Emotional hygiene is about witnessing and caring for your psychological health. Just as you would practice sound physical hygiene by brushing your teeth or showering each day, your emotional hygiene also benefits from small daily routines that keep you feeling balanced and grounded.
We don’t necessarily appreciate the term “detox”. In that case, especially when it applies to emotions (they are natural and deserve to be listened to! Emotions are essential messengers that pass through us throughout the day. They can uplift and energise us, and they can also shake us. Whether powerful or discreet, they are always present, providing information.
Anyone prone to anxiety will undoubtedly have heard the phrase “emotions are not facts.” Better still, they’re information! Rather than teaching us absolute truths, they guide us towards a more beneficial path or alert us to a buried problem. Welcoming our emotions rather than repressing them, naming them, trying to understand them… It’s an arduous process, especially if you’re subject to many different moods daily. ( who isn’t?)
Indeed, caring for our mental health should not be synonymous with labour; instead, it should be done with nourishing attention paid to ourselves and our minds. If we constantly censor ourselves when it comes to experiencing our emotions, at some point, the cup overflows, and that’s not at all helpful in the long term – on the contrary!” Similarly, Sarah Bezençon insists on naming our emotions as soon as we feel them arising to identify them. Then, once we’re alone, in a quiet place, comes the moment of self-compassion: It’s about taking a moment to breathe consciously, with our hands clasped over our heart or around our chest, listening to ourselves. There’s something comforting about making the gesture; it’s as if we were hugging ourselves and trying to care for a loved one.
Emotional hygiene is a concept that pertains to the practices and habits individuals can adopt to maintain and improve their emotional well-being, much like how personal hygiene involves practices to maintain physical health. It involves various strategies and activities to manage and care for one’s emotional and mental health.
This can include:
1. Self-awareness: Understanding and recognising your own emotions.
2. Emotional expression: Finding healthy ways to express your feelings, such as talking to someone you trust or journaling.
3. Mindfulness and meditation: Practices that help you stay present in the moment and manage stress.
4. Positive thinking: Focusing on positive aspects of life and challenging negative thoughts.
5. Social connections: Building and maintaining supportive relationships with others.
6. Setting boundaries: Establishing limits to protect your emotional well-being.
During stressful times, you may concentrate on visualising the worst-case scenario. This is a type of unhelpful thinking style known as catastrophising. Just as physical hygiene is crucial for maintaining bodily health, emotional hygiene is essential for overall mental well-being. Regular emotional care can contribute to resilience, stress management, and a more positive outlook on life.