Welcome back to “The Whole Picture,” The Mayflower’s in-depth blog series on the elements of whole-person wellness. (Check out parts one, two, and three, if you haven’t already!) Today, we’re getting in touch with the topic of “Emotional Wellness” – with science-based tips on how people of all ages can find peace and wellness in today’s turbulent world.
“I am not afraid of the storms, for I am learning to sail my ship,” confides Amy March to her sister in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. It’s her way of saying that she’s learned to face life’s challenges with courage and acceptance, no matter what the future brings.
In an unpredictable world, “storms” are inevitable. But how we respond to those challenges is what matters most – and by practicing patience, mindfulness, and compassion, we can chart a course for clearer skies. Here at The Mayflower, we call that “emotional wellness,” and it plays a key role in our whole-person approach to health.
“We tend to think about ‘physical health’ as one thing and ‘mental health’ as another, but they’re actually closely linked,” says Sarah Burke, our community’s Wellness Coordinator. “And we also know that, just as exercise can improve your outlook, caring for your inner well-being supports bodily health.”
Like any kind of fitness, emotional wellness can take time and practice – but it’s easy to get started:
- Make Time for You. “The more technology that we have access to, the tougher it is to tune in to your feelings,” says Sarah. “Taking time away from those distractions to be focused and present is so important.” If you don’t already, consider setting aside a few moments in your day for journaling, meditation, or self-reflection – or for mindful exercises like yoga or tai chi.
- Set Mindfulness in Motion. One sure-fire way to boost your outlook: Get moving! There’s ample evidence to show that fitness helps improve your emotional well-being by increasing the body’s levels of endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and other “happy hormones” that can uplift your mood and strengthen your resilience.
- Embrace Messy Emotions. The goal of emotional wellness isn’t necessarily to “feel happy.” In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that the more you focus on happiness as your sole objective, the less satisfied you’re likely to feel – especially when things go awry. Instead, it may be healthier to adopt a “growth mindset”: one that welcomes challenges as opportunities to learn.
- Find Reasons to Be Thankful. According to Harvard Health, gratitude is “strongly and consistently” associated with happiness. It can improve how much you enjoy good experiences and help you handle difficult experiences better. One great way to improve your outlook is to spend a short time each day thinking of (or writing down) a few things you’re thankful for.
When you’re ready for a little more peace of mind, look no further than The Mayflower. Our wellness-focused community is designed to simplify the challenges and complications of day-to-day life, from home maintenance to hurricane prep. Just as important: You can rest assured knowing you’ll have access to top-quality long-term healthcare, no matter what tomorrow has in store.
Ready to learn more? To request more information or schedule your personal tour, send us a message or give us a call at 407.672.1620. We look forward to hearing from you!