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The Emotive Dimension of Self-Care

self-care Mar 04, 2020

The 8 Dimensions of Self-Care framework by LivingUpp™ offers a holistic approach to building a balanced, healthy life. The Emotive Dimension of Self-Care focuses on your how you express yourself and respond to what's happening around you. In this dimension, you'll explore your emotional state—your communication skills, triggers, and how you respond to life's ever-changing circumstances.

Self-care strategies that support this dimension of your life help you better manage your emotions so you can experience more peace and calm.

Self-care strategies that support this dimension of your life can help you express your feelings and emotions in a way that enriches your personal relationships and improves your emotional health.

Investing in this dimension helps you establish healthier habits that support your emotional well-being.

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Here are some self-care strategies that can help you support your emotive dimension:

Identify Your Triggers

After my marriage ended, a lot of things triggered an emotional response within me -- couples walking hand-in-hand on the beach, holidays and anniversaries, sappy relationship posts on social media. I was amazed by the number of times tears filled my eyes without warning.

When you begin to recognize that certain people or situations trigger a negative emotional response within you, you can make better decisions about when and how often you expose yourself to them.

But triggers aren't necessarily bad or something to avoid. Triggers can often point us toward the important work we need to do in ordre to grow.

Emotions are externalized thoughts, which means we have some control over how we interpret and respond to our triggers. 

Allow All Feelings and Emotions

Knowing your triggers is important, but knowing what to do with your emotions when they get stirred up is what matters. 

Allowing all the feelings, both positive and negative -- the sadness, anger, disappointment, joy, fear, excitement, disgust, anxiety, regret, awe, empathy, gratitude, love, optimism, pessimism, exhaustion -- allows them to pass through.

That's the only way to let go of them. Suppressing them only delays and prolongs the process.

If we allow them, feelings and emotions give us clues about what we need to learn. They give us an opportunity to ask ourselves questions like these:

  • Why did this upset me?
  • What is this situation reflecting back to me?
  • What can I learn from this?
  • What would be a better response the next time I face a similar situation? 

Find Healthy Outlets for Your Emotions

Sometimes our emotions can be so intense they have an impact on our physical health. That's why it's so important to have a healthy outlet to process them.

Allowing them to build up, ignoring them, or attempting to numb them in unhealthy ways can lead to even more problems. When you find yourself experiencing an intense emotional response, try one of these healthy outlets:

  • Take a walk
  • Call a friend, mentor or sponsor
  • Meditate
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Practice yoga
  • Take a bath or shower
  • Cry
  • Get a massage
  • Journal
  • Schedule an appointment with your therapist
  • Make art

Choose an outlet that's most effective for you.

Create a Survival Self-Care Plan

Have you ever tried to make rational decisions when you’re in the middle of an emotional meltdown? Yeah, I don’t recommend it. When we face unexpected challenges, having a plan to fall back on is critical.

A self-care survival plan is a list of carefully selected self-care strategies that you can turn to whenever you encounter challenging life circumstances. 

To create self-care survival plan, make a list of 5 to 10 self-care strategies that you can enlist when life gets heavy. You may or may not need all of them, but having a list to choose from makes it much easier to take action.

In summary, if you want to strengthen the emotive dimension, get to know your triggers, allow all emotions, and find healthy outlets for your intense emotions by creating a self-care survival plan. 

What are some self-care strategies you use to support the emotive dimension of your life? Share in the comments below.


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