Emotional wellness is an important part of developing longterm sobriety!
Emotional well being is best defined as the ability to feel and express the entire range of human emotions and to control them. It includes the capacity to manage one's feelings and related behaviors including realistic assessments of one's limitations, development of autonomy, and ability to cope effectively with stress.
Life experiences produce strong emotional responses in all of us. The experience of emotion is what makes human being unique. We are capable of a broad range of feelings- love and hate, joy and sorrow, excitement and fear, embarrassment and pride, greed and compassion, jealousy and appreciation, ecstasy and despair, contentment and anger.
All of these feelings have implications for how we view ourselves, our relationships to others, and to the broader world. In order to deeply experience the richness of life, we must be willing to acknowledge what we feel and embrace sadness and pain as well as joy and peace. We are challenged to allow ourselves to experience the entire range of human emotions, not just the pleasant or familiar ones.
Emotions are enhancements-bringing important messages that teach us about ourselves and our impact on others, producing the power to move into action and change, and enrichments giving a deeper sense of who we are and what we value.
To best cultivate a philosophy of emotional wellness, it is important to develop an awareness of your emotions, acceptance and understanding of your feelings and ways of expressing your feelings that are respectful to yourself and others. This process begins by realizing that you are a special, unique being worthy of respect and love.
Choose a face that represents you today...
Stressed, confused, excited, lonely, sad, angry, or peaceful.
How long have you felt this way...
Is that feeling likely to change...
Are you okay with how you are feeling...
Exercise : You are unique. Who am I?
Before you begin to explore your self-esteem, please think about and answer the following questions. Write down your initial impressions or thoughts. It is important to be honest in your answers:
Three positive words that describe myself...
What single factor contributes most to my self-esteem...
What do I consider to be my greatest accomplishment...
What would my best friend say is my most important attribute...
What was the most positive message my parents gave me...
What would I most like to be remembered for in my life...
Connie Palladino, Ph.D.
Please take your time now to consciously reflect on your recent past. Which things, people or subconscious beliefs about life has your emotional well-being depended upon?
Can you see the self-defeating patterns that have formed through the years, as evidenced by the repetition of unwanted, unnecessary negative emotions?
My 'addictions' are...
Corresponding emotions that disturb me are...
Tips for Improving Self-Esteem
1. Set healthy goals, take enthusiastic steps, and accumulate meaningful accomplishment in your life. Take control of your actions and lifestyle.
2. Cultivate the habit of looking at the positive sides of your self, all people, and all things in life.
3. Take deliberate steps to develop skills and talents to greater levels.
4. Take life's changes as challenges - opportunities for personal growth, rather than as problems which burden you.
5. Imagine successful events, even if you feel under-confident. Utilize meditation and/ or visualization.
6. Be realistic about your abilities, be optimistic about your possibilities. Use humor as a means of taking your limitations lightly.
7. Accept yourself as a growing, ever-evolving being that is not 'stuck' in the past or present. Realize the power you have to develop in the way in which you choose.
8. Practice unconditional acceptance for your self and for others.
9. Work towards satisfying your needs in all eight wellness dimensions.
1. Consciously recognize the stress symptoms you experience.
2. Mentally pinpoint the specific stressor(s) (e.g. rude friend, tough exam, noise in the hall).
3. Choose your basic strategy. Either:
a) Avoid it (if a positive outcome results)
b) Ignore it ('mental blocking')
c) Eliminate it ( total elimination is often impossible)
d) Adapt and cope with it
4. Choose your specific strategy. Just as there are hundreds of stressors, there are hundreds of ways to manage them. Note: Your stress experience, whether it leads to positive or negative results, is totally created by you in your mind. The more fully conscious you are of your inner reactions to outside events, the more control you can have in making them lead to positive outcomes.