Emotions and Mental Health
An important part of mental health is an awareness of our emotions. Being able to feel our feelings and talk about our feelings is vital to mental health.
Our society tends to look down, dismiss or demean emotions and emotional people. There are many reasons for this and there are many negative ways that this affects our lives.
Whether or not we talk about or acknowledge our feelings, they still affect us and our bodies.
All emotions are okay because they are ours.
Just because you have an emotion such as anger or jealousy, doesn’t mean you have to act on it, or react because of it. But it is important to check in with yourself to learn why you are feeling the way that you are – is it based on the present situation or is it from past experiences?
Emotions are valid, even if they do not make logical sense.
Emotions are valid, even if you have conflicting feelings about the same situation. We are complex beings with complex feelings.
Part of a healthy up-bringing is learning about our emotions and how to manage them. So if you grew up in a toxic, abusive, or neglectful home environment you may have been too busy focusing on survival to learn these tools. If you grew up having to hide who you are and who you love, you may not have developed these skills either.
It is when we try to disavow feelings that we get in trouble. It is when we stuff them, ignore them or deny them that they get swept under the rug and build up over time, leading to physical health issues or an over-reaction to a seemingly small incident.
Taking care of your mental health means learning to identify how you are feeling, allowing yourself to have feelings, and learning healthy ways to deal with those feelings. Dealing with feelings might mean talking about them, sitting quietly and noticing them, expressing them through art or movement, etc.