Emotional Wellness: How To Improve?

Washington Post and HuffPo hands down have some of the BEST wellness news articles for me. I was reading about emotional wellness this morning in THIS article on how to improve your emotional wellness. I spoke…many times last week about how I was having a slew of bad things just come at me (my car is in the shop for the third time in two months today!). So this article immediately caught my attention. And do you want to know why? Because even though it is “5 habits” to use to improve your emotional wellness, it is essentially one thing.

When life knocks you down…Get. Back. Up.  When you fail, learn from it. When you lose, find meaning in the loss. Pick yourself back up from rejection (something I struggle a lot with). But everything basically boils down to when life knocks you down, figure out how to pick yourself back up again. Don’t let it knock you down for too long. Learn from the knocks, the hard-times, the failures, and all the negatives. Turn those negatives into positives. I used this example in my essay for grad school. When I started off in college, I knew exactly what I was going to do with my life. I had everything planned out (I’m planner, it’s what I do). And in one semester (my first semester), one class took my plan that I had carefully been cultivating for at least two years and threw it out the window. I failed Macroeconomics. Which, seeing as I was a business major (marketing actually) is kind of a big thing to fail. So I, always a strong student, sat down as I looked at my dismal report card. In my first semester of college, I lost my academic scholarship and was being warned that I was about to be put on academic probation. I looked at my report card, saw that my highest grade was in psychology, and I went full force and never looked back. I graduate in 3 1/2 years and took my GPA from a 1.69 to just below a 3.00 (2.98). My GPA was not what got me into grad school. Rather it was showing that I learned from that failure and I was able to persevere and go past it. And in case you were wondering, I graduated with a 3.74 (or something like that) with my master’s degree.

What I’m saying isn’t new or revolutionary. But it is a reminder that life was never meant to be easy. And the true test of one’s character isn’t necessarily how they handle things in the good times, but rather how they handle things when life knocks them down and how they pick themselves back up again.

Mental Wellness: My Personal Belief a/b Crying

First off, I’m sorry about yesterday’s post. My mind was all to consumed with car problems. Turns out that my car is going to be $650 to fix and they didn’t get around to it yesterday. Hopefully they just get it fixed today so I can have my car back and drive normally again…slash make it over to my sister’s and pick up our mom’s/her/soon to be my bike so I can stop being so reliant on my car.

Yesterday was a stressful day for a million reasons but at the same time was a productive day. My car was stressing me out. Some personal things were stressing me out. Some work things were stressing me out. I was wearing thin.

I have this thing that I play out how conversations might look. And for some reason I always tend to do this in the shower. Apparently hot water and shampoo gets my brain thinking from different sides and perspectives. (Disclaimer:  I tend to be someone that will at least try to look at something from different angles…it also means that I am slow to do anything…) Well last night while I was doing this technique in regards to some personal stuff, I just completely broke down and started hysterically crying (on a positive note, it really helped me clear out my nose as allergies tend to make it be really stuffed up).

Which leads to me to this, my personal belief about crying. I went years thinking that crying was only for the weak and you should never cry. In fact, I probably went a good couple of years without shedding a tear. From when my friend’s son passed away to my second year of grad school as I was orally defending my comps, I don’t think I really shed a tear or at least had a good cry. I would simply take my emotions out on to the street and pound the pavement for a good run. But something snapped during my defense of my comps and it was when one of my professors said I was a disappointment (which happens to be one of my biggest fears). I could barely hold back tears as those words came out of his mouth. (Wow Vanessa, this is just a scattered blog post today!)

I figured out then that sometimes I just need a good cry. And that it doesn’t make me weak and it often times will make me feel better after and help me put things into perspective. It happened during grad school. It happened last night. It has happened in the past. And it will continue to happen in the future.

So this, this is my personal belief a/b crying. If you need a good cry. Cry. Let your emotions out. But try to take something positive away from it. It can be that now you have been able to feel your emotions so maybe now you can look at the situation/problem from a more rational (read:  less emotional) point of view. Maybe it is just the release of emotions that makes you feel better or calmer about the situation. The point is, to find a positive in the fact that you are balling your eyes out and possible have a situation like this on your hands



Emotional Wellness: Turning Your Day Around.

I will be the first to admit that I have crummy days and I don’t always handle them the best way. One of the big things I have been working on this year is being more positive or at least finding something positive in every day. It has definitely helped with my general outlook on life, which more would classify as “pessimistic” or “very pessimistic”.

Yesterday I was just having one of those days. Everything seemed to be going wrong, from finding out bad news to not being able to let go of certain things. I was just having a crummy day. But then I went to the park and had a great workout and came back home and watched my newest addiction, Extreme Weightloss (I have an addiction to watching these types of shows…one of my favorites was on TLC, “My 600 Pound Journey”). Meredith was on this weeks episode. And by golly was she AMAZING! She hit her goal weight of 155 pounds but more than that she was just positive throughout the entire thing. She ran a marathon. A MARATHON! She discovered how much she loved to run and how good she was at it (as well as swimming). It was just awesome to get to see this girl discover running in a similar way that I did. And she was just positive the entire time. She didn’t hit her weight loss goal at the 6 month or 9 month weigh in but each time she made sure she walked away from the situation positive and ready to tackle the next challenge. At the 6 month weigh in she was something like 198 and she was supposed to be somewhere in the 180s I believe. And she looked at the scale and said something along the lines of, “I’m disappointed I didn’t make my goal but I can’t look at the number and be mad. At my highest, there was a 4 where there is a 1 right now. I can’t be mad.”

Damn. That is some inner strength and positivity right there. And motivation to turn those crappy days around. Normally I would have gone to bed in a bad mood because I had a bad day but instead I sat and thought of the positive things that happened that day and went to bed content.

There is something positive in everyday. Even if it is something tiny. I challenge you today and this week to find something positive in everyday. You can journal it, (they actually have apps for this!) or you can just make a mental note of it. But try it out for a week and see if it helps you turn your day around. Because emotional/mental wellness is important to!