My monthly gym membership is $39.99 and personal training is around $300 for a bundle of sessions.
Okay, maybe you aren’t paying that much for your local gym, but isn’t it true that we invest so much into resources and services that help improve our physical health?
I’m all for being and staying active throughout the week, because it’s vital for a healthy lifestyle, but what about our emotional health?
When is the last time you invested in something that helped your inner self?
Though emotional health seems to be the same thing as mental health, they are different.
Emotional health has to do with your feelings while mental health has to do with your cognitive thinking and everything to do with your brain.
The two go hand-in-hand and you cannot have one without the other.
Good news is that there are simple daily and maybe even priceless things you can do to keep it going.
#1. Practice the acts of expressing your feelings in a healthy way.
For some people, it’s through listening or playing music, while others prefer to keep a journal or take photos. If you know what it is that makes you feel calm and happy, do exactly that on a daily basis.
If you don’t know yet, try out different things and when you find out what works for you, stick to it and be consistent with it!
Another way to practice this is by opening up to a close friend, family member or your significant other.
If you’re used to bottling up your feelings, it’ll be tough, but I’ve always found it to be helpful to talk out my feelings with a close friend from church or with my boyfriend.
#2. Get some fresh air!
Being indoors for long periods of time, and I mean for an entire day or more, is not healthy. Our bodies physically need to breathe in some fresh air and be exposed to sunlight.
Aside from the fact that the sun is a good way to get your dose of Vitamin D, breathing in fresh air can up your levels of optimism and energy.
I love taking walks in the park or even in the neighborhood whenever I can during the week.
If you have a 9-5 job like I do or are stuck in school all day, it may be tough but you still can make time to spend time outside, even if it’s just during your lunch break or in between classes.
#3. Surround yourself with positive people.
The worst thing you can do to improve your emotional health is to be around people who are constantly being negative. That includes complaining, venting, being pessimistic and anything that hints negative emotions. Of course it’s important to do that, but it may not help if that’s the only topic of conversation.
Spend time with people who make you happy, who make you laugh so hard your stomach hurts and tears are coming out of your eyes.
Be with people who love you and who you love back. You don’t even have to physically be with them for this to be effective.
My close friends at church and my boyfriend make me happy, and though I only see my church friends once a week, it still helps a lot.
Since my boyfriend and I are long-distance we set days in the beginning of our relationship to video chat on a weekly basis, in addition to our daily text message and sporadic phone conversations.
#4. Be honest with everything, out of love.
Most of our negative emotions come from bottling up bitterness, anger, frustration towards other people in our lives.
The best way to keep them out or to let go is to be honest with them, but out of love, not reprimand or hate.
It’s easy to confront someone and list off everything that you’ve been mad or frustrated with when it comes to what they did or said to you, but with that comes the possible sacrifice of your friendship or relationship, whoever it may be.
Expressing your feelings about certain situations or things they’ve done to you, whether it hurt you or made you angry, with a calm and loving way, will not only spare their feelings and keep your relationship in tact, but it’ll help your emotional health.
Speaking truth out of love isn’t easy and it’s something you need to practice every day in order for it to come naturally.
So don’t freak out if you catch yourself having a difficult time or losing your temper the first time around.
#5. Do things that make you happy.
Maybe it’s spending hours at a time at your local bookstore, or trying new things like taking art classes or taking up a new hobby.
It could even be spiritual: doing daily devotionals, going to bible studies and having fellowship with your brothers and sisters. No matter what it is, if it gives you peace and happiness, it’s worth putting aside time for in your daily or weekly schedule.
Aside from God and my boyfriend, the bookstore is my safe haven. For some reason, it makes me feel safe and gives me a sense of calm, one that I can’t really get anywhere else.
I’m an introvert so going alone and only focusing on the book I’ve set my eyes on reading, is such a wonderful thing.
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