How to Protect Your
Emotional Health 

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An important life-skills to learn is how to protect your emotional health.  Being able to manage your thoughts and emotions frees you to accomplish more and to feel good about yourself. 

Positive feelings help motivate us and provide us energy and enthusiasm as we approach problem solving situations or other challenging events.  Negative emotions, are linked to avoidance and withdrawal, and they can cause you to approach events with self-doubt and expectations of failure.



To protect your emotional health, begin believing that you have the power to change your life.  You can become aware of what triggers your emotional responses and what you can do either to support the positive responses or change the way in which you negatively respond.  Through life, people build what they think are protection barriers to shield them from life’s consequences, but frequently, these barriers are destructive.  If you have a negative view of yourself, you can fuel your negative reactions and prevent yourself from making healthy choices in life.

Hueina Su, in her book,Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul, describes how to handle life’s stressors by slowing down and assessing the situation rather than trying to “put out the fire” as you work harder and more frantically. She advises that you identify the stress and feelings of overwhelm now and eliminate them from re-appearing later in life as a physical disease. I recommend that you read this book and follow advice to experience a sense of calm and an ability to take control of your emotional health.

Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul: 7 Keys to Nurture Yourself While Caring for Others

Become Self Aware

To become more aware of your emotional response patterns, and to identify the source of your stress try keeping a journal.  Document your daily reactions to situations and the emotions you displayed.  Can you identify the circumstances that trigger various emotional responses?  What can you control in your life and what is outside of your control?  The more you can allow positive emotions to flow, the better your circumstances will appear.

Reflect on What Matters

Things only become a distraction if you let them.  Find ways to refocus and unclutter your mind by using meditation or other relaxation techniques. Get rid of the distractions that keep you stuck with the past and outdated perspectives: cluttering possessions, negative self talk, and self-destructive habits like spending time with people who drain your energy.  To protect your emotional health, eliminate any activities that you can that are no longer rewarding.

Become aware of what values you hold and begin to discern a vision for your life mission.  As you consider the activities and responsibilities that you have to complete, ask yourself if these tasks are aligned with your emerging sense of purpose.  Delegate those activities that someone else can handle and keep only those things that you have to do. 

Be at Peace with What Is

Thoughts matter.  Another way to protect your emotional health is to become more aware of your thoughts.  Practice being optimistic in your thinking.  One way to become more optimistic is to show gratitude.  This might be time to review the Serenity Prayer.

Being thankful about what life has to offer helps you develop feelings of hopefulness and promotes positive attitudes that help you let go of negative feelings and self-defeating decisions.  When you feel comfortable in your own skin, you are more likely to exhibit these positive expressions.  Protect your emotional health and you will find that you are more at peace and self-satisfied.

How to Cope with Stress in Your Life

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