Being emotionally stable isn’t something that you’re just born with. Learning how to cope and deal with the challenges that life throws us takes education, practice, learning, teaching, and trial and error. Sure, some may be biologically gifted with a healthier mental state or resilience. Still, every person struggles to cope with trials at some point in their life.
One of the first anchors that can help us to be emotionally stable is a lovely practice called self-care. Self-care can be a proactive practice and a coping method. Self-care looks different for each person. In order to have effective self-care, you need to know yourself. Know what you enjoy, what rejuvenates you, and what nurtures your soul.
I would recommend making categories of self-care activities. Many of us are busy people. Even though I love weeklong escapades to the island of Bora Bora while receiving hour long massages on the beach with a setting sun; this might not be feasible for me to experience every month or even every year. Divide up self-care activities into different time increments, costs, locations, and social groups. You could have self-care activities as short as 1 minute, like deep breathing or a 15 minute office walk. It could be an activity at home such as cooking a yummy dinner. A self-care activity with the family such as an ice cream outing.
Knowing yourself is vital. If you don’t enjoy cooking, then cooking a delicious dinner for yourself would be burdensome. If you are an introvert, then a social activity with friends might be draining rather than rejuvenating.
When in a stressful or highly emotional situation, it isn’t uncommon for our thoughts to spiral. Before you know it, our thoughts spiraled to our hearts and we are a hot mess, crying, and catastrophizing. Sometimes it’s ok to let our thoughts run and let ourselves cry it out. Other times, we need to emotionally anchor ourselves because it’s not the best or safest place to have a deep emotional experience.
Anchoring our thoughts can anchor our emotions. Like a ship getting tossed to and fro, we can anchor spiraling thoughts by giving our mind something to focus on. This is often practiced in mindfulness and meditation to help clear the mind.
In mindfulness and mediation, one of the first instructions given is to breath and focus on your breath. Focus on the flow of your breath, your chest moving up and down, and the sensation of air filling your body. When we focus on our breath we aren’t focused on anything else and clears our head of all the other distractions.
We can practice this mind anchoring activity at anytime and anywhere. It doesn’t always need to be your breath. You can find something nice to smell, focus on the scent, something tasty, a sound, memory, texture, anything really. Give your mind something safe and stable to think about and it can anchor your emotions.
If you or a loved one struggles with maintaining emotional stability, please contact Crownview Medical Group to get in touch with a trained medical professional who can help you restore balance and positive wellbeing.