Wellness – Day 11 Cope

Wellness does not equal happiness. No one is happy all the time. Many of us try but then life happens. Emotions happen. People feel a myriad of emotions, not all are good. Not all can be good. Identify and accept the emotion(s). Control the reaction. Seek help, if needed. Wellness is preparation for your reaction. Let me give you some examples. I take daily walks. There is a cardiovascular benefit but that is rarely my goal. On a good day, I am mindful and it is wonderful. Other times I brainstorm new ideas, problem solve, and make a mental “to do” list. It is a bonus when I can take care of an errand on my walk. Oftentimes I call friends and family while I walk making it social. On a bad day, I may walk and simply allow myself to feel the emotion and/or strategize how to cope. Here is another example. I love to learn. I signed up for a free course to learn a new skill. On one of those days when I was stuck in a negative thinking loop, I happened to see the introduction to the course email in my inbox. It completely redirected my thoughts and feelings. Practicing the guitar and singing is another example. Let’s examine social wellness. I nurture my relationships with friends and family as much as possible. When I feel blue, there is usually someone that I can connect with to help redirect my thoughts. I used this strategy tonight. I was stuck in a loop of negative emotions. I called a friend that I had not seen for a while. We shared the recent highlights of our lives and some laughs. By the time we hung up I had forgotten my woes. My wellness journey involves daily walks, lifelong learning, and building a healthy social network. These actions prepare me with ways to cope when the inevitable negative emotion resurfaces. No one can stop the ups and downs of life but the more multi-faceted your wellness journey, the more options you will have to cope. One last thought on coping with negative emotions. Since emotions are rarely predictable, sometimes the best tactic is to simply rest and start fresh when you awake.