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Paul Abraham: The importance of emotional self care

By Paul Abraham of www.headingonwards.com

It is now widely accepted that self-care is crucial for our health and wellbeing.  But what many people don’t know is that we have several different areas that each need taking care of for us to be our best selves.

One of these is our emotional self – in order to ensure that our emotional self is happy and healthy we need to regularly practice emotional self care.

WHAT IS EMOTIONAL SELF CARE?

Basically, emotional self-care is providing yourself with the tools to help keep your emotions healthy and nutured, even when things in life are tough.  Unfortunately, this is something that doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us.

Instead, many of us completely ignore and try to push our emotions to the back of our minds in the hope that they’ll disappear. This only makes them stronger and can lead to feelings of stress and burn-out

Having an awareness of how to take more care of ourselves emotionally can serve us well when things get difficult. But as you might imagine, emotional self care will look different for each and every one of us.

Thankfully, there are steps that we can all take in order to take care of our emotions better!

WAYS TO PRACTICE EMOTIONAL SELF CARE

1. ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL

Arguably the most important step to emotional self care is allowing yourself to feel and experience the emotions that come to you.

Many of our problems arise when we try to fight off emotions and don’t address them. By allowing the experience of our emotions we can then begin to take further steps to heal them and then let them go and move on.

2. GET TO KNOW YOUR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS

Once you allow yourself to face your emotions, you will become much more familiar with them and you will then start to observe patterns. What causes you to feel sad? Is there a particular person that you experience anger around?  Ask yourself what causes your emotions and you will know how to reduce negative ones in the future.

3. PUT YOUR OWN NEEDS FIRST

Many of us really struggle with putting ourselves first. When we have other people who are dependent on us we can see our own needs as a last resort and neglect to take care of ourselves.  Switching your focus to yourself is the best thing you can do, not only for yourself but for others.  If you are in a clearer frame of mind about dealing with your own emotions helps you to help people deal with theirs.

4. SET AND ENFORCE YOUR OWN BOUNDARIES

Boundaries are essential when it comes to emotional self care. If you have a problem putting yourself first, then maybe you also struggle with enforcing boundaries that are necessary for your wellbeing.  Try getting comfortable with saying no more often – some people maybe shocked and not like it but that’s okay!  It will make life a lot better and easier for everyone in the long-term.  If something is harmful to you emotionally, you are entitled to say no to it.

5. PROTECT YOUR ENERGY FROM OTHERS

Surround yourself with people who lift you up and make you feel good. Obviously this cannot be achieved all the time, but if anybody makes you feel drained or negative too often then distance yourself from them or let them go entirely.  It is much harder to protect your own emotions when you surround yourself with negativity.

6. PRACTICE MEDITATION

Meditating regularly can help to increase resilience in difficult situations and make you react from your emotions less often.  Try to meditate daily for the best results. If you’re new to meditation, you can get started by sitting with your eyes closed and inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four and exhale through your mouth for a count of four for a few minutes.

In my next column, I will explain another ten tips to improve your emotional health.

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