5 Keys for Emotional Balance
Emotional balance (or regulation) is the cultivated skill of recognizing and navigating feelings and their effects without being knocked off course, or dysregulated. Keep reading to find some tips and techniques for staying emotionally regulated.
It seems fitting to begin the year with a focus on balance. This is a core value to us at Well Balanced! In our previous post, we focused on the physical side of balance. This article will come at balance from a slightly different angle. It’s impossible to separate the mind from the body, or emotional and mental health from physical health. They are inextricably linked. There are, however, skills and practices that can be cultivated that will directly support emotional balance and resilience. Even in difficult times, one can maintain a sense of calm, not from stifling strong emotions but from learning to embrace them and move through them.
You may wonder, what does emotional regulation, or balance, look like? Here are a few examples of healthy emotional regulation and how it feels in the body:
- staying calm in stressful situations
- feeling in control of your emotional responses
- an ability to actively listen, even when challenged or frustrated
- maintaining a professional demeanor in work situations
- an ability to express your needs and not take others’ behavior personally
Undoubtedly, maintaining emotional balance can be challenging, particularly when situations arise that are difficult to prepare for. The best way to set yourself up for success in stressful times is to cultivate emotional balance in daily life.
5 keys to practice when cultivating emotional balance
1. Recognize your feelings
One sure way to feel imbalanced is to stifle feelings and pretend they don’t exist. Stifling feelings can build up pressure and lead to emotional blow-ups and meltdowns. So, how does one acknowledge feelings, you might ask? Journaling can be very helpful in this instance. Simply writing down or saying out loud, “I feel angry.” Or “I feel confused.” can be a great start to dissipating the pressure of strong emotion. If stating your feelings is unfamiliar, it can be difficult to find the right words for the energy you’re feeling.
You can find a link to a printable feeling wheel below. This is a great tool for learning to identify strong emotions.
2. Embrace the mind/body connection
It can be easy to get lost in the waves of strong emotions when they occur. Recognizing the link between the inner and outer worlds puts more tools at your disposal. Healthy sleep patterns, regular movement practice, drinking plenty of water, and also eating foods that are satiating all help create a sense of safety and stability in the body that can be called upon in times of stress.
3. Build a support system
Be intentional about creating a support system for yourself and being a support for others. This system is something that you can lean on in times of stress and difficulty and will also help you stay regulated. A great support system can include friends, family, places, pets – anything that creates a sense of safety and proverbially “fills your cup”.
4. Create an emotional balance “toolkit”
During times of high stress, having a few tools to implement can be a game changer in emotional regulation. Meditation or prayer, mindfulness practices, breathwork and movement classes are all great options here.
One convenient tool is the 5 senses grounding technique. Take a look below for instructions:
5. Take a deeper look.
If the steps above seem overwhelming, or you find yourself in a season of high stress, or you just want to learn to cultivate emotional balance, help is available! A licensed therapist or counselor can lend support as well as a listening ear and can certainly give you the tools you need to build greater emotional resilience and balance in life. Sometimes, taking a deeper look at our ingrained behaviors can open up new doors of possibility.
As we dive into this new year, take a moment to evaluate your ability to stay balanced both physically and emotionally. There are great benefits to cultivating a practice of balance and equanimity!
If you live in or near Eugene, OR, come visit us at Well Balanced Integrated Care. We offer multiple modalities to choose from and collaborate to find a care plan specifically tailored for you. We have massage therapists, acupuncturists, mental health therapy, chiropractic care, and movement specialists ready to help you walk confidently into the new year. Above all, we want to see you thrive!
For more information on Emotional regulation and EQ (emotional intelligence), check out this article: Emotional Regulation Skills: Learn How to Control Your Emotions (psychcentral.com)