Building an emotional self-care practice can encourage emotional growth, regulation, and resilience. These practices can be done on a daily basis and will support your mental health and well-being. As you develop your emotional self-care practice, take time to evaluate which exercises and activities benefit you most.
Focus On The Positive
The shows you watch, the music you listen to, and the books you read can all influence your emotional state. Spend your time on media that has a positive effect on your emotions. Avoid media that may be triggering or distressing.
The use of positive affirmations or mantras can influence your emotional well-being and shift your internal dialog, especially when you are experiencing negative emotions. Positive affirmations should be simple and easy to remember. “ I am safe.” “ I am in control of my emotions.” “I am calm and focused.”
Journaling can act as an emotional outlet to vent frustrations and negative emotions. This outlet can be used later to help you identify patterns and further support your mental health journey. Journaling can also help you to resolve emotionally charged situations in a responsive way rather than a reactive way.
Negative emotions should not be bottled up. Find a safe space to express your negative emotions and process them. A safe space for emotional release may involve reaching out to a friend or a counselor, crying in your bathtub, or screaming into a pillow.
Ditch Toxic Influences
People, media, and situations that negatively influence your emotional well-being should be avoided. A toxic influence may be “frenemies” that use passive-aggression to tear you down or manipulate you, social media channels that negatively impact your self-image, or situations that create emotional tension or distress. Removing yourself from these situations can be stressful, but the long-term effects will prove to be beneficial.
There may be times when you feel the need to express your emotions to a person but cannot safely or practically meet with that person. Writing a letter and burning it once you are finished can be therapeutic and cathartic.
Learning to be gentle with yourself may be challenging. Start by practicing gentleness with your loved ones. As you practice these acts, pay attention to your own inner dialog and challenge negative self-talk with self-compassion and gentleness.
The inner child is shaped by our own experiences in childhood, and the effects of childhood impact the person we all are today. When a child experiences trauma, neglect, or abuse, certain behaviors and patterns may emerge that cause distress in adulthood and interfere with daily life. Inner-child work can help to alleviate those distressing patterns and emotions. Opening a dialogue with your inner child can be as simple as writing a letter to yourself and responding as your inner child. Ask your inner child what they need, how they feel, and what adult-you can do to support them. Spend time playing, coloring, and tapping into the innocence and joy of childhood. Tell your inner child the things you needed to hear when traumatic situations occurred. You may also want to explore guided meditation as a means to address inner-child work or speak with a therapist for more guidance.