How to be emotionally strong
Medically reviewed and approved by Clinical Psychologist Luzmery Romero.
How to be emotionally strong? To be emotionally healthy, you need to achieve a balance in all aspects of your life; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. By doing so, you will learn how to deal with difficult situations and make good decisions.
It is of utmost importance to accept yourself and learn to face problems positively to feel strong emotionally. Also, let go of negativity and find a way to see the positive side of every situation. Finally, stay away from negative and toxic people who keep us from being emotionally optimal. (Reliable sources 1*, 2*, 3*)
As you aim to achieve the highest standard of emotional health, I will show you all the aspects that influence your emotional state and how to improve them.
What are emotions?
Emotions are a combination of what you perceive, how your body reacts, and what motivates you to act. This combination creates a psychological state that can be positive or negative, of low or high intensity, of long or short duration. All of this produces an expression in your outward gestures that other people can quickly identify.
Emotions fulfill the function of helping you adapt to your environment; they are neither good nor bad. They are signals that give you information about your surroundings and yourself, and they also help you avoid pain and get closer to the positive. (4*, 5*)
What is emotional well-being?
Feeling emotionally healthy means feeling at ease with yourself and the world around you. You try to find the feeling of balance and happiness. When you feel emotionally well, you know how to correctly manage positive emotions such as good mood, hope, joy, love; as well as the negative ones: jealousy, hate, envy, guilt to feel good and have a better attitude. When a person is emotionally well, they have already learned to understand and accept themselves and how to look at life with a smile.
Tips to be emotionally well
Regulate your emotions
Know your strengths
In addition to knowing what your weaknesses are, you should also take time to understand your strengths and know that there are also reasons why you should be happy.
Know the strengths and weaknesses you want to change
An important point to change some aspects of your life is to keep track of those strengths and weaknesses you want to change. Try to turn them into goals you can achieve.
Get rid of stress
One way to relieve stress and feel better emotionally is to understand what may have caused any problems.
To relieve stress, write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. The best way to do this is to set yourself in a comfortable place and aim to write for about 20 minutes a day. This is a great way to eliminate stress.
Forget your negative experiences
Have you had any negative experiences in the past? Even if it happened a few months ago or in your youth, it could negatively affect your emotions, which, in the worst-case scenario, might eventually lead to drug use or suicide.
Determine which past negative experiences are currently affecting your mental and emotional state. You may need to see a therapist to talk about these experiences. A therapist can help you understand these experiences fully, deal with them, and move on. This enables you to decide what is the best course of action to take.
Stay away from vices that disturb your peace of mind
Acts such as drinking alcoholic beverages, taking drugs, stealing, lying, etc., may cause you to lose your emotional balance.
To prevent them from disturbing your peace, start eliminating these vices from your life or limit them so that they do not take control of your behavior and emotions. If you have an addiction, the best thing to do is to seek help.
Take care of your body
- Exercise regularly for about 30 minutes a day.
- Maintain a balanced diet composed of healthy, whole foods such as lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Get 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Practice yoga and breathing exercises for at least 15 minutes a day.
- Drink plenty of water if you exercise or sweat a lot, at least eight glasses a day.
Enrich your mind
Put your mind to work continuously by learning at all times: write more, gain more knowledge to get out of a rut. By doing this, you will keep your mind out of trouble. To achieve this:
- Read books.
- Enjoy a good movie.
- Attend concerts.
- Write poetry.
- Paint, you will stimulate your creative side.
- Learn new skills.
- Get excited about new projects in your life.
- Talk with people about deeper issues than just a simple chat.
Develop your strength against negativity
Negativity comes in many forms, either from negative and harmful thoughts such as negative criticism or abuse from people towards you. Negativity is beyond your control. Try to control it, learn to identify negative thoughts, and challenge them.
Also, minimize possible contact with harmful or toxic people; if possible, try to remove them from your life. Indeed, some of these people may be in your family, co-workers, or a person you interact with daily. Avoid negative energies by trying not to get involved and set boundaries with that person.
Use positive thoughts
Saying positive affirmations helps you to be a better person emotionally, practice this exercise sometime during the day: look at yourself in the mirror and say something encouraging that you believe about yourself. Affirmations can be something such as, “I am trying to be emotionally better every day”, or “I am finding productive ways to manage stress”, or “I am moving towards my goal one step at a time, I am kind to myself”.
Learn to stay calm under pressure
When you are presented with intense situations and feel like you may explode, calm down instead of acting compulsively. Hold your breath a little, and it will give you a chance to analyze how to act and the most sensible way forward before reacting emotionally.
When faced with this situation, count to 10, pause, take a deep breath and reflect. An alternative to help you stay calm is to practice meditation, as it teaches you to be more objective about your emotions and thoughts.
