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15 Things Emotionally Healthy People Do

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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