Thursday, September 6, 2012

Article # 211 Emotional Health

            Human beings are complex multi-faceted individuals. If you’ve ever parented a teenager, you know what I’m talking about. Mood swings, up and downs plus issues with self-image and worth. Many of us still have these same concerns instead of being happy well adjusted adults. A personal journal can be helpful for working through emotional problems that you may still be carrying around from earlier times. Some self-help books call it healing the wounded inner child. Whether you are hiding from a troubled past or wallowing in it and not moving forward, self evaluation can help bring changes to your emotional health.
            As I’ve watched two grandchildren interact recently, it was obvious how the younger brother was teasing his teenage sister. She took the bait every time instead of ignoring his taunts. He continued, until a parent intervened. I wanted to teach this granddaughter how to step aside and observe what is going on rather than taking his emotional hooks every time. Getting upset and mad is what was wanted by the younger sibling. Maybe it’s just instinct to want to defend ourselves when under attack. A wiser tactic is to withdraw from the bully or teaser, leaving them without a victim. Even adults can have bullies in their lives.
            You can be our own worst adversary as you heap negative comments on yourself silently within your mind. Well, you’re certainly a failure at that. You’re just old and no one needs you, etc. Journaling these negative thoughts can help you realize what is going on inside your own head. Then countering these criticisms with positive comments like: Well I’m not a failure if I’m still trying or I am making progress, etc. There is too much depression and suicide in our modern society that could be stopped if we paid more attention to our emotional well being. Not just suppressing negative thoughts, but expressing them safely in a personal journal and/or in counseling, then working through them.
            Focusing on filling your mind and journal with gratitude can go a long way toward changing your attitude toward life and yourself. Discover what fills your well or makes you happy, then do it! Whether it’s enjoying nature, listening to peaceful music, whistling, singing out loud, working in the garden or giving service, do what brings you happiness. I like to write poetry. I always seems to lift any negative thoughts by writing. NEXT TIME: Co-Dependency