Emotional well-being is a term used for how you feel – for your overall health and happiness. Sounds pretty easy doesn’t it?
What is interesting is, so many people put a lot of energy and thought into their physical well – being and leave the emotional well-being at the door. Why? My guess is, we can see a result for our physical well-being very easily, and not necessarily for the emotional well – being- it’s all mental!!
The big lesson in creating the life you want is not to think you can’t have the life you want. What stops us from having that is our emotional well-being. Do you ever wonder why some people have what you want and yet you can’t reach it? Emotional well – being covers happy emotions, sad emotions, angry emotions etc… It is not about the absence of these, it is about understanding them in you. Once you do understand this, you can move forward.
The biggest thing is to know who you are. Do you know yourself really well, could you sit in front of me and tell me exactly who you are? Emotions will start to stir, be aware.
So I don’t know you, I would like to know you, tell me about yourself – hmmm… I hear some deep breathing, starting to sweat, your shoulders feel heavy, your gut is heavy and uncomfortable, silence is there, your mind is racing, “who am I?” I don’t know, Oh! Yes I do, No that is not me.
This is a pretty common scenario when this question is asked. If you take the time, to take a good look at yourself, you will start to see a very good picture of yourself, this is called self-awareness. This question makes us feel uncomfortable because it is a question not asked very often. You may be thinking I know what I like and what I don’t like. Great, but that is not the same.
Having self-awareness is emotional well-being. The more self-aware you are, the more balanced, the more you know who you are, the more you know where you are going, the more you know what you want. As your self-esteem builds, you feel healthier, do not, have as many health issues and then you can start creating the life you want.
Self-awareness is knowing your feelings, thoughts, behaviours, reactions, how you cope with stress, how you mix with people, how you handle choices or decisions you have made, and more.
When you make a decision, do you think about the consequences which follows your decisions (what is ruling/guiding your decision) feelings, thoughts? What is your self-talk like, have you ever paid any attention to it? What damage could it be doing to you and your health? In all of this, don’t forget empathy for other people’s feelings and circumstances (don’t get this confused with sympathy). What is your communication like, are you a good listener? Do you take responsibility for your actions, thoughts, beliefs, behaviours etc? Being conscious of your choices, thinking, behaviour is part of emotional well-being. If you are not conscious/aware of these, you will keep going around and around in circles, you will not achieve, you will not have the life you want. What happens is, you just keep taking the old self with you. Is this what YOU want?
I will pre-empt you and say it is hard work to know yourself. It is painstaking, heart breaking, there are moments where you will cry, laugh, get angry and be overwhelmed. But don’t stop once you start working on yourself, it is so worth the pain and the agony because you then have the ecstasy. No-one gets there by a fluke, by everything going to plan, by everything falling in their lap. On the journey, you must take stock and take a good look at yourself, take time out, be very, very conscious of your thoughts, be aware, don’t try and fool yourself and say “oh that doesn’t matter”, that thought or behaviour, because it does and it could be the one thing stopping you.
I would like to use myself as an example, so that you can follow an example of emotional well – being.
I always thought (opinion) I was pretty balanced and understood myself very well. I thought I was very aware of others and their feelings but what I did not understand was, I had to go deeper to understand myself as I had a continuous pattern happening in my life
My pattern was I was changing jobs quite often and I just did not understand why. Each job I undertook. I did the right thing by the company. I worked hard and whenever I felt I should not be there, I removed myself. Honourably, well that was my thinking, doing the right thing by everyone. What I was doing was making me very sad because I just did not understand myself very well at all. I did not like telling people about a new job, I was so uncomfortable and embarrassed.
I booked appointments with professionals, working very hard in these sessions to try and understand myself, but still it did not seem to resolve what was going on. I really was not getting anywhere. After sheer frustration I decided to go and do some studies, booked into different personal development courses, read heaps and heaps of personal development books and did lots of exercise. At one stage, I had 10 x A4 pads going where I did exercises, where I wrote notes. Writing down my thoughts really did help me as I became aware of my thoughts and behaviour, the light bulb would come on with some of these thoughts and I realised what was preventing me from getting what I wanted.
I looked at the friends I had in my life and what they gave to me. My behaviour was one where I looked very deep and hard, but also asked for feedback from my husband so that I could understand myself more. I took more time understanding thoughts, behaviours, reactions and consequences. I wanted to understand how to be a wonderful balanced person and have what I wanted in life. In some ways I became obsessed with this path I was taking. This was because I could see the long term benefits for myself and others, there was no way I was going to give in at this stage.
This is a sample of a chapter taken from the book Creating Your Life: Mindfulness and Meditation. The chapter is written by Denise Neville . Click here to pick up your copy.