Nurture Your Emotional Health
A clear distinction is often made between ‘mind’ and ‘body’. But when considering mental health and physical health, the two should not be thought of as separate.
Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Similarly, poor mental health can negatively impact on physical health, leading to an increased risk of some conditions.
Negative attitudes and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can create chronic stress, which upsets the body’s hormone balance, depletes the brain chemicals required for happiness, and damages the immune system. Poorly managed or repressed anger (hostility) is also related to a slew of health conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, and infection.
Here are a few ways by which we can improve our emotional wellbeing which will in turn lead to a healthier lifestyle…
The Role of Forgiveness – Forgiveness means fully accepting that a negative event has occurred and relinquishing our negative feelings surrounding the circumstance. Research shows that forgiveness helps us experience better mental, emotional and physical health. The practice of forgiveness has also been linked to better immune function and a longer lifespan.
Other studies have shown that forgiveness has more than just a metaphorical effect on the heart: it can actually lower our blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health as well.
The Benefits of Gratitude – Acknowledging the good aspects of life and giving thanks have a powerful impact on emotional wellbeing and physical wellbeing. In a landmark study, people who were asked to count their blessings felt happier, exercised more, had fewer physical complaints, and slept better than those who created lists of hassles.
There is a relationship between joy and gratitude, but with a surprising twist: It’s not joy that makes us grateful, but gratitude that makes us joyful.
Keeping a Spiritual Link – One way to rekindle the feeling of spiritual well-being is to wake up 20-30 minutes before Fajr and spend that time making Zikr and Dua. Also, do not forget to make the practice of reading the Qur’an and performing dhikr an intrinsic part of your day.
Serving Others – Another way to maintain your emotional health is to keep the Sadaqah flowing. The act of giving, whether of your finances, skills or time, is extremely rewarding not only in the Hereafter but also here on Earth. Evidence has shown that small gestures of kindness or more significant ones, such as volunteering in the community, can substantially increase your overall sense of happiness and satisfaction.