Why You Need to Develop Emotionally Healthy Skills

Emotional intelligence has gained relevance in the past decades. Thankfully, now people think more about what they do, think, and feel. Emotional health is as important as regular physical health. Still, many individuals and even healthcare professionals overlook it on a regular basis.

This article will review what emotional intelligence is and why it’s important. It will also highlight emotionally healthy skills to develop for a better life.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Some people believe it’s about being happy or positive all the time, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s about acknowledging your emotions and not letting them boycott your day or week.

Emotionally intelligent people understand that every emotion is okay – There are no “bad emotions,” as they serve a basic psychological function: To let you know what’s going on.

If something bad happens, you might feel bad or angry. It’s natural – Your body is trying to warn you about the event, so you can process it accordingly. This is one of the ways individual therapy online helps you. You become more aware of your emotional intelligence.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Overall Health

As mentioned above, it plays a key role in being healthy overall. There’s something known as somatization. The body-mind connection is automatic, and it doesn’t depend on us. The body keeps the score – It reflects via physical symptoms what we feel or have been through. Bessel van der Kolk’s book explains this subject in depth.

Here’s a real-life example. Long-term stress can lead to tangible consequences like cardiovascular conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome, quicker aging, blood pressure increase, and even strokes. The same goes for other psychological issues like anxiety or depression.

Mental Relief

When we struggle with mental health for a long time, we feel drained and tired. Being able to express ourselves and let go of negativity can have a significant impact on our lives. It’s not only about the physical aspect of it but the psychological.

How to Boost your Emotional Health?

Here’s good news, though!

As with anything else in life, you can train and develop emotionally healthy skills.

It’s not as difficult as one may think to develop and master these skills. Here are some tips to implement in your everyday life for results.

1 Acknowledge what you’re feeling

It can be difficult to name our emotions. The world didn’t exactly encourage you to open up when growing up. Maybe your family did, but society surely did not.

If you struggle with recognizing emotions, give the emotion wheel a try. It categorizes each feeling into a broader and smaller group. You may be feeling angry, but what else? Frustrated, resented?

Understanding emotions and using words to describe them helps you separate yourself from the feeling. It’s just a physiological and emotional response – It doesn’t define you, and it won’t last forever.

2 Sit with your feelings

Once you recognize what you’re feeling, it’s time to embrace it. As tempting as it may be to disconnect and do something else, like binge-watching that new TV show, don’t!

Instead, find a quiet place and try to identify which part of your body “feels” the emotion. Maybe anxiety is a knot in your stomach, or sadness is a hole in your chest.

Learning how your body somatizes feelings is good training to understand what’s going on next time. Do you feel a hole in your chest again? Well, you already know that might be an overwhelming feeling of sadness.

3 Be vulnerable

Open up to your loved ones. They care about you, and talking about how you feel takes a weight off your shoulders. Emotional support is key to happiness and a good life.

We are social creatures. We help and support each other to get through the day, so don’t be afraid to let yourself be vulnerable.

4 Learn to Express Yourself

Not every situation or way is appropriate for expressing your feelings. Arrange a quiet place where you can meet and talk without restraints.

Also, expressing certain emotions adequately requires a lot of training. Take anger for example. You don’t want to scream and make a scene – That may draw people away, which is the opposite of what you want.

If you’re hurt or resentful, let the other party know without accusing them. A good tip is to speak from your perspective. Say “This situation makes me feel…” or “I know my thoughts might be irrational, but I fear/feel/think…

5 Practice Gratitude

Gratitude and anxiety are opposites – So much that they can’t coexist. While other emotions might be simultaneous, such as anger and sadness, or joy and hope, these two cannot.

But that’s good news. It means the more grateful you are, the less anxiety you’ll experience, and thus you’ll live a happier life.

Gratitude journaling has been shown to reduce anxiety and bad emotions. And it’s as easy as writing down 3-5 reasons why you’re grateful each morning. Reflect on them for a few minutes, and move on to begin your day. You’ll feel recharged and more positive.

The Bottom Line

Being emotionally intelligent and healthy comes with practice, but it’s not impossible. Small habits like sitting with your emotions and practicing gratitude can lead to better health and happier life!

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