By: Allison Petro, LMHC
Why is it that we value our physical well-being over our psychological health? Think about it. We are taught at an early age to brush our teeth daily, visit our medical doctor annually, exercise regularly, always wear sunscreen, eat our fruits and vegetables every day and the list goes on and on. How were you taught to care for your emotional health? My guess is that you were not encouraged to prioritize your psychological health in the same way as your physical health. We tend to value our body over the mind.
Here are 3 quick tips on how to practice emotional hygiene:
Protect Your Self-Esteem
We are hard on ourselves emotionally. Have you ever been rejected by someone and thought to yourself something like, “well, of course they don’t like me. I’m fat… or stupid… or boring”? We tend to beat ourselves up when we feel rejected or when we feel like a failure. How does your mind react to failure? Do you stop trying just shy of success or feel helpless after defeat? When we are hurt physically, we don’t try to make the physical injury worse; we care for it until it is healed. The same should be true for psychological injuries. When you are hurt emotionally, it is imperative to revive your self-esteem by treating yourself with compassion. Treat yourself with the same kindness that you would expect from a true and good friend. Break the negative cycle of feeling helpless and choose to think in a positive manner.
Fight Against Loneliness
Loneliness can have detrimental effects on our health. Individuals living in our society today have become more and more isolated. Also, as people age, they tend to experience increased feelings of loneliness. To fight against these feelings, there are a variety of things you can do to be more social and make meaningful connections. Start small by getting out and doing some local shopping, join a gym or volunteer. While out and about, smile and talk to strangers. You can take it a step further and join a class at a near-by community center or enroll in a class at a local community college. By doing so, you will meet like-minded people who share the same interests that you do. Lastly, decrease your time spent on social media. It may feel counter-intuitive but studying your friends’ social media updates and looking at pictures of all their wonderful vacations or professional successes can exaggerate feelings of loneliness. Comparison is the enemy of contentment.
Engage in Talk Therapy Regularly
Just as you see your medical doctor on a regular basis, it is important to see a psychotherapist regularly as well. Find a mental health professional who you trust and with whom you feel comfortable. He/she can help you identify where you may be neglecting your emotional health and move you towards healing. It is important to build emotional resilience so that you are not vulnerable to stress, anxiety or depression but rather live a joy-filled life.
If you want additional assistance, call today at 407-622-1770 to make a complimentary 15-minute consultation or click here to book an appointment online.
About Allison: In addition to utilizing talk therapy, Allison uses creative arts therapies (art, music, play therapy, etc.), TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) with children/adolescents and EFT (Emotion Focused Therapy) to help her clients explore their feelings, behaviors and inner dialogue. Her goal for each client is to help him/her develop coping skills and a plan to move through pain and experience healing. Click here for Allison’s full bio.