Ten Rules for Emotional Health
1. Take care of yourself. Plan time to relax, exercise, eat well, spend time with people you enjoy and engage in activities that you like. Strive to continually incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle.
2. Choose to find the positives in life experiences instead of focusing on the negatives. Most clouds have a silver lining and offer opportunities for personal understanding and growth. Positive energy is contagious and puts you and those around you in a good mood. Optimistic people are attracted to other optimists. When you are surrounded by positivity, the world looks a whole lot brighter.
3. Let go of the past. If you can’t change it and you have no control over it, let it go. Otherwise, it is unnecessary negative energy that causes you to ignore the positive in the present. Strive to forgive yourself and others. It is a gift you can give to yourself, to be freed of the burden of the past affecting your life presently.
4. Be respectful and responsible. Do what you know is right for you. When your lifestyle is in line with your values, you feel good. Blaming other people and circumstances is not helpful to you; be responsible and accountable for your choices and actions.
5. Acknowledge and take credit for your success and accomplishments. Don’t worry - it’s not bragging! We compliment others, but rarely do we allow ourselves to feel proud. We tend to feel comfortable pointing out our weaknesses or failures, but somehow feel less comfortable acknowledging our successes. Even if you don’t say it aloud, congratulate yourself and allow yourself to feel a sense of pride. You deserve it - and it just feels good!
6. Take the time and effort to build strong relationships and nurture the ones you already have. Be open and honestwith your thoughts and feelings so you can be closer to your loved ones. This will build trust and strengthen the foundation for the relationship.
7. Speak positively to yourself. Compliment yourself and say positive things that make you feel good about who you are. If you notice negative self-talk, challenge yourself to consider whether it is valid, and replace it with a kinder statement. Sometimes we are kinder to strangers than we are to ourselves. Build your self-esteem and feel better about yourself by just being kind - speak to yourself they way a loving friend would talk to you. Accept that you make mistakes, but recognize that they don’t define who you are.
8. Remove yourself from hurtful or damaging situations. Temporarily walk away from situations that are getting out of control. Give yourself time to think of a positive way to deal with whatever is going on. Express yourself openly and honestly in an effort to create clear understanding.
9. Accept that life is about choices, constant change and adjustment. We choose our attitudes no matter what life hands us. We are in control of that. Change can be uncomfortable, but it is a part of the natural flow of life. Strive to be open to change so you can grow and learn. Trust that even unwelcome changes will bring you to exactly where you are supposed to be.
10. Have a plan for the future. Develop long range goals for yourself. If you are unsure of what they are, ask for help from a loved one or a counselor so you can discover what they might be. Work on them one day at a time, and continually notice the positive changes and progress that occur when you achieve them. If you get off track, adjust the goals to be realistic to your lifestyle.