As a psychiatrist, I have given a lot of thought to how to lead a healthier life by managing your emotions. Here are some of my thoughts, which I expressed in my book, The Emotional Revolution. Emotions can have an important influence on physical health, and it is critical to deal effectively with the feelings that accompany the everyday ups and downs of life.
Here are my nine steps to help manage your emotions:
1. Use your emotions and bodily responses to recognize when you are under stress. A racing pulse, dry mouth, aching stomach, tight muscles or muscle pain may all indicate that something is amiss in your emotional world.
2. Write down your thoughts and feelings about what is stressing you. Take a daily inventory of your emotions. By writing down what you feel and when, you may be able to identify patterns of emotional ups and downs. If is also important to write down the thoughts that go with the feelings.
3. Control whatever aspect of the stress that you can. Life presents many situations every day, and you should not view them in black-and-white terms -- those you can control versus those you cannot. Look for the shades of grey -- the elements you can control. When you know what's going to happen in a situation, your nervous system can gear up to handle it.
4. Don't make mountains out of molehills. When difficult situations arise, it is important to assess how bad they really are before going into panic mode. If you want to live a low-stress life, don't get all worked up over trivial matters.
5. Redefine the problem. Your attitude to stress can affect your health more than the stress itself can. If the problem is out of your control, recognize that and redefine the problem to determine which parts you can avoid or handle.
6. Develop behaviors that distract you from stress. Anything you do that distracts you from your stress for a while is good. For example, take a walk or work in the garden.
7. Reach out to a friend of family member. Social relationships are good for your health, and reaching out to someone about your stress can improve your outlook. If you are lacking social networks, you may find it easiest to meet others during a shared activity.
8. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise is good for your physical and emotional health. Even moderate exercise can help reduce stress.
9.Meditate and relax. Meditation has a wide variety of health benefits, and stress reduction is one of the big ones.
There is no single way to instantly reduce stress or manage your emotions. By using a variety of tools and methods, you will be able to calm your mind and regain your emotional health.
Thank you for reading these nine simple tips. If you found this post useful please share it with your colleagues and/or friends.
Wishing you Light and Transcendence,
Follow Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DoctorNorman