As I reflect on the quality and emotional impact of my interactions from 2016, I realize there are definitely some things I would like to tweak in 2017. Often times we’ll give crazy attention to setting goals for professional growth, relationship status, or weight loss, but completely neglect our emotional selves. After all, a deficit here can and will destroy any other goals we have. Am I right?
What better way to set ourselves up for emotional success than to approach it proactively? Here are 5 ways to be emotionally healthy in 2017:
- Set Boundaries – You ever experience feelings of anxiety when it comes to dealing with certain people or (perceived) obligations in your life? Chances are there is something about these experiences you dread. Which means, it’s time to do something different. See Why Boundaries Help You Win At Life for a more in depth explanation of boundaries and how to establish them.
2. Communicate Assertively – You know the scenario…you let something go for so long, it starts to fester, and then you BLOW-UP! Communicating assertively goes hand-in-hand with setting boundaries. It is creating the habit of expressing what you are experiencing (thoughts and feelings) rationally and often times extemporaneously (in the moment). When using assertive communication, the goal is to make a statement or request while leaving out the heightened emotions.
- Acknowledge Feeling – the little check in our gut when someone says or does something unfavorable is telling. It sends an alert that something is wrong. Acknowledge it, reality test it, and then frame it (discern best way to express it).
- Inform Listener – Determine right time to let listener know you have something you need to say. When the platform has opened, preface your statement by setting the tone for what you will be saying. If there’s a chance it could be received as a harsh blow, state that. Proceed with your statement. Deliver the ask (a statement as to how you would like or need things to go moving forward). And then close your statements with an invitation for the listener to respond to what you have said.
- Collaborate – Ask the listener how you can work together to create a more favorable situation for both parties. There will be times when this is not realistic. In these instances, you will proceed with the plan stated but do take into account the goal is not for this to be a selfish decision. You should desire to go forth with a plan that takes others into consideration and contributes to the greater good for all.
3. Own Your Stuff – It is so important to know the part you play in dysfunctional situations. Are you honest enough with yourself to own it? If this wasn’t a habit in 2016, let’s shake the dust off and do something about it in 2017.
4. Mind Your Company – The people you choose to surround yourself with will influence your emotions for better or for worse. Don’t believe me? Ever spoke to someone who was sad, and then find yourself being sad at the end of the conversation? Obviously, we can’t permanently shield ourselves from being impacted by others emotions and thought processes. We can however do a better job choosing when and how we expose ourselves to the influences of others. For me, it’s best not to take phone calls when I am focused on a set task. Too many times, I’ve taken a call and the person on the other end was spewing out negativity and with the shift of my mood, I easily justified not completing my task.
5. Embrace Conflict – I know. This seems contrary to emotional health. BUT it’s not! Conflict, while uncomfortable is completely healthy. I have a saying, “conflict done well grows a relationship.” We tend to avoid conflict for fear of things going awry or feeling rejected in the end. And both of these are completely plausible. Also plausible–both parties get the opportunity to hear one another’s heart and determine a mutually beneficial way to move forward. Would love to hear some ways you plan to be Emotionally Healthy in 2017. Let me know in the comments below.