What do vacations to Tahiti, bubble baths, and having an assertive relationship with your emotions have in common? They are all acts of self-care. The last question about emotions may have come as a surprise, but cultivating vibrant emotional health is key to meeting your needs and cultivating vibrant emotional health.
I recently had the opportunity to interview self-care expert Dr. Robin Govin. He is the author of “The Self-Care Prescription: Powerful Solutions to Manage Stress, Reduce Anxiety & Increase Wellbeing” and the First International Take Care of His You Conference for Massage Therapists March 28, 2022.
In this article, I share Gobin’s strategies for emotional self-care that will help you keep your time, silence your inner critic, and challenge feelings of low self-worth. But first, we need to look at the origin of the emotion.
the importance of emotions
Why do we have emotions? One way to answer that question is to ask another question. did not do it do you have feelings?
At the most basic level, emotions help us survive, Gobin explained in an interview. For example, if you don’t have a fear of fire, you have no motivation to leave a burning building.
Emotions also help us take inspired actions. For example, the anxiety you might feel before a big test motivates you to prepare for it. Finally, emotions help us communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally. This is why the sad or distressed look on an infant’s face immediately leads to the actions of mom or dad.
When we understand emotions in terms of origin, they are essential to our survival and are therefore neither good nor bad.
relationship with emotions
You may be guessing by now that emotional self-care takes some work. The good news is that it can be a challenging job. First, Gobin suggests examining the relationship with current emotions. Do you have a passive, aggressive, or assertive relationship with your emotions?
If you don’t acknowledge what you’re feeling, you’ll have a passive relationship with your emotions. An example of this is avoiding angry feelings if you grew up in an abusive household.
If you’re sad and think, “Stop, Buttercup!” You are in an aggressive relationship with your emotions. This relationship can be both important and mean.
The gold standard, assertive relationship with your emotions, is whether you like it or not, acknowledging the emotions that are present and trying to find out what they can tell you about yourself.
If you’re like me and you’re upset with yourself for having both passive and aggressive relationships with your emotions, don’t bother. By simply clarifying your relationship with yourself, you are taking the first step toward an assertive relationship with your emotions and developing vibrant emotional health.
As you begin to understand your relationship with emotions, Gobin also suggests expanding your vocabulary around emotions so that you can identify what you’re feeling and clarify what you need.
By the way, if you’ve ever felt unheard, it’s possible that you weren’t really heard because you didn’t have the right words to express how you felt.
To increase your emotional vocabulary, Gobin suggests Google’s “feeling wheel” to help you find the right words to describe your emotions. We’ve already started working on that by laying out a framework for developing vibrant emotional health.
how to say No Build Vibrant Mental Health
You receive a text message from your client, Marti. She’s in pain and she wants to go in but you’re reserved. You can stay after normal working hours, but you can’t cook dinner. Recently, you made a commitment to eating healthier—making meals.
You see yourself mad when you think about making accommodation for Marti. Plus, I feel guilty saying no because Marti is in pain.
How to say no without feeling guilty? The answer is no. Instead, accept the fact that you feel guilty. That doesn’t mean you did something wrong.
Personally, text Marti with the following options: Hello Marti. We are very sorry, but we are taking reservations for today. His colleague Nephri may have time. does she want her number? Also, we have openings from the afternoon tomorrow.
I still feel guilty, but at least I knew I had done everything I could to help Marti without breaking my commitment to myself.
An impulsive yes can throw you out of control of your schedule. For example, Kendall works at a spa. The spa owner introduces his therapist to lead his massage who needs more time at the spa. Kendall is thrilled, honored, and ready to say yes, even if she doesn’t realize how her extra time at the spa will affect her life.
When you’re ready to say yes impulsively, Gobin suggests waiting 24 hours to make a decision. When making a decision, you should ask yourself:
If you say “no” and think “selfish!” comes to your mind, you’ve probably run into your inner critic.
I choose not to listen to my inner critic
According to Gobin, your inner critic isn’t trying to catch you, but it probably acts as a protective mechanism. For example, even if you can’t open up the massage practice you’ve dreamed of since massage school because your inner critic says you’re not a good massage therapist, actually fail and feel bad. never.
In addition to sabotaging your goals, your inner critic can undermine your sense of self. For example, if you fail the Massage Licensing Board test, your inner critic may call you a loser. But the truth is you are not a loser. You’re just not well prepared for the test.
So what do you do when your inner critic is ranting? Take your inner critic out for coffee, says Gobin with a smile. Specifically, listen to your inner critic, give your inner critic space, and then you Decide who to listen to.
Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself during this process: Are you going to let your inner critic run your life, or are you going to pursue this emotionally terrifying thing?
As we’ve seen, Gobin’s approach to self-care is grounded in kindness. Nothing exemplifies this more than the Hope Exercise she suggested during her interview.
how to be your own best friend
I have to admit that when I first tried the Hope Exercise, it completely stopped my path. Apparently, according to Gobin, I’m not the only one who feels this way Here’s how to do the desired exercise.
1. Close your eyes and imagine a creature, person, or pet you love. I pray for good luck while thinking of the creature. Below are some suggestions. I wish you all the best. I hope you are safe. I hope you are healthy. May you know your worth. Not bad, right?
2. Now imagine an unfamiliar person, such as the grocery store cashier you see once a week. Wish the person luck by thinking: I wish you all the best. I hope you are safe. I hope you are healthy. May you know your worth.
3. Finally, imagine yourself. wait what? Am I thinking good for me? Yes, like everyone else, you will wish for your own happiness, safety, health, and worth. They explain that this can be difficult because they tend to register.
If you struggle with complacency, think about why it was difficult and keep doing the exercises, even though you may feel uncomfortable. To boost your self-esteem even further, you can try meditation, affirmations, or even find a talk therapy therapist.
Small Steps to Vibrant Mental Health
Emotional self-care starts with acknowledging and accepting all your emotions, even the ones you don’t like. When we remain non-judgmental of our emotions, we begin the work of establishing an assertive relationship with them. An assertive relationship means understanding what your emotions tell you about yourself.
Having an assertive relationship with your emotions gives you the opportunity to be on time, manage your inner critic, and deal with feelings of low self-worth.
If you’re aspiring to be your best friend, don’t focus on having the perfect relationship with your emotions. Doesn’t exist, says Gobin. Being your own best friend is ambitious, and simply moving in the direction of building a better relationship with your emotions is where the best work is done.
Gobin also recommends setting the bar low to make emotional self-care accessible and manageable. For example, to get started with emotional self-care, try Google’s “feeling wheel,” then once a week he identifies what he’s feeling.
only once a week?
yes. The point is to take the first step and experience a moment of emotional self-care. My guess is that it makes you want more.
About the author
Mark Liskey, LMT, CNMT is a massage therapist, business owner, teacher, and blogger. His free massage business crash course can be accessed on his business page.