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9 Ways to Cultivate Emotional Wellness


Jan. 4, 2020 Psychology Today

Feeling bad in the context of stress is normal. So cultivating emotional wellness is not about getting rid of negative emotions. It’s more about working with our emotions so that we use the negative ones and capitalize on the positive ones. Here are some strategies to help you cultivate more emotional wellness.

1. Explore your current level of emotional wellness

To first get a better idea of your current level of emotional wellness, take this well-being quiz. You can discover the aspects of your wellbeing that you might benefit from working on.

2. Get to know yourself better

Engaging in self-reflection is a fantastic way to cultivate emotional wellness. Think about what areas of your life could use some attention. Try to notice the things that bother you most or seem to cause you the most trouble. By becoming aware of yourself, you can more easily make the changes that can help increase your emotional wellness.

3. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness involves awareness of ourselves, others, and our emotions. It also involves acceptance (or non-judgment) of these things. When we accept our emotions, we can prevent ourselves from feeling embarrassed or guilty about having these emotions. So that cuts off a whole layer of negative emotions. Instead, we just let our emotions be as they are. We only focus on changing the things that we actually can change.

4. Strengthen the positive connections in your brain

Any time we activate particular regions of our brains they get stronger. In fact, research shows that training that teaches people to focus on neutral content instead of threatening content can reduce anxiety. So activating the connections in the brain for positive information can potentially make these regions stronger. This may be a good tool for emotional wellness, to decrease the brain’s reliance on negativity and focus more on positivity. One way to do this may be to memorize positive words. Here’s a positive word workbook to help with this practice. 

5. Develop a self-care routine

Developing a self-care routine that includes science-based relaxation techniques can be beneficial for emotional wellness. By helping the body better manage stress and decrease HPA-axis activation, we can feel better, calmer, and more “well”.

​6. Start a gratitude practice

Gratitude is a fantastic tool for cultivating emotional wellness. Gratitude can improve our social relationships and make us feel happier. Some ways to increase gratitude include making a gratitude list, writing a gratitude letter to someone, or starting a gratitude journal. All of these techniques can help us cultivate our gratitude and emotional wellness. 

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