieve a balance in his emotions.
It is ok to have emotional imbalances once in a while but do not add it to your lifestyle.
There is always a solution to overcome it. Do not neglect it until it turns to something very serious. Talk to your dear ones. Release your emotional load and breathe free. Live a life without regrets because past is dead, future is unborn but today is a gift, so live in your present.
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