As you may know, October is Emotional Wellness month so we're exploring topics around what emotional wellness is, why it's important, and how you check in with your mental and emotional well-being as a means of enhancing your overall wellness.
Your emotional well-being is an important consideration because being chronically stressed, sad or depressed can be very taxing on both your immunity and your body. And science tells us that there is a strong link between your mental health and your gut health, or what's called the gut-brain axis.
Next, in this article we're taking a look at how being vulnerable improves your emotional wellness. First, let's define vulnerability.
What is Emotional Vulnerability?
Psychologists suggest that emotional vulnerability is, "the ability or willingness to acknowledge (and potentially express) one’s emotions. Particularly those emotions that are difficult or painful. Emotions such as shame, sadness, anxiety, insecurity, etc." According to one of the most decorated leaders that's demystifying vulnerability, Brene Brown defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.”
Typically when "vulnerability" is brought up in conversations, people are referring to emotional vulnerability because it's all about emotions, as mentioned above, the emotions that are challenging to deal with.
The Benefits of Vulnerability
Being emotionally vulnerable, tapping into what you're feeling and becoming aware, is a skill that can be learned and practiced over time. The benefits include:
1. Reduced Stress and Levels of Anxiety
Psychologist Nick Wignall explains that "if you habitually either run away from or try to eliminate painful feelings, it sends the message to your brain’s threat-detection system to be on guard against future painful feelings. This leads to hypervigilance, which is quite stressful.
The antidote is emotional vulnerability.
When you feel a painful emotion and simply pause and acknowledge the emotion, you send a very different message to your brain. You train it to believe that while difficult emotions are painful, they’re not dangerous. Do this enough, and you will not only find that your overall level of anxiety is lower, but you’ll be much less emotionally reactive and volatile in general."
2. Strengthened Relationships with Others
Being vulnerable and exposing these vulnerabilities with someone else helps to build higher levels of trust and intimacy. These relationships can be with your friends, family, or romantic partners.
If someone is willing to acknowledge and share the most difficult things in their life, you being to feel a greater sense of closeness and understanding for that person. In this way, emotional vulnerability helps build empathy.
3. Improved Self-awareness
When you become more aware of your emotions, even the painful ones, you begin to learn your patterns, behaviors, and defense mechanisms. You uncover why you may get sad or lash out or check out. This all helps to improve your overall self-awareness.
Improving Your Emotional Wellness
Being emotionally vulnerable helps you acknowledge and process your emotions with more skill. Like we mentioned above, it is a learned trait that you can continue to learn about, improve and strengthen. Rather than ignoring the difficult-to-process emotions, you examine them. It's important to observe what makes you feel angry, anxious, or sad. Take note of how does that feel in your body.
When we're emotionally well, we can be in the present moment and truly enjoy everything we have in our life. We're more thoughtful and mindful people. Your emotional well-being is just as important as your overall well-being. A great way to fell better, from the inside out, is to take care of your gut health. Try our Confidence digestive enzyme - the first ever gut training digestive enzyme complex that helps you get the most out of the foods you eat all while improving your gut health.