Guess what? I read a book. My final book of 2016: How to Develop Emotional Health. A nifty little guide on discovering why you are the way you are and how you can understand your own emotional health. I found a few key elements particularly powerful to think about:
Be insightful. Understand your emotional thermostat and know how it got to be that way. Think back to your childhood - were you nurtured? Did you have someone that was mentally strong care for you? If so, you’re probably stronger than you realize. If not, become aware of your childhood experiences and how they may be affecting your emotional health today.
Live in the present and develop a strong sense of self. Who are the five people you spend the most time around? Chances are you take on a lot of their personality traits. Are they mentally strong? Do they foster a supportive environment for you to be your best self? What opinions and world views do you hold? Do you seek to understand those with opposing views?
Cultivate open and honest two-way communication in your relationships. The people you spend most of your time with should contribute to enriching your life and vice versa. Explore frameworks like “non-violent communication” to help you have meaningful and productive conversations.
Be authentic in the workplace. About 1/3 or 30% of human life is spent working. If you had to put up a front for 30% of your life, then who are you actually? Throw the mask out and bring your whole self into the workplace each day. Find a working environment that accepts you just the way you are.
Leave room to be playful and live vivaciously. Out of all the habits and mechanisms we use to adapt to change, playfulness is one of the most underrated. It’s so powerful. When you are playful, you are more responsive. You’re ready to change. You’re ready to try something new, use your imagination, and as a result elevate your emotional health to a new level.