How to Take Care of Yourself Emotionally
Knowing how to take care of yourself emotionally is important especially if you find yourself overwhelmed, overworked and undervalued?
Does life seem so fast paced that you can’t keep up? Are your relationships suffering because of it? And does it seem that no matter how much you try, you have a sense that all your efforts just aren’t good enough? It’s time to nurture yourself!
Not Knowing How to Take Care of Yourself Emotionally
is a Big Problem in Our Culture
We live in a culture that has a supersize mentality. It’s been instilled in us that bigger is better and striving for more is what we should be doing. It’s the great American way. If you don’t have the perfect mate and family, a successful career and are financially stable you haven’t made it yet. Right…? Wrong!!!
Taking Care of Yourself Emotionally is a Foreign Subject
The problem is that with this type of mentality the idea of how to take care of yourself emotionally seems like a foreign subject. Most people don’t even think about taking care of themselves emotionally. They are too busy working, shopping and looking for more. And still, with all the striving for more, there’s an emptiness that comes from such a mindset.
Anxiety disorders are the most common illness in America. And depression is often accompanied by anxiety. In addition to anxiety and depression, Americans consume the largest number of pain medication in the world.
What has caused this sad state of affairs? We have lost sight of what is most important, love and connection. Love and connection are more important than any big diamond ring or fancy sports car you could ever own.
But for some people, they sacrifice taking care of themselves emotionally and being true to themselves over having these nice, fancy items. They create a lifestyle that is based on looking good instead of feeling good. They forget how to stop and smell the roses and instead stay busy reaching for the next big thing to fill that empty hole. Is this you? Or something similar to you? Stop! And start loving yourself.
Longing For Someone To Love You?
Learn how to fill the empty whole you feel inside. The point is, that the next big thing, will never fill that empty hole. What fills that empty hole is all found within you. Learning how to take care of yourself emotionally is a far greater investment than any McMansion, diamond ring or sports car you could ever have. Having a sense of connection and love in your life will give you a sense of emotional care you are looking for.
The depression, anxiety and reaching for pain medication that happens across our nation is because of one big cultural phenomenon; people’s inability to feel their feelings. We live in a culture where it’s basically “normal” to repress your emotions.
Not feeling your feelings, and instead, repressing them is at the root of much of your emotional struggles.
Repressing Your Feelings Leads to:
- Lack of energy
- Disease (Cancer – Chronic Illness – Heart Disease)
- No Purpose in Life
Our culture has provided you with built-in, ready and available ways to numb out from your uncomfortable feelings. We have happy hours, huge shopping malls, Casinos and 24-hour supermarkets for example. Over-eating, over drinking, over shopping and even gambling is often right at your fingertips. You then feel isolated and lonely, disconnected from others. And the reason you feel disconnected from others is because you’re disconnected from yourself. You haven’t learned how to acknowledge your uncomfortable feelings and take care of yourself emotionally. Instead, you’ve armored yourself up without realizing it. This disconnects you to the more vulnerable part of yourself. You feel shutoff and shutdown. It’s not a fun way to live. But it’s not your fault.
What Does it Mean to Take Care of Yourself Emotionally?
How can you learn how to take care of yourself emotionally when you were birthed into and brought up in a culture that doesn’t even know how? Your Uncomfortable Emotions are the Key.
Believe it or not, your uncomfortable emotions, if cared for, will bring you more connection, more love, more joy and happiness than you ever dreamed possible. It’s in the pushing away and not wanting to acknowledge them that leaves you feeling, sad, lonely, depressed, anxiety-ridden and reaching for pain medication or other numbing substance.
All of the cultural solutions are outside yourself. When you master your emotions by learning how to reach in, instead of reaching out to people, places and things to solve your problems, your world will transform.
Your uncomfortable emotions are there for a reason. They’re trying to tell you something. They offer priceless wisdom if you’re willing to listen. If you don’t listen and instead repress them or numb them out, they don’t go away, they come out sideways in what I call the 3 D’s, Disease, Drama, and Depression.
A Process for Uncomfortable Emotions
I have a process called the 4 N’s. It involves 4 steps to process powerful emotions. This process is an effective way to really take care of yourself emotionally. The 4 N’s are NOTICE, NAME, NURTURE, and NEED.
The first part of this process is to notice that you’re having an uncomfortable feeling. How often have you had a second or third class of wine or a second or third piece of pizza when you really didn’t need it?
Were you having an uncomfortable emotion that you didn’t know how to take care of? Noticing is the biggest first step in learning how to take care of yourself emotionally. It interrupts the habitual behavior.
Noticing and Naming the Emotion
As you may already know, there are so many different types of emotions. When working with clients who are learning how to feel their feelings I help them by categorizing feelings into 6 different types – Sad, Mad, Glad, Fear, Numb and Shame.
By categorizing them it helps you to distinguish and become aware of the different types of emotions you have. Each emotion has its own unique characteristic. It becomes an art form, learning how to pay attention to all your different emotions and feelings that arise during the day.
The Next N is to NURTURE
This is at the heart of how to take care of yourself emotionally. Your uncomfortable feelings are energies in your body. And they want your attention just like a crying baby wants attention.
Feeling into your body, placing your hands on those parts of your body that are emotionally talking to you and giving them your undivided attention is key to taking care of yourself emotionally.
The best part is, learning how to do this has profound effects on your ability to create loving relationships in your life. Because you’ve started creating a loving relationship with yourself.
The Last N is NEED
We all have needs but we’ve been programmed to think that having needs means you are needy. Needs are normal and natural. It’s important to know what you need. It supports clear communication. It makes you feel more centered and calm.
I am referring to core needs. Not your need for someone else to change their behavior.
Getting in touch with your core needs is another big part of learning how to take care of yourself emotionally. Asking yourself, “what do I need.” This is a very empowering question. And again, there’s a fine art to how you answer this question.
Core needs are things like:
The above examples are only a few examples. Your core needs can be vast and wide, varied and many. The main point is that a core need has nothing to do with another person. It has to do with YOU.
When you take care of yourself emotionally you stop operating from your blind spots, make better decisions and gain control of your feelings and impulses because you are connected to your core needs. And you know how to give them a voice. Your relationships are more fulfilling. Life becomes more balanced because your energy doesn’t get thrown off by others. And you become a participant in making the world a better place.
What resonated most with you in this article and why?
What can you apply in your life right now? Leave a comment below and let me know. I would love to hear from you. And besides, thousands of other women come here each week for inspiration, information and wisdom. Your comment may provide support to someone else and be exactly what they needed to hear.
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I’m Anna-Thea, an author, and Certified Divine Feminine Educator. I educate women about the importance of acknowledging instead of denying their emotions. If you’d like to find out more about taking care of yourself emotionally check out 4 Steps To Process Your Powerful Emotions and you’ll learn a tool you can use for the rest of your life.