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Mental Wellbeing

The Importance of Emotional Balance: Nurturing Your Mental Well-being

The Importance of Emotional Balance: Nurturing Your Mental Well-being
Writer and expert11 days ago
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We all know that life is about striking the right balance in many different ways. We often think about having a balanced diet and creating the perfect work/life balance, but how often do we consider our emotional balance?

Emotions are incredibly important when it comes to our overall wellbeing, and so they should not be ignored. Creating balance in our emotional life can be key to maintaining a healthy and fulfilled life, so we thought it would be important to explore the concept of emotional balance and look at a few ways in which it can be improved.

What is emotional balance?

We all know that life is made up of positive and negative emotions, and these reflect our genuine feelings towards things. The concept of emotional balance means striking the balance between the two exactly right[i]. Emotional balance requires self-awareness to help us recognise the emotions which we experience and the impact that they can have on us. We also need focus and empathy which can help to boost our emotional intelligence and emotional wellness towards others as well as ourselves[ii].

Our emotional balance can change at any point depending on what happens in our lives and the way in which we process events. Our own self awareness can be the key to understanding and accepting all of the emotions that we experience before we find ways to manage them.

Why is emotional balance important?

At first glance, emotional balance might not seem like the biggest priority in our busy lives, but this is far from the truth. Emotional balance can have a massive impact on the way in which we behave and how we respond to the challenges that life throws at us. It directly effects the relationships we build and the way in which we bounce back from the negatives in life[iii]. This requires us to express our emotions freely and work on positive thoughts that can help us to achieve peace and love for ourselves.

An emotional imbalance can have a number of negative effects, including poor sleep, relationship conflicts, burnout and difficulties in the workplace[iv]. These can then create an unhelpful cycle where more negative emotions are allowed to build, and the imbalance becomes even more exaggerated.

What are positive emotions?

When we think of positive emotions, we tend to think of happiness, but there are many other emotions that can also be positive. Things such as amusement, joy and love can all be positive, as can hope, inspiration and price. We could also consider gratitude, serenity, hope, awe and inspiration to be positive, as they can all have an affirmative effect on the way that we feel[v].

What are negative emotions?

There are just as many negative emotions as positive ones, and it can be helpful to recognise what these are in order to keep them in check and work towards achieving a good overall balance. Anger, fear and sadness are all very common negative emotions, and it is important to remember that stress is also considered to be a negative emotion. Other common negatives include contempt, disgust, embarrassment, frustration, guilt and shame[vi].

What can harm my emotional balance?

It is thought that negative emotions tend to have a stronger effect on us than the positive ones. We have a tendency to hold on to negative emotions and let their positive counterparts disappear, so it is important to be aware of this, and be mindful of thoughts and situations which can allow us to focus too heavily on the negative side of our emotional balance[vii].

Lack of sleep has also been found to have a negative effect on our emotional balance. This is because there is a minimum amount of sleep that our bodies need in order to maintain essential brain and cognitive functions[viii]. For healthy adults, this is thought to be in excess of 7 hours per night.[ix] Without the ideal amount of sleep each night as well as the right quality of sleep, we can soon start to experience a spiralling negative impact on our emotional wellbeing.

Emotional balance can be negatively affected by conditions such as depression and anxiety, and we can often find that we do not recognise these feelings creeping up on us until they are having a significant impact[x]. This might be because we lack the self awareness we need to identify mild symptoms, and do not always feel comfortable to talk about the things that cause us pain. By keeping all of this inside, our balance can soon tip in the wrong direction and individuals may find it hard to navigate away from this emotional state, however, there are healthy ways in strengthening emotional balance which can build long term resilience.

How can I strengthen my emotional balance?

It is important to navigate where we can strengthen our own emotional balance and regulate emotions as well, to benefit our mental health. Stress management techniques such as mindfulness is a very popular practice when it comes to achieving this as it can help us to become aware of changes in our balance, giving us the presence of mind to make the changes that might be necessary in order to address this[xi]. Mindfulness can take the form of various meditation techniques, or it could be something as simple as inserting short pauses into our day to reflect and become aware[xii], especially in stressful situations.

To understand how to strengthen our emotional balance, we first need to understand the extent of the imbalance that we might be experiencing. This requires conscious knowledge and self-awareness, so check in with yourself on a daily basis by keeping a journal and developing an awareness of how you’re feeling. It is also important not to put too much pressure on yourself to change your emotions and allow yourself some acceptance of the way that you feel[xiii]. We can often feel that all negative emotions need to be dispelled as soon as possible, but the truth is that it is important to learn ways in which we can accept these emotions and learn to co-exist with them, whilst keeping them in check[xiv].

It is also important to practice self-care through making yourself a priority. This can be with healthy routines, ensuring you have a healthy lifestyle and allowing time for yourself. You also need to feel any painful emotions and find ways to release and process them rather than ignoring or supressing them[xv].

It is well known that the negative effects of stress can make it much more difficult to manage emotions, meaning that they can quickly get out of control. Identifying stress levels (which may cause some people to experience things like patterns of erratic breathing, pressure in the chest, a rapid heart beat or tension in the stomach) can make it easier to find ways to reduce and manage emotions through deep breathing techniques, meditation and yoga[xvi].

Probiotics and emotional balance

Research has suggested that the gut and the brain are connected through the biochemical signalling that runs through the nervous system[xvii]. This means that the things affecting the gut can also affect the brain, both positively and negatively. Probiotics may therefor help to support your mood and lower anxiety[xviii].

Emotional balance can have a huge effect on our lives as a whole, as it can have an impact on our mindset. Having emotional balance can enable us to be healthier, both physically and mentally, and can make us more successful in all areas of our lives, which can only help to boost our positive emotions further[xix].



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