Emotions Impact Your Whole Person, Not Just Your Mind
We’ve all heard that it’s important to take care of our emotional and mental health. Mental health, most often talked about as burnout or depression, has been such a hot topic recently that many workplaces are committed to making sure their employees have the resources needed to take care of themselves. Our emotions are not something that can be ignored, they’re an intrinsic part of our existence. Everyone feels them – no matter their age, profession, social status, etc. As such, it shouldn’t be surprising that the emotions and mental element is an important component of our overall well-being.
So why is it, then, that many people don’t know how to describe the emotions they are feeling?
Why do we try to ignore and numb these feelings instead of dealing with them?
Why does one negative experience or interaction cast a cloud on the rest of our day instead of just shaking it off?
EMOTIONS VS MENTAL STATE
Emotions are complex feelings. They are something that everyone has and feels, positive or negative. What is different in everyone is how we recognize, understand and deal with those emotions. Emotions influence our state of mind, our mental state. The more we understand and have a handle on these two things, the less stressful our lives will become.
First, it’s important that you understand the difference between your emotions and mental state. While your emotions can trigger an external expression of what’s going on inside of you via your mood, your state of mind is more internal. It is not as easily perceived by others. Think of your state of mind as the environment that houses all of the emotions that filter through it. As such, it’s much harder to have a happy mood in a dark state of mind than it is to have it in a positive state of mind.
TO STATE IT BOLDLY, EMOTIONS ARE. PERIOD
Emotions are something we all feel. They are there, whether we want them to be or not. You cannot will or block an emotion out, but you can understand what triggered them and what your reaction is. So, understanding what is causing the emotion is the first helpful way to managing them. While we do all experience them, we’re not all equipped with the same tools to handle the unwilling rollercoaster that these emotions can oftentimes put us through. The same is true when dealing with our state of mind. Being mindful of what is occurring, whether positive or negative, is key and handling them requires work.
When we don’t manage our emotions or the state of our mind, the world can quickly become a very dark place. We can lose sight of the things that truly matter and get stuck down a rabbit hole of negativity. The Emotions and Mental element well-being is probably the element with the most profound effect on our overall well-being, as it’s the element that’s most likely to have a domino effect on the others. When this element is ignored, it can soon lead to ignoring other areas of your life, such as work, fitness and finances.
EASY CHANGES FOR MORE POSITIVITY
Do your friends and family regard you as a generally upbeat and happy person? Asking your trusted circle to provide you with this insight can give you a clue as to how you’re doing in the emotions and mental state department. While altering your emotions and mental state from negative to positive can involve some deep work on yourself – such as through therapy or guided work – research shows that you can easily influence these states. Simply smiling when you’re not feeling great can trigger certain facial muscles that “trick” your brain into thinking you’re happy. And on a physiological (body) side, it can even increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your body, which are the hormones associated with feelings of happiness and reduced stress. Another easy trick is to just surround yourself with people who are happy, living positive emotions, as they can also have an indirect impact on your own day.
ONE OF SIX ELEMENTS
People often think about wellness in terms of physical health – nutrition, exercise, weight management, etc. – but it’s so much more than just that. Well-being is made up of positive, meaningful and happy outcomes that lead to happiness, health, satisfaction and prosperity. It is how one feels regarding their life as a whole, which is why overall well-being consists of six different elements.
You might personally feel like you’re doing great with your emotions and mental health and that there’s little to nothing for you to improve on. This is a great sign because it means that you likely are doing well in this particular element. But just because you are at 100% in this element, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are at 100% in the other five well-being elements.
We strongly suggest taking an honest look at all six elements every few months to ensure that you are doing well in all areas of your life. It’s time to take charge of your well-being and stop leaving it up to chance. To help you do that, the Strengths Performance Centre developed a well-being self-assessment program that can be used to measure all six of the elements that make up our overall well-being: work and career, loved ones, emotional and mental, interaction with others, physical, and financial.
We’ve also added a section for you to lean into your natural talents, your Strengths, in order for you to be at your ultimate best.
Reach out to us today by phone (613-421-4722 ext. 7) or email (well-being@StrengthsPerformance.com) to learn more about how this self-assessment tool can help you, your loved ones and your organization develop healthy well-being habits that will lead to happiness, health, satisfaction and prosperity.
Best of all, it can help lead you in the right direction so that you can learn to love everyday life again.
Co-authored by Antoine Carrière & Julia Borsellino