Develop a positive attitude
Everyone has problems, but a positive attitude manages to confront them naturally and tends to complain less often. It has been proven that maintaining a positive attitude is beneficial to physical health. Take time, try to have as much fun as you can with your family, friends, neighbors. Finally, take difficult situations with a positive attitude because there is always something to learn.
Aspects in your lifestyle to keep you emotionally strong
- Get enough rest: it is essential to take care of your body to maintain good mental and emotional health, so get enough sleep for your body to function optimally. Most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Take care of your diet: good eating habits will significantly help you avoid stress. Learn more about what you eat and how it affects your energy and mood.
- Exercise for stress and anxiety: a powerful remedy is exercise. Find a way to introduce exercise in your daily activities such as:
- Reduce the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs: All these factors mentioned above are stimulants that, in the short term, make you feel good, but in the long term, have negative consequences for your physical and emotional health.
Keys to maintaining emotional balance in the face of a crisis
When you have a problem and run away from it, you will keep dragging it with you no matter how much you hide from it. But if you face this situation head-on, you will have the opportunity to grow and transform yourself.
Have a positive attitude
Always choose a positive attitude, even when things are out of your control:
When a crisis arises, some aspects will be to do with you individually and others will be out of your control or decision making. To manage it, learn to choose the best attitude.
Attitudes are usually: positive, neutral, and negative. When you have a positive attitude, there is no major problem. The problem lies when you are negative since you let yourself be dragged down by worry, fear, or even by things that have not yet happened and may never happen.
When you are in a neutral attitude, you can observe a problem from different perspectives. Take a step back to avoid automatic responses. By doing this, you get a better understanding of the problem.
Express your emotions
Most people try to control their emotions, but you cannot control them. You can only manage them. For this reason, create spaces to share what you feel, but never try to cover your emotions.
To create an emotional space, perform actions that work to make you feel good. By doing this, you will not get stuck in that emotional state of internal shock that prevents you from moving forward and getting out of that problem.
Move towards productivity
When we have a problem with our reactions, the worries grow inside us, and the possibilities of a positive change reduce. If this change does not occur, you will not have true mastery of your surroundings. Keep a proactive mode where you think and activate solutions to reduce that circle of worries.
Mental exercises to feel good emotionally
Do physical exercise
When you undertake exercise, the endocrine system secretes endorphins in the blood that will improve your mood. You have to do physical activity in a balanced way until you feel tired to raise the intensity, increasing the duration progressively.
Listen to music
Music acts directly on the limbic system, moving your emotions. Choose the music according to your emotional state. When we are in a good mood, we listen to rhythmic, lively music that moves us and makes us dance. Still, when we are emotionally sad, discouraged, or melancholy, we usually listen to calm, melodic music. If you want to feel good emotionally, select music that brings you happy memories, listen and choose those songs that cheer you up.
Movies and shows
Watch movies or series that help you avoid sad moments, choose those movies, or shows that are good for your emotional well-being.
Schedule pleasant activities
Do activities that you think you will enjoy doing. Think about which ones you can do and try them once. Please don't wait to find a moment to do it, just do it. The important thing is that the activity is of interest to you and has potential for you.
Write down the positive things in a notebook
Many people focus on routine tasks, worries, work, or domestic obligations. If you put your mind on these things, your head will be preoccupied with thoughts that do not make you feel good. Write down on a piece of paper every good little moment that happens during the day. Do not let each good moment pass without noticing it, without perceiving it; enjoy it. The more notes you make, the better your mood will be at the end of the day.
Remember pleasant moments
Indeed, you do not have time to savor and perceive the small, good moments in your life. Try to remember those good moments in your life, such as trips, parties, celebrations, that made you enjoy them and remember what made you so happy. By remembering these pleasant moments, you will feel good emotionally.
Sense of humor
Never turn off your sense of humor and give up smiling. Whenever you can smile and share your good mood with other people, life is much better.
Take care of your internal dialogue
The thought is an internal dialogue guided by emotions, and we speak according to our mood. To feel good, do not let yourself be carried away by your mood.
Avoid that internal dialogue that generates anguish, anger, depression, and discouragement. From now on, change your inner conversation in such a way that you understand the situation and improve your emotional state.
Help or collaborate unexpectedly
At home, help your partner and children, share with them, collaborate in the things they do, help them out. By doing this, you will feel busy, distracted, get closer to your family, and favor effective relationships that will make you feel better.
All people are different in the way they improve their emotions. Some feel good by relaxing, while others feel good by surrounding themselves with positive people. The important thing is that you find the activities that suit you, that you enjoy, and motivate you.