The Emotive Dimension of Self-Care

2. emotive self-care Mar 04, 2020
expressing emotions to highlight the emotive dimension of self-care

The Emotive Dimension of Self-Care, one of LivingUpp’s 8 Dimensions of Self-Care, focuses on your emotional health—how you express yourself. This dimension of self-care helps you manage your emotional energy, effectively communicate your feelings to others, and navigate life’s ever-changing circumstances.

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

In this article, you’ll learn how to develop and maintain an emotive self-care practice that helps you better manage your emotions so you can experience more peace and calm.

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What is Emotive Self-Care?

Emotive self-care is any action you take to improve your emotional well-being. Over time, the small choices you make every day have a big impact on your health.

LivingUpp defines self-care as a preventive health strategy involving actions and behaviors that improve, restore, or maintain good health. By implementing a holistic self-care practice, you can focus more time on the things that matter most.

Examples of Emotive Self-Care

Here are some emotive self-care examples to help you design a healthy lifestyle:


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

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

Triggers aren’t all bad, though. They often point you toward the important work you need to do in order to grow. Our emotions are our externalized thoughts, which means we have some control over how we interpret and respond to our triggers. 

Emotive self-care strategies that support trigger management: 

  • Journaling about your triggers
  • Working with a therapist to interpret your triggers
  • Beginning a meditation practice

Need help understanding your emotional triggers? 

The Calm Online Course is an on-demand, self-study program designed to help you manage your emotional energy.

Feelings & Emotions

Knowing your triggers is important, but knowing what to do when your emotions are stirred is what matters most. Allowing all feelings and emotions—both positive and negative—allows them to pass through you.

The only way to let go of emotions is to allow them to do their thing and pass on by. Suppressing them only delays and prolongs the process. If instead you allow them to exist without judgement, your feelings and emotions can offer your clues about what you need to learn. This gives you an opportunity to ask yourself questions like these:

  • Why did this person/event upset me?
  • What is this situation reflecting back to me?
  • Do I behave in similar ways?
  • What can I learn from this?
  • What would be a better response next time?

Feelings and emotions come in many forms. Sadness, joy, anger, gratitude, fear, and excitement almost always bring surges of emotional energy.

Emotive self-care strategies that support feelings and emotions:

  • Journaling about your emotions
  • Talking with a therapist about your feelings
  • Take a self-study course to manage your emotional energy
  • Doing a guided meditation
  • Exercising to release intense energy

Healthy Emotional Outlets

Finding healthy outlets for your emotions is essential. That’s because some emotions are so intense that they negatively impact your physical health. Allowing emotions to build up, ignoring your feelings, or attempting to numb negative emotions can lead to even more problems, like depression and anxiety disorders.

Emotive self-care strategies that support releasing intense emotions: 

  • Taking a walk
  • Calling a friend, mentor, therapist, or sponsor
  • Meditating
  • Listening to music
  • Using essential oils
  • Doing deep breathing exercises
  • Practicing yoga
  • Taking a warm bath or shower
  • Crying
  • Getting a massage
  • Making art

Using the 8 Dimensions of Self-Care Framework

The 8 Dimensions of Self-Care framework simplifies the healthy lifestyle design process. Using the 8-dimensional self-care pinwheel, you can easily develop a holistic self-care practice that supports the key areas of your life.

Here’s a quick overview of the 8 Dimensions of Self-Care:

If you’re looking for some structure to help bring self-care into your daily life, the Lifestyle Design Planner* incorporates the 8 Dimensions of Self-Care framework and the Rate Your 8 self-care assessment tool into its daily planning pages. This makes it easier to prioritize and plan your self-care rituals.

How Support Your Emotive Dimension of Self-Care

The Emotive Dimension of Self-Care plays an integral role in your health. To design an emotive self-care practice, choose specific self-care strategies that strengthen your emotional well-being.

You may need to experiment with different forms of self-care to determine what is and what isn’t effective for you. Over time, you’ll be able select the self-care activities that align with your needs and personality.

When you consistently honor your emotional well-being with calming self-care strategies that help you manage intense emotional energy, you’ll be able to navigate heavy life moments more gracefully.

How do you support this dimension of your life? Share in the comments below.

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Information on this website should not be interpreted as providing or replacing medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is intended for adults over the age of 18. 

*LivingUpp is a participant in affiliate programs, which means we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases on links to Amazon and other sites at no additional cost to you.