Why Bother With Emotional Wellness?

Why Bother With Emotional Wellness? 

Our mental wellness includes taking care of all the different aspects of our lives—the emotional and physical self, the spiritual, intellectual, and social self as well as our environmental, interpersonal and occupational structures. We are complex creatures and when all of our systems work in unison with one one another, the result is mental stability. But when they are not integrated and instead run incongruent to one another, chaos reigns. 

Though each of these areas of our mental wellness work together, I decided to break them apart in order to explain each one individually over the course of the next eight blogs. I know this is the better thing to do than to just dump this big idea of mental wellness into the lap of my audience and then leave the load and move on! 

            Getting to Know Ourselves

The easiest way to “test” if we are flourishing in the area of healthy emotions is to ask, “How satisfied, joyous or purposeful do I feel most of the time?” When we begin to take note of our feelings— grumpy, growly, snarky or snippy, then we can begin to make changes. Until then, we will most likely just continue to blame our mom, or someone else for how horrible, awful and no good we feel. 

 I did not grow up in an emotionally healthy or emotionally intelligent household. Discussing how I felt about something was never an issue because no one ever invited me to discuss how I felt. Instead, I learned how to survive by avoiding others when they were angry and stuffing any unacceptable feelings. But emotions are not something we can push down before they begin to push back in some way. Over the long haul, my buried emotions turned into high levels of anxiety and avoiding others because they were angry loaded me down with fear. 

But change began when I started listening to how I felt. Instead of ignoring the churning and burning inside my gut or the thoughts racing through my brain, I started to ask myself some questions. What made me feel edgy? Was it legitimate? Was I really in danger? With time and lots of patience, I became more aware of my patterns, of the ebb and flow of my feelings and just how many different emotions I could experience on any given day. My emotions have something to tell  me and listening to them is the best way to become acquainted with them. 

But being emotionally well isn’t just about knowing myself better, it also makes me more savvy about the feelings of others. And being savvy about the feelings of others allows me to show them empathy. 

So why bother with emotional wellness? Our emotions are part of who we are. The better we listen to what they have to tell us will only make us emotionally intelligent, and dispel the dangers that go along with being emotionally unintelligent. 

 

Why Bother To Notice When You Are Peeved?

Why Bother to Notice When You are Peeved?

Anger is one of those emotions that I easily recognize in myself and in others. Some of the signs include; a red face, foul language, objects hurled through the air, crossing the arms in front of one’s chest, or stomping away. Some even take on the code of silence, refusing to speak. 

 Bad tempers are never displayed in a lovely way and can be horribly harmful. But noticing what causes our tiffs and huffs before we do any damage, can make us a little more emotionally intelligent. Ever notice what makes your blood boil? 

Emotionally Intelligent

Some people frustrate me. These are the drivers who go under the speed limit and grocery shoppers who park their cart in the middle of an aisle instead of off to one side. These incidents are fairly benign. Usually taking a deep breath prevents me from going into a mindset of road rage and making a simple u-turn to go down a different aisle in the store averts any possibility that I will display rudeness toward my fellow shopper, something I’d later regret. Most small incidents in life are easily diffused. 

Exasperation on the other hand, is feeling more than ill will toward a stranger in the store or a slow driver. Exasperation is a disruptive student, one whose constant antics or chatter keeps the rest of my students from their learning. Do I see them as a threat? Most likely, since I’m very protective of the culture in my classroom. It is for scholars after all, and not clowns. Nipping the disturbance in the bud with a short, sharp reprimand usually brings everything and everybody back into balance, including me. 

Finally, there is my boiling point, that particular button that liars, disingenuous people, and accusers seem to have the power to press. I am not one to get physical and hurl objects, but I’ve chucked hurtful words toward those who rile me up and turned a cold shoulder toward them.

My idiotic reaction to someone who doesn’t tell me the truth, is insincere, or unfairly reproves me is not one that I care to repeat. Lobbying ugly and unkind words or a disrespectful attitude in their direction serves as a warning; I need to have a look inside. 

All too often it is easy to blame justifying my anger and hostility. Yet, I’m the one who is vexed not them. They may feel completely at ease in their falsehood, dishonesty or allegations against my character. I only have the power to change me, not them. 

Like the idiot light on my dashboard that warns me when something is wrong with my car’s engine, so too anger is like an idiot light for me. My hurtful words, and less than kind attitude tell me it is time to pull over and examine what is going on under my hood. 

Why bother to notice when you are peeved? It is worth it to be emotionally intelligent rather than being an imbecile.