Today we continue our look at the dimensions of wellness by looking at one aspect of emotional wellness: positive thinking. First, however, what exactly is “emotional wellness”?
Emotional Wellness is the ability to cope, manage and experience feelings appropriately. It means having a positive and optimistic attitude about life. It means having a high self-esteem and balanced emotions. It means being able to recognize and cope with life issues. Emotional wellness is a key component to the other dimensions. Because if we let our emotions get the better of us, if we get stuck in a negative mindset, like we all do at some point in life, all other aspects of wellness are affected.
Like a pebble dropped into a pond, the ripples of negative emotions affect all aspects of our lives, and all dimensions of wellness. They cause us stress, which in turn cause physical ailments throughout the body. Negative emotions drain your spirit, cause unclear thinking, create social strain, and send negative energy into the surrounding environment. And, most often, we get stuck in our negative mindset.
So, how do we get unstuck?
The answer, it seems, is quite simple…gratitude. Listen as Alison Ledgerwood, Social Psychologists explains the negative mindset and how to get unstuck.
Many years ago, when my now 23 year old son was an infant, I worked as a teller for a local credit union. I had a regular customer come in and I’d ask “Hello, how are you today?” He would always answer with an enthusiastic “I’m FABULOUS!”
Now, we asked everyone that same question and most people would say the standard “I’m fine.” or “I’m ok”. A few people would say “I’m horrible, it’s been a crappy day.” But this one customer got our attention.
Out of curiosity, my co-worker and I once asked him about his response. “How are you always fabulous?” He replied “How can I not be fabulous? I am alive, and I have so much to be grateful for. There is no other way to reply.”
For this person, it was simply a statement of fact that he was fabulous. He had trained his mind to see the positive side of life. And like a pebble dropped in a pond, that positive attitude spreads. THAT is definitely a goal worth pursuing.