The emotional dimension of wellness emphasizes healthy ways of processing feelings, expressing feelings and self-care. Itâ€™s also about maintaining a positive headspace and an overall positive outlook on life.
The reason emotional wellness is one of the six dimensions of wellness we focus on in our community is because of how imperative it is for older adults. As we age, we go through many life-changes and the older we get, the more frequently we tend to experience those changes. Oftentimes this can lead to emotional distress. This is why itâ€™s important to have safe and open ways to process and express thoughts and feelings while also promoting activities that provide feelings of happiness, calm and contentment.
Arenâ€™t Emotional and Mental Wellness the Same Thing?
No. Quite the contrary. Although emotional and mental health do complement each other, they are not the same. Mental health refers to your ability to process information. Emotional health, on the other hand, refers how you express your feelings. Your feelings are a result of the information you processed.
Processing Your Feelings in a Healthy Manner
The first part of processing feelings in a healthy manner is being able to recognize and accept your feelings. In other words, becoming self-aware. Here are a few ways to put that concept into action:
- Notice your emotions when they happen â€“ give yourself time to process your feelings instead of compartmentalizing them. This can help prevent emotional outbursts and instead lead to compassionately confronting someone.
- Catch your own self-judgements â€“ stop the negative self-talk, ask yourself how you would react if a loved one spoke to you the way youâ€™re speaking to yourself.
- Be curious about your feelings â€“ ask yourself why youâ€™re feeling this way.
Participate in Self-Care
Self-care has recently become popular with the younger generation, but itâ€™s not just a trend. At its core, self-care is simply about prioritizing time for yourself and remembering to do things that specifically make you feel a sense of calm. Some easy self-care methods to act on are:
- Organizing a weekly call with a loved one
- Listening to music
- Getting plenty of sleep
Similar to self-care, mindfulness has recently been trending in the mainstream. But thereâ€™s a reason itâ€™s trending. It has been proven that mindfulness benefits seniors in particular. Mindfulness is not a belief system but simply an outlook and way of being. Itâ€™s about being present and conscious of how your body processes things physically and emotionally. Some mindfulness activities include:
- Enjoying nature
- Reciting positive affirmations
- Focusing on the outcome of an action
- Stretching periodically
- Observing changes in your mood
- Listening to calming music
- Creating daily rituals/routines
The Power of Positivity
In addition to practicing mindfulness, positive thinking goes a long way. Having an optimistic perspective has been proven to help maintain good heart health. In fact, a Harvard School of Public Health study found that positive psychological well-being, which includes self-acceptance and positive relations with others, is linked to improved heart health. People who tend to look on the bright side have fewer heart problems, such as cardiovascular disease. They also have better cholesterol readings. All of this contributes to increased longevity.
How Meth-Wick Helps with Emotional Wellness
At Meth-Wick, we help fulfill and strengthen our residentsâ€™ emotional health. We offer programs directly correlated with the activities mentioned above such as programs that include music, sound healing, support groups, exercise and massage therapy. In addition, we have Therapeutic Recreation Specialists on staff to help you map out and achieve personal goals. Our 68-acre campus provides residents the opportunity to go on relaxing walks and enjoy nature in a calm, meditative atmosphere.
At Meth-Wick Community, we believe residents should be able to live life the way they want in order to support their emotional needs. Emotional wellness is all about having the right state of mind and itâ€™s our job to help our residents feel happy, healthy and fulfilled.