Today, we are surrounded by stressors and sources of pressure that cause us to feel the pressure to have to constantly be “on” and “perfect”. Whether it’s because of social media, the pressures of being a teenager, work, school, or family obligations, we are being exposed to stressors our entire lives.

There are many reasons why people may be experiencing stress and anxiety, but the most important thing is to learn how to manage it. The good news is that by learning the skills outlined below, you can take back control of your thoughts and emotions. The basic principle of any form of mental or emotional wellness is self-care. By making sure you have everything you need to feel good, you give yourself the best chance of being able self-regulate and avoid unhealthy behaviors.

A balanced, happy outlook is the first step to staying healthy and maintaining a positive outlook on life. It starts by understanding why you feel the way you do and what may be triggering stress or anxiety. Once you understand the feelings and reactivity, you can take action to change the current mindset and create a new outlook on things.

Here are some practical tips on how to live a life of mental and emotional wellness:

Learn to differentiate between stress and anxiety
Many people confuse stress and anxiety because they have similar symptoms. Stress is when you have a response to an event or situation that causes you to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. Anxiety is an intense feeling of fear, worry, and nervousness that can cause you to experience physical symptoms like trouble sleeping or breathing, shaking, sweating, a racing heart, and feeling restless.
There are many different ways to manage stress and anxiety. Some methods include practicing mindfulness (paying attention to the present moment without judgment).
We feel overwhelmed and become stressed when we do not have a plan to deal with the problem. It is amazing how just taking one action step can start reducing your stress levels. Without a plan, you become trapped in a mindset that tells you that this is a disaster and all is lost. However, as soon as you write down a 5 point strategy and take the first step, the “giant” before you loses it’s terror and becomes more manageable. We start turning our “loss cycle” into a “gain cycle” especially if we have connected with some caring people along the way.
In our new course “Rising Above” we help people assess the problem, develop a plan or strategy and turn the loss into gain and growth.

Be aware of thoughts that trigger stress and anxiety
A big part of mental wellness is being aware of the thoughts that trigger stress or anxiety. It is important to understand what may be causing these feelings and what the thought patterns are that lead to these feelings. In addition, understanding your triggers will help you develop coping mechanisms for when you experience them again.

Take a break from time to time
We all need to take a break from time-to-time. This can be as simple as stepping away from your desk for 10 minutes, getting outside for some fresh air, or taking a moment to go for a walk. When you give yourself the break you need, it will help clear your head and allow you to focus on tasks at hand.

Exercise regularly
One of the most important things you can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to make sure you exercise regularly. Keeping your body physically active will help maintain a healthy weight, keep stress levels down, and release endorphins that will improve your mood.
Exercise has been shown to increase vitality, reduce depression, and boost energy levels. It also increases self-esteem and confidence by making you feel more in control of your life.
The best thing about exercise is that there are so many ways to do it! If you’re not a fan of running or working out at the gym, try taking up yoga or dance classes. If you can’t find anything in your area that interests you, take a look at YouTube for tutorials on exercises like squats or pushups. You can even make your own home workout routine with the help of instructional videos online!

Get enough sleep
Sleep is the most important factor in maintaining mental and emotional wellness. Not only does it restore our minds, it also restores our bodies. Sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in energy levels, leave you feeling irritable, anxious, depressed and even increase your risk of heart disease by 25 percent.
It’s important to remember that the number of hours you sleep is not as important as when you sleep them. It’s best to go to bed at the same time every night (even on weekends) and wake up at the same time every morning. You need a consistent sleep schedule to recalibrate your body for optimal health.

The key to living a life of mental and emotional wellness is to be mindful of what is happening in the present, not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
It’s important to balance your mind and body each day, and to take care of yourself so that you can enjoy your life to the fullest. With these simple steps, you can look forward to a life of emotional and mental wellness!