Advertising
Advertising

15 Things Emotionally Healthy People Do

15 Things Emotionally Healthy People Do

With more and more research connecting our emotional and physical health, it comes as no surprise just how important it is to take care of our emotional well-being. If you are like me and grew up in a household that put very little emphasis on this, it can be hard to understand what emotional health actually is, let alone how to start improving it.

Emotional health can be defined in a few ways: having high self-esteem, a solid sense of self, and being in control of yourself despite how you’re feeling.

Being able to acknowledge and then constructively express a wide range of emotions to others not only helps you handle life’s challenges better but will aid in building strong relationships. In the process of releasing unhealthy habits and beliefs, I came across these 15 habits that emotionally healthy people do:

1. They continue to grow their self-awareness

The first step in moving towards becoming emotionally healthy is self-awareness. When you practice self-awareness, you are able to see what habits and beliefs serve you and which do not. You can do so by engaging in self-reflection and self-analysis on a regular basis.

Advertising

2. They know their boundaries

Emotionally healthy people know their boundaries and aren’t afraid to stick to them. They know by doing so they are not only keeping themselves emotionally safe and happy, they will be of better service to others… even if that means saying no.

3. They forgive and repair damaged relationships, if possible

Emotionally healthy people forgive.  It may take time, but they allow themselves to grieve and work through any and all emotions that come up after being hurt. If possible, they repair damaged relationships, but they also know when it’s best to end a relationship for good.

4. They exercise and eat well

The mind, body, and soul are all connected. Healthy people understand how important each is in regard to the others. That means not only expanding your mind, i.e. reading, learning something new, meditating, but also moving your body and fueling it properly. You will be able to focus, perform, and sleep better.

5. They nurture their self-esteem

Healthy people understand their self-esteem will naturally go through highs and lows as the “seasons change.” They do not hold onto judgments about these changes but rather accept and nurture them.

Advertising

6. They practice flexibility

No, I’m not talking about yoga (although I’m sure yoga definitely helps with being emotionally healthy!) What I am talking about is being flexible with what life throws at you. Emotionally healthy people are adaptable. They can assess a new situation, how they’re feeling, and other reactions to it. They can then decide what is the best way to respond.

7. They place a high value on personal development

Healthy people understand the value of personal development. They grow and learn from mentors and people they admire. They spend a lot of time reading or listening to information about personal development so they can grow (kinda like you’re doing right now!)

8. They stay positive

You will rarely see an emotionally healthy person complaining about their life. Instead, you’ll see someone who can accept the current hand they’ve been dealt with positivity. They are problem solvers. They create opportunities to grow and do so willingly.

9. They practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a healthy way to attract more of the things you want in your life. If you want more love, be grateful for the love you already have. If you want more money, same thing. Healthy people understand and honor the law of attraction by practicing gratitude. They also understand by giving thanks you are shifting your thoughts onto the positive rather than the negative.

Advertising

10. If they are angry, they allow themselves to be angry

I know this appears to contradict the last two traits but listen, healthy people acknowledge, accept, and express exactly how they feel. They don’t hold it in or let it fester for long. If they’re mad, they allow themselves to feel mad. Same with being hurt, jealous, disappointed, frustrated or the like. The difference between emotionally healthy people and emotionally unhealthy people is they recognize that they feel a particular emotion and allow themselves time to process it. Once that happens, they tend to feel better!

11. They stay active and productive

Healthy people are always trying something new – volunteering at an animal shelter, building a new shed, learning how to ski or something that keeps their minds and bodies challenged. They know the beauty of life happens when you go out and live!

12. They know when to ask for help

Emotionally healthy people aren’t afraid to ask for help, or rather, they ask despite feeling afraid. They recognize it’s OK to get assistance at some point or another, whether it’s to help with emotional issues, relationship advice, or they’re in need of a dog sitter. When they need to, they will ask.

13. They take care of themselves

Self-care is vital in being emotionally healthy. These kind of people know when you need to refuel your bodies & minds and aren’t afraid to do so. They are also aware of their limits, their triggers and how to get back in balance.

Advertising

14. They follow their passions

Passions don’t live within us to be ignored. Emotionally healthy people work towards living a fulfilled life, and a major part of that is by following their passions. They understand if they don’t, they will always be longing for something and that is fertile ground for falling into unhealthy ways. Find your passion and follow it! It will lead you to love, I promise.

15. They love animals

You don’t have to own and love a cat, dog, rabbit, iguana, snake, or horse to be emotionally healthy. However, I bet there’s a lot of emotionally healthy people out there who are big animal lovers and have a beloved fur, or fur-less, baby that they consider family!

Featured photo credit: MorgueFile via mrg.bz

More by this author

15 Things To Remember If You Love An Empath emotionally healthy 15 Things Emotionally Healthy People Do

Trending in Communication

1 How to Stop Nagging And Communicate With Your Partner Better 2 When Should You Trust Your Gut and How? 3 What Is Life About? 9 Ways to Find Your Meaning in Life 4 7 Things To Remember When You Feel Broken Inside 5 Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 12, 2020

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

How to Listen to Your Gut

The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

1. Tune Into Your Body

Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

Advertising

Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

Advertising

4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

5. Challenge Your Assumptions

When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

Advertising

Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

7. Trust Yourself

It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

Advertising

Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

The Bottom Line

The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
[3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

Read Next