EMOTIONAL FIRST AID (PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL)
Emotions are part of the movement of life. It often feels good to let this movement through. After a good cry or a well-directed explosion of anger, the whole organism may feel more alive. But we don’t always let these emotions through easily. We often choke on our tears, or bottle up our anger. Anyone who’s struggled with a painful heartbreak or the death of a loved one knows that emotional injuries can be just as crippling as physical ones.
Total Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, we cannot address total wellness without talking about mental health and how it affects our emotional and physical state.
I.C.U For Emotional First Aid
I – Identify the stressor: Physical pain is the body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. This goes for emotional pain as well. If you experienced rejection, failure or some other life tribulation that you just cannot get over, then you need to pay attention to that emotional injury. Believe it or not, it won’t go away if you simply ignore it. Psychological wounds often manifest as physical symptoms such as headaches and illnesses. Reach out to others for support and find additional ways to relieve this pain. Try journaling to help get out all those nasty feelings.
C – Challenge the negative belief: Thoughts like “I’m so stupid” or “I just can’t get anything right” drag down your self-esteem and make it more difficult to be emotionally resilient. Show yourself some compassion. Change what you tell yourself by substituting a negative remark with a positive one. Try writing or texting yourself supportive things to help build your self-compassion.
U – Understand and proffer a way forward: Don’t dwell on your shortcomings; it only perpetuates your self-criticism. Learn to ignore that negative voice of helplessness. Make a list of what you could control and change if you were to try again. This will reduce your feelings of powerlessness and improve your chances of future success. Persistence is the key to overcoming failure. Henry Ford said it best: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
How to improve your physical state for a better mental state
- Exercise: Studies have shown that regular exercise has a link to mood elevation; exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.
- Healthy diet: A very large body of evidence now exists that suggests diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health. Recent studies have shown “the risk of depression increases about 80% when you compare teens with the lowest-quality diet, or what we call the Western diet, to those who eat a higher-quality, whole-foods diet. According to Felice Jacka, president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research, says “a healthy diet is protective and an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for depression and anxiety.”
- Sleep hygiene: Getting enough sleep is essential for helping a person maintain optimal health and well-being. On average, each adult should sleep for at least 7-9 hours for optimal rest. The intricacies of our lives often make it difficult for us to remember to rest. For many, the burden of work obligations, family pressures, life aspirations amongst other factors implies that we have very little time to consider self-care especially in the form of sleep. Nevertheless, Sleep is important for the rest, repair & renewal of our bodies. The human body requires long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones. Sleep is vital for good mental health. A decent night’s rest can make a positive impact on your entire day.