BY KATE DENISCHUK, LIFESTYLE MANAGER
March is Mind, Body Connection Month.
People who have good emotional health are aware of their thoughts, feelings, & behaviors. They have learned healthy ways to cope with the stress & problems that are a normal part of life. They feel good about themselves & have healthy relationships.
However, many things that happen in your life can disrupt your emotional health like dealing with the loss of a loved one or moving to a new home. These can lead to strong feelings of sadness, stress, or anxiety. Even good or wanted changes can be as stressful as unwanted changes.
Your body responds to the way you think, feel, & act. This is one type of “mind/body connection.” When you are stressed or anxious, your body reacts in a way that might tell you that something isn’t right. For example, you might develop high blood pressure or a stomach ulcer after a particularly stressful event.
There are ways that you can improve your emotional health. First, try to recognize your emotions & understand why you are having them. Sorting out the causes can help you manage your emotional health.
It’s okay to let your loved ones know when something is bothering you. However, keep in mind that your family & friends may not always be able to help you deal with your feelings appropriately. Consider asking someone outside the situation for help. Try asking your family doctor, or one of the staff here at Rocky Ridge for advice & support to help you improve your emotional health.
LIVE A BALANCED LIFE
Focus on the things that you are grateful for in your life. Try not to obsess about the problems that lead to negative feelings. This doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be happy, it is important to deal with negative feelings, but try to focus on the positive things too. Keep a journal to keep track of things that bring you joy. Some research has shown that having a positive outlook can improve your quality of life & give your health a boost. You may also need to find ways to let go of some things in your life that make you feel stressed & overwhelmed. Make time for things you enjoy!
CALM YOUR MIND & BODY
Relaxation methods, such as meditation, listening to music, Yoga, & TaiFit are useful ways to bring your emotions into balance.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
To have good emotional health, it’s important to take care of your body by having a regular routine for eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep, & exercising to relieve pent-up tension. Avoid overeating & don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. Take time for yourself!
Poor emotional health can weaken your body’s immune system, leaving you more susceptible to colds & other infections. Also, when you are feeling stressed, anxious, or upset, you may not take care of your health as well as you should. You may not feel like exercising, eating nutritious foods, or taking medicine that your doctor prescribes. Other signs of poor emotional health include (but are not limited to):
- Change in appetite, weight loss or gain
- Extreme tiredness, insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- General aches & pains, headaches
- Palpitations (the feeling that your heart is racing)
You may not be used to talking to your doctor about your feelings or problems, but it is important to be honest if you feel stressed or anxious. Here are some questions to ask your Doctor;
- How can I better cope with stress?
- Are my health problems causing my stress, or is my stress causing my health problems?
- I don’t think I’m under stress, but is my body telling me that I am?
- Everything in my life is good. Why am I not happy?