Since childhood, we are taught the basics of physical hygiene such as brushing, showering, and wearing clean clothes. But how about emotional hygiene? As an adult, we tend to forget its importance and the reasons why we should practice it. Emotional hygiene is as important as physical hygiene. It keeps us balanced, mindful, resilient, and ready to face any challenges that may come our way. Today, we’ll explore more and learn what is emotional hygiene and why you need it.
According to Guy Winch Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, keynote speaker, and author, emotional hygiene is being mindful of our psychological health and adopting brief daily habits to monitor and address psychological wounds when we sustain them. When we try to hide loneliness from rejections and failures and keep on blaming ourselves for all the problems we experience, it negatively impacts us, emotionally and mentally. Research also shows that choric loneliness and mental issues can affect you physically. It can lead to health issues such as heart attacks and strokes.
Understanding emotional pain and recognizing that you are hurt is essential to living life to its fullest. Never leave any emotional wounds untreated as you would not let the wound on your knee without first-aid. By doing so, you’ll be able to avoid developing serious psychological disorders and even physical illnesses.
These are some of the simple emotional hygiene techniques that we should practice daily:
Practice self-care routines
How often do you wash your hair or shower? These simple physical hygiene routines make a big difference. Imagine going to school or work not feeling ‘clean’. Emotional hygiene works the same. It also benefits from small daily practices like meditation, yoga, listening to soothing music, connecting with your spirituality, and keeping a journal.
We discussed in one of our articles some tips to form new and healthy habits to help us get a more positive outlook in life. These simple routines if practiced daily can help improve our self-esteem and help us become more resilient to changes and life challenges.
Build a strong support system
Having positive support for your well-being is a must if you want to practice emotional hygiene. Surround yourself with people that you trust and who will support, challenge, and bring positivity into your life. Also, immerse yourself in activities that will support not just your physical health but also your psychological health.
Avoid any toxic relationships and learn when to say no when you feel that your emotional well-being is at risk.
Do some mindfulness exercises
Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Daily mental activities such as too much thinking, planning, and problem-solving can be stressing and draining. These can even cause you to experience stress, anxiety, and depression. Practicing mindfulness exercises can help keep your thoughts away from that kind of thinking and as a result, you feel calmer, focused, and engaged in your senses.
Simple mindfulness exercises can be practiced anywhere and anytime. Some examples of this type of meditation are body scan meditation, loving-kindness meditation, and walking meditation.
Negative thoughts often lead us to darker tunnels and stop us from focusing on overcoming challenges. Instead of us paying attention to the things that we can do to resolve our problems, we tend to self-blame and self-pity.
It is important to acknowledge that life challenges will always be there and no one is exempted from experiencing failures, rejections, and life crises. But after acknowledging that we are indeed faced with a challenge, what should we do next? Thinking negatively is of course the wrong answer. Instead, focus your attention and energy on taking steps to resolve the issue. These include keeping calm, not jumping to conclusions, breaking it down, and trying different approaches and techniques.
Understanding what is emotional hygiene and why you need it helps you become aware of how important emotional health is. You become open-minded about the possible outcomes of keeping problems and worries under the rug. In return you take initiative on practicing emotional hygiene, thus living a healthier and more productive life.