Would you feel embarrassed booking an appointment to see your GP? I’m guessing no. How would you feel booking an appointment to see a councillor or a therapist? If I had to guess, I would say embarrassed or maybe even a bit ashamed. This stark difference between how we feel taking care of our physical health vs our mental health says it all and explains why by the time we turn 18, we know a lot more about taking care of our bodies than we do our minds.
At Ditch the Label we can’t wait for the day when there is no difference between booking either appointment. When knowing how to deal with rejection or failure well is as common as knowing how to take care of a blister or eczema.
To help get us closer to that day. Here is what you need to know about taking care of your emotional well-being and in the process, your mental health too:
You have to pay attention to how you are feeling especially if those feelings are painful and negative. They are trying to get your attention when something is wrong in exactly the same way your body gets your attention with a migraine or the flu. Ignoring a cut that is bleeding won’t help it heal. Exactly the same rules apply with emotional pain. Observe your daily responses or reactions to life. It speaks volumes of your emotional health.
Protect your self esteem
As someone who let their self-esteem get dangerously low, take it from me – it is not a fun place to live. Self-esteem is how we honestly feel about ourselves. How would you rate yours? The word ‘self’ is in there for a reason; it’s your job to develop it and protect it, no one else’s. Have a read of this guide here for tips to get you going.
Emotional resilience is fundamental to being a happy and healthy person. We all have our fair share of rejection, failure and unexpected change but what differs widely is our reactions to them.
Healthy ones look like:
Asking for help
Feeling the feelings, no matter how uncomfortable
Taking care of your physical health
Spending time with people who build you up
Doing things that you enjoy
Unhealthy ones look like:
Blocking your feelings
Not asking for help
Destructive behaviours e.g. binge drinking
Being around people who damage your self-esteem
Isolating and withdrawing from your life
We can’t control what happens to us in life but we can choose how we deal with it.
How we talk to ourselves matters.
This is emotional wellbeing 101. If a friend came to you needing support because they had just been dumped or failed their driving test, what would you say? How would you talk to yourself if you had just failed your driving test or been dumped? Bit of a difference right? We are complicated specimens who too often can be our own worst enemies. This one is simple if you wouldn’t say it your best mate don’t say it yourself.
Let it go
Life is not easy. We all face difficulties and struggles. Learning to forgive yourself and those around you when things go wrong is how you live a full happy life. Why? Because not forgiving and letting is a recipe for pain, resentment, jealousy and bitterness. Not forgiving and holding on comes at the cost of your wellbeing and happiness. Like all the big things in life learning to forgive takes time, there are no short cuts and it’s sure as hell not easy. Happiness is always on the other side of hurt, we just have to climb over forgiveness to get there.
In simple terms, our belief system tells us what to do. Positive beliefs propel you to do big things and can make you unstoppable. False beliefs have all kinds of knock on effects on your well-being. What your mind tells you about your capabilities is not always to be trusted especially if it has no bearing on reality.