According to Dr. Guy Winch, our psychological health impacts our quality of life as much as our physical health does (some might argue even more). However other than knowing our general mood, we do nothing in terms of regular psychological maintenance. He compares that to how automatically we apply ice packs to sprains, use Band-Aids for cuts, or gulp down chicken soup when we have a cold. Clearly, when it comes to getting attention and care, our psychological health has a lot of catching up to do. A great way to start closing the gap is to adopt the habit of “treating” common psychological “injuries” when you sustain them. Here’s how:
1. Protect Your Self Esteem. Self-esteem is the armor we wear to the “battle of life,” and yet when it is low, we often become self-critical and injure it even further. We would never spread salt on a cut or run around in a T-shirt in freezing weather if we had a cold, but for some reason, we have no qualms about kicking our self-esteem when it’s already down.
2. Take Control After a Failure. Failing impacts our perceptions such that our goals seem further out of reach and our abilities seem less up to the task. As a result, we often feel helpless and passive and we lose our motivation. To combat those feelings, review your goal and how you approached it.
3. Distract Yourself From Brooding Thoughts. Stewing over upsetting events only makes us feel worse, as brooding is surprisingly damaging to our mental health. When you find yourself stuck in a cycle of brooding and stewing, disrupt the urge to brood by developing a zero tolerance attitude toward your repetitive distressing thoughts.
4. Find Meaning After a Loss: Loss is a natural part of life and something none of us can avoid. Regardless of how painful or traumatic the loss, one aspect has been found to be extremely important for emotional recovery — our ability to find meaning in the events. Once you’ve begun to heal, think about possible ways in which you might derive some good from the situation.
5. Recover Self-Worth After a Rejection: One of the reasons rejections are so painful is they register in our brains like physical pain. But unless we know that, we’re likely to misinterpret the magnitude of emotional pain we feel as an indication that we’re weak, needy, or pathetic — and damage our self-worth even further. In order to help your self-worth recover, remind yourself of what you have to offer.
For the entire article, 5 Habits That Will Improve Your Emotional Wellness, click here. If you’re struggling emotionally or mentally and would like to be referred to Siskiyou County’s Behavioral Health Services, please stop by the Happy Camp Community Center, and we can help you make contact with their services. We are located at 38 Park Way and are open Tuesday through Thursday, 9am to 4pm, closed from 12pm-1pm for lunch. All referrals will remain confidential.
Happy Camp Community Action, Inc. is a Non-profit organization dedicated to economic development and youth programs in Happy Camp, California and surrounding communities.