We welcome back Angela, as she continues with her really informative and useful A to Z of Emotional Health and Wellbeing.
Last week we looked at A – including Anxiety, Anger, Affection, Agitation and this week we move on to the letter B.
A to Z of Emotional Health
B is for:
Beautiful – Although beautiful is not a feeling it can be a state of mind, a positive state of mind! Feeling beautiful and looking out at life with a positive perspective can really be a mood changer. Have you ever looked outside on a rainy day and said to yourself ‘it’s a miserable/horrid/nasty day out there today? By doing so you’re potentially adding your mood to the weather. This can be a game changer regarding the type of day you might now have. Have you ever noticed how people seem to be ‘chirpier’ when it is a warm sunny day – Even the forecasters have a smile on their face when delivering a projection of a warm and sunny bank holiday weekend!
Bereaved – A bereavement in general terms is often taken to mean the death of someone close to you, however it is also the loss in anyway of somebody who you love or feel close to. You are ‘bereaved of their person’ There is no one way to grieve the loss of someone you love, whether they have died or exited from your life in another way. It is a personal journey and often people need to seek support to help them adjust to the life they are now experiencing. There are according to Kubler-Ross Five stages of the grief process and experiencing them is not a linear process and has no timescales attached to it and you may enter in an out of each process more than once. Wellbeing can be achieved when you stop trying to ‘get over’ what has happened allow the process of grieving to pass through you.
Bewildered – Is a rather underused emotion in my opinion, or perhaps not underused but under identified. It can be one of those emotions that doesn’t get processed and our bodily reaction (a bit like being sent to jail in Monopoly) is to go straight to anger, do not pass any other emotion en route. However if you understand how feeing bewildered may affect you then it could give you an altogether different emotional outcome. Bewildered; A state of emotional conflict and or puzzlement: Eg ‘Why did somebody speak to me like that’ or ‘What is the reason for that persons behaviour towards me’
Balance – As mentioned previously the key to good emotional wellbeing is balance. No-one is immune from life experiences whether they are fantastic experiences or difficult to deal with. However if you can look at what happens to you differently then that can be key to having a balanced approach. When growing up we learn many of our ‘scripted responses’ from the adults and other people who we grow up with, this can be parents, siblings, relatives, teachers, club leaders, all sorts of people! A scripted response is what we believe we are in relation to what we have been told. An example of this may be having an identity as ‘the clumsy one’ or ‘the noisy one’ or ‘the shy one’. These scripts can have the effect of defining us into adulthood and we believe that this is what we are capable of, and we don’t question whether this is who we really are. We then proceed to make life decisions on who we believe we are – Does this make sense? This may work fine for many people but if it becomes problematic it might be time to challenge this. This is where balance comes in – If you believe that bad things happen to you because you are ‘unlucky’ or that people don’t talk to you because you are ‘quiet’ think again. Maybe you have in the past been quiet or you have had a few difficult experiences in quick succession but does that really define you be unlucky or quiet your whole life through? No is the short answer! Look for the balance; Yes you may have had difficult experiences but also have had many great experiences too – It might be that you need to challenge your ideas of what makes something great or difficult too.
Blessed – Do you ever count your blessings? Our brains are generally programmed to remember the more difficult situations we have encountered – It’s our ‘safety catch’ it is what alerts us to potential danger however if we practice counting the good times too it can create more of the good feelings we like to experience. Have things like a compliments jar or a whiteboard where ‘good things’ are notes. Have a (small) net to capture the positivity in the home or workplace
Blamed – I think we have all felt blamed or blamed others at some point in our lives. It is easy to project our difficult or painful feelings onto another person so we can avoid having to feel them or take responsibility for them. Just having awareness that this happens can change how we behave.
We’ve all done it – Had a bad day at work, got caught in traffic on the way home, no money to buy petrol so arrive home on a wing and a prayer, can’t find the door key, emotions are running high and when we eventually get through the from door the dog is so delighted to see you it runs around and around your feet – It’s the final straw and the dog gets yelled at for tripping you up. Looking back, was it the dogs fault? Doubtful! but it was a reaction to finally getting home after a very stressful day – Be kind to yourself (and the dog) and begin to recognise your emotional processing or that of others if you are the one feeling or being blamed!
Betrayed – Feeling betrayed can be a real ‘knife in the back’ that moment where we question who we can trust, what were someone’s motives for behaving as they did. Now I’m not suggesting that the person who has been betrayed was in way responsible for the other person’s actions but there are things you can do to avoid it happening again.
· Look at who your friends are – are they the genuine type that you know you can trust
· What is it that draws you to certain people or friends
· What are your relationships like with other people in your life.
· Are you generally very trusting, sharing information about yourself before you really know someone
· Do you feel that other people have a right to know everything about you? (an easy one to fall into)
· Are you able to only share personal stuff that is pertinent to what you are talking about
· Can other people generally trust you – If you can be trusted with other peoples ‘stuff’ then you will probably attract people who you can trust too.
To finish of the Bs here is a reminder that even it doesn’t feel like you have control over your destiny or relationships – You really do!
Next week is half term for many of us so our A to Z will return on 8 June.
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Debs is one of the co-founders and Directors of Bringing Us Together. She is mum to three child with a variety of SEND and has a great husband.