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Fostering Emotional Wellness Through Awareness
We know that pursuing treatment can be a difficult choice that may feel overwhelming, and bring feelings such as sorrow, fear, anger, or anxiety. These emotions can be especially confusing or difficult as they may be new, and unlike anything you have experienced before.
Building an accurate awareness of these emotions is an essential part of developing emotional wellness. Though it may seem difficult or even counterintuitive, one important way to build this awareness is to lean into, instead of pushing away, difficult emotions. When leaning into difficult emotions, we allow ourselves to temporarily experience them while at the same time know that they will fade away. As a result, instead of allowing fear to take over, we acknowledge the feeling of fear while keeping ourselves open to positive emotional experiences that often follow such as love, support, and determination to succeed and overcome.
With this mindset you can pursue other aspects of wellness, including a deeper understanding of your strengths and limitations. You will be able to build stronger, more meaningful relationships, all of which will help you cope with treatment stressors.
Ways to build Emotional Wellness at home:
- Broaden emotional awareness through acceptance of your emotions
- Utilize your support system of family and friends
- Engage in meaningful hobbies and activities
- Identify stressors and what to do with them
- Speak with a therapist, such as a social worker or psychologist
- Clarify a sense of identity
Ways to build Emotional Wellness in the clinic:
- Increase knowledge of the treatment and learn how best to manage expected side effects
- Ensure EVERY medication taken has a clear purpose
- Take notes during your doctor visits to increase your understanding of the situation
Benefits of Pursuing Emotional Wellness?
- Increases sense of purpose and hope
- Enriches relationships with family and friends
- Less time spent away from work
- Increased resiliency and feeling less like a victim
- Stronger sense of what you are capable of accomplishing
Because of these direct results, cultivating emotional wellness may lead to direct medical benefits, including:
- Reduced emergency room visits and hospitalizations
- Reduced number of medications taken on a daily basis
- Increased treatment success, including greater remission rates
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Created: March 31, 2017 Updated: April 22, 2017