Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now tell me how you feel.
That simple exercise will tell you a lot about your emotional health which is just another term for how you feel. You see, most people focus on the mind and body, but often neglect or just plain ignore their emotions. But, if your emotional health is suffering, you can bet your mental and physical health are suffering too.
“Anxiety is the great modern plague.” —Dr. Smiley Blanton, American Physician, Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst and Writer
Many factors contribute to your emotional health including genetics, overall mental and physical health, exposure to sunlight, your thoughts (including that trash your ego sends your way), life experiences and the relationships you have with others. Fear, anxiety and worry are unhealthy, destructive mental habits that can lead to serious health issues if left unchecked. The more you understand and are able to control your emotions, the more you can enjoy life, cope with stress and focus on what’s important to you in life.
Unfortunately, most of us get so wrapped up in what’s going on at the moment (and it’s usually what’s going wrong at the moment) we miss out on all the awesomeness that’s really happening all around us.
Research has shown that different threats push different psychological buttons. Hyperbolic media coverage, especially in this age where modern communication allows people to have a more intimate experience with threats like epidemics, terrorist attacks and other extreme events tends to exacerbate the situation. I know this because I worked in this world of communications.
Here’s the thing. The media can be helpful when they are spreading accurate, balanced and useful information. Unfortunately, the industry has the propensity to find — and publicize — the worst. Why? Because that’s what keeps you glued to your news source of preference, that’s what boosts ratings and that’s what sells advertising.
It’s about money. And if you are glued to your news source of preference during uncertain times, stop and think about what that big bowl of fear, anxiety and worry they’ve set in front of you is doing to your emotional health. You’re sucked again and again into that low vibration that comes along with all that negativity and that’s not where we want to be.
Don’t get me wrong. Fear is a natural human instinct designed to protect ourselves in the moment — for the sake of survival. Its job is to always be on the lookout for what’s wrong so you can fight, flee or freeze when you’re threatened. And, it’s important you know what’s going on in the world.
So my point is not that you should never be aware and exposed to events and circumstances that might make you afraid, my point is to learn to sift through all the information that comes your way — especially during uncertain, difficult and yes, even fearful times — so you can reel yourself back in, sort through the emotion, process it and make thoughtful decisions that are rational and reasonable based on your personal situation and what’s right for you.
It may mean you have to turn off the television and disconnect from social media for a while. That’s okay. You need to protect your emotional health. And, you’ll survive. I promise.
Yesterday I posted a quote about choosing thoughts and ideas that support feeling good and bring on positive vibes through affirmations. I challenged you to come up with three daily affirmations that you’ll say to yourself in the mirror each day.
So, try positive affirmations for a few days and then close your eyes. Take a deep breath. And, tell me how you feel.