Your emotional well-being can have big implications on your overall health - physical and mental. Feeling stressed or sad overtime can take a toll on your immune system and can manifest itself physically in your body. Plus, we know that there is in fact a brain and gut connection.
That's why it's important to consider and check in with your emotional well-being on a regular basis. Struggling with emotional and mental issues may be more common than you think - studies have shown that 1 in 5 people suffer from a mental health episode each year.
October is Emotional Wellness Month so in honor of this important observance, we're bringing more awareness by sharing what emotional wellness is and why it matters. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is Emotional Wellness?
According to the National Institutes of Health, emotional wellness is the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times. Emotional wellness means that you are aware understand, and accept your emotions - you don't necessarily have to be happy or positive all the time.
When your emotions are in check, you feel more at ease and comfortable talking about your emotions and your personal concerns with someone else. You also have the ability to say "no" without a sense of guilt or fear when that you're disappointing someone else.
Why Does Emotional Wellness Matter?
People who have can effectively manage and acknowledge their emotions are better equipped to handle unexpected stressful situations. They can manage their emotional energy with more skill in a crisis or during a time of sadness.
Psychology Today suggests that "when you’re tuned into your feelings, then you can more easily become aware of your bodily sensations. The more you act on your feelings and emotions, the more reliable they become. Remaining in the present moment and adhering to a sense of mindfulness, without looking back too much into the past or the future, is also very important for your emotional well-being."
When you're emotionally well, you can slow down and create a sense of mindfulness. This in turn helps you feel more at peace and easeful in life overall. Emotional wellness is self awareness - you may not always be in the best mood or even happy, but you're aware of how you're feeling and you can more effectively shift how you feel.
5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional Wellness
1. Develop a meditation practice.
You can start simple, even for just five minutes a day, to help reduce levels of stress - particularly the stress hormone cortisol. Meditation helps you become more aware of your thought patterns and helps root you in the present moment.
2. Get more sleep.
Not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your emotional and physical health. When you're tired, your body and mind can't function properly, plus you may feel sluggish or crabby. Set a bedtime reminder on your phone, dim the lights, and stay away from screens 30 minutes before your bedtime.
3. Practice gratitude.
Acknowledging everything you're grateful for in life is a great way to develop positive emotions. Gratitude is often associated with feelings of happiness
4. Get moving.
Getting enough regular exercise, about 30 minutes a day, releases endorphins into your body which help reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mood. Bonus points for going for a walk outside and in nature!
5. Eat nourishing foods.
Try eating foods with Omega-3 fats (think salmon), to help boost your mood. Fermented foods, like include kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut, can improve your gut health. Foods with vitamin B6, like bananas, helps synthesize those feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
There's no question that your emotional well-being contributes to your overall health. Remember to take time for yourself and check in with how you are doing - what is your gut telling you? You can trust your gut with more confidence with our digestive enzyme complex.