Your Emotional-Health is a Matter of Choice

Emotional-health is having a sense of wellbeing and gratitude despite adversity. It is being able to face and handle the inevitable challenges of life. For most emotional-health is a choice and includes the decision to forgive others for real or perceived wrongs. A forgiving spirit makes it possible to build stronger relationships.

Emotionally healthy people have the ability to manage their day-to-day issues and stress. Learning to accept the inevitable stressful situations and manage our reactions to them is a key to emotional-health. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their emotions and their behavior. They have the ability to make and keep friendships.

Whether we focus on forgiveness or holding a grudge is a matter of choice. Forgiveness heals and is being at peace with God but being unforgiving becomes increasingly painful and destructive. It lies at the root of many of the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual problems that we see today. Refusing to forgive another is a devastating choice that puts us in bondage to our offender.

Too many people choose to retaliate to a perceived or real wrong, get even, or harbor self-destructive hatred within their person. Hurt, stress and adversity are unavoidable. What matters is how we choose to handle and react to them. The apostle Paul wrote, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:31, 32).

An unforgiving spirit can lead to a state of almost perpetual anger. It is easy to see anger in another person. The angry person often has visible changes in physical appearance. Internally, blood pressure rises, and the stomach feels as if it is tied in knots. It is far more difficult to recognize anger in ourselves. Anger is a very destructive force in our lives. God’s word instructs us: “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:26, 27).

Many times we focus on our emotions only during periods of adversity. But it requires effort to build or maintain emotional-health. The more time that we invest in our emotional health, the stronger it will be. And since a healthy mind and a healthy body are interdependent our very lives and well-being depend on our emotions all the time. The good news is that there are many things that we can do to boost our mood and get more enjoyment out of life.

Ten actions to improve emotional-health

  • Forgive the offender. Forgiveness does not mean that what the person did was right. It means that you have released them and turned the issue over to God.
  • Let go of anger. Anger is unproductive, robs us of reason, and is destructive to our physical health.
  • Self-respect - Learn to love yourself. This doesn’t mean being completely self-centered. It does mean to have a healthy regard for self. We were purchased at a heavy price. God gave his only son for us because of his great love for us. He placed a high value on us. Can we do less? Fill your mind with positive thoughts and reject negative thinking.
  • Overcome anxiety - Overcoming anxiety has to begin with learning to live in the present. Plan for tomorrow with God's help but don't worry about it. Give it to God. He can handle it.
  • Exercise. Exercise, such as walking or jogging, increases blood flow and stimulates the brain to secrete endorphins and other “happy hormones” that have a natural calming effect. Walking outdoors is especially good at relieving stress.
  • Manage stress. Managing stress is important for people in all age groups but is even more important as we age. Stress can not only rob of us of our emotional health but our physical health as well.
  • Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter brings with it a sense of wellbeing and is supported by surrounding yourself with positive people.
  • Goal setting Stay motivated and establish goals for yourself. Diligently work to achieve those goals and then set new ones. Make the goals manageable so that they don't create stress.
  • Gratitude. Changing your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have can be a mood altering activity. It can have a very positive impact on your emotions and physical well-being. Focus on the good things in your life and be grateful for them. Give thanks to God and to those who have been kind and supportive through the storms in your life.
  • The Value of Meditation. Studies have shown that meditation can among other things reduce stress, lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and improve sleep. Meditate on the Lord – His majesty, glory, goodness, faithfulness, and promises. Meditation can improve emotional-health.

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Return from emotional-health to healthy mind

In the end it's not the years in your life that count but the life in your years. Abraham  Lincoln

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