Even as we strive to achieve excellence for the African descendants, we need to take care of our emotional health. Emotional health is a vital element of our overall health. We need to take care of our minds with the same seriousness we do our bodies. When we are emotionally healthy, we are able to understand and take charge of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviour. Our emotional health is of particular concern, especially in today's challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic that has significantly disrupted our ways of life. We need to mind our emotional health and understand how we can cope with stress in our day-to-day life.
If you are of African ancestry and wondering how to improve your emotional health and lead a happy life, here are five strategies for you:
1 - Cultivate positive thinking and positive self-talk
The field of positive psychology has grown in recent years, with its most significant emphasis being on positive thinking and positive talk. Psychologists assert that the human mind is constantly immersed in either positive or negative thoughts. Also, we are always in a silent dialogue with ourselves even though we seldom pay attention to it. As such, thoughts and the self-talk you entertain in your mind, in turn, determine your emotional well-being.
If you want to live an emotionally healthy and happy life, then cultivate positive thoughts and self-talk in your mind. See growth opportunities in every challenge you encounter and soothe yourself with words like “I can overcome this,” and “I am able.”
2 - Exercise regularly
Physical exercise is a powerful and effective tool for optimising your emotional and physical health. During exercise, the brain releases endorphins that stimulate the relaxation of the mind and body and make you feel positive about yourself. Exercise promotes a positive mood, brings better sleep, sharpens memory, and boosts your resilience to common mental challenges like stress and anxiety.
Health experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. Examples of simple exercises that you can undertake include walking, jogging, swimming, and yoga.
3 - Meditate
Meditation is a psychotherapeutic process of training your mind-focused attention and awareness. It is basically a way of training the human mind, just as physical exercise trains the body for fitness. While there are numerous meditation techniques, mindfulness meditation is the commonest and simplest. You just sit down in a relaxed position and pay attention to your breathing pattern. Breathe deeply, focusing your thoughts on your belly, diaphragm, or nostrils. You can also exercise spiritual meditation by sitting in silence and seeking a deeper connection with your God. Meditation generally boosts your self-esteem, gives you a positive outlook, and gets rid of negative thoughts from your mind.
“Taking care of our emotional health is a powerful act of self-love.” - Maya Angelou
4 - Express gratitude
Gratitude is the virtue of expressing thankfulness for every blessing or experience in your life. It is a simple way of expressing our inner humility. Giving thanks improves your mood and makes you more optimistic in life. The positive emotions that gratitude cultivates in your mind give you the power to overcome adversity, bring you happiness, and you are able to live an emotionally healthy life.
5 - Practise forgiveness
Forgiveness is a conscious decision that we make to give up resentment and bitterness while acknowledging that we were hurt. It is a way of showing kindness to those who hurt us, even when they are undeserving. It helps us reverse the damage that revenge and grudges can have on our emotional health. When we forgive, we get peace within ourselves and with others, and we live a happy life free from stress, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
WeAfric is focused on promoting the emotional wellbeing of the descendants of Africa from all parts of the world. Stay connected with us to learn more tips for being emotionally healthy, increasing your productivity, and succeeding as an individual and as a community of African heritage.