It is vital for your emotional equilibrium that you counterbalance anger, fear, and guilt with optimism, hope, and joy. The promise of the whole-person approach means that the health aspects of a person can support the weaker characteristics until the whole person is strong and well.
Intellectual, relational, physical, and spiritual aspects of your life can also assist you in sustaining the life-affirming emotions of optimism, hope, and joy. The following exercises will acquaint you to whole-person principles.
To support emotional balance, be aware of the information you are feeding to your mind. Try reading a positive, uplifting book, and intentionally set aside time in your day to fill yourself up intellectually with constructive, encouraging messages. Be aware of what you are reading and listening to, and seek to counter the negative input we all get as a part of our day with positive influences.
Think of a person you really enjoy talking to, someone who makes you feel good about yourself or someone who’s just fun to be around. It could be a family member, a coworker, a teller at the bank, or anyone who brings a smile to your day. Intentionally plan this week to spend time with that person, even if it’s just for a moment or two. Make the effort to verbalize your appreciation for his or her positive presence in your day.
Physical activity is a wonderful way of promoting emotional health. Engage in some mild exercise this week. Take a walk around the neighborhood. Stroll through a city park. The goal is twofold: to get your body moving, and to allow you to focus on something other than yourself and your surroundings. Take a little time when you’re at the park and watch someone playing with his dog, or cheer at a Little League game. Intentionally open up your focus to include the broader world around you.
Take some time to nourish your spirit. If you are a member of a religious organization, make sure to attend services this week. If you are not, listen to some religious or meditative music. Spend time in quiet reflection, meditation, or prayer. Intentionally engage in an activity that replenishes and reconnects your spirit.
Each of these actions may seem like a small step. They may even seem not achievable, given the way you feel. Please, do them anyway. If you are emotionally out of sync, you can’t rely on how you’re feeling to determine what you do. Each of these actions, done intentionally, will help you in two ways: 1) they will assist you in focusing on optimism, hope and joy and 2) they will reinforce the truth that you can intentionally respond to life and its circumstances. You have a choice. Today, choose optimism, hope and joy.
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 30 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.