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Posted in Healthy Living | February 2013

Take care of your own heart this Valentine’s Day

improving emotional health
Everyone knows someone who always seems to have a positive attitude: someone who looks on the bright side of things and doesn’t seem to let the cares and worries of life get them down too much. It’s certainly not always easy—and not always possible—but looking at life through rose-colored glasses can be good for you.

Since February is a month devoted to love and matters of the heart, we thought it was appropriate to show you ways to lavish your own heart with the kind of attention it deserves. This is especially important as we age, when it’s more likely that chronic illnesses, bereavement and loneliness can leave us feeling drained and emotionally spent.

According to Helpguide.org, people who have good emotional health are better able to handle all of life’s ups and downs, build strong relationships and recover from the inevitable setbacks caused by bumps in the road. They can adapt to change, have a zest for life, and have a clear sense of purpose. In short, the emotionally fit are a content and resilient lot.

But how do they get that way? Like anything else: by working at taking care of themselves.

Pay attention to your physical health. The mind and body are connected, of course, so when you take care of one, the other benefits too.

  • Move! Get regular exercise, even just a few minutes a day, to help with stress reduction.
  • Sleep! Get enough rest so your body is prepared to deal with the physical tasks and emotional challenges each day.
  • Eat! Learn about good nutrition and be sure to eat well so your body is fueled properly.

Pay attention to your heart. Not the muscle itself, although that’s important too, but to the way you feel. Do what makes you happy as much as you can, and be mindful of your own emotional needs while you’re working, caring for others and going about your daily life. You are important. Treat yourself that way.

  • Make time for things you enjoy and things that bring you personal fulfillment and peace.
  • Banish negative thinking and negative self-talk. You’re doing your best. Praise yourself for trying instead of chastising yourself for failing.
  • Learn a new skill or try a new hobby—anything to keep you engaged and interested in the amazing world around you.
  • Spend time with people you love. Connecting with others who care about you reminds you that you’re valuable and cherished.
  • Volunteer your time. Doing good feels good, and helping others is a great way to enrich your own life.

You can’t always control the things that happen to you during the course of your life, but you can be proactive about making sure that you live the happiest life possible. Love yourself enough to be your own Valentine this year.

For more information on the importance of emotional well-being, and even more in-depth advice on ways to maintain a positive outlook on life, visit Helpguide.org.

409290 CAN/US (04/15)

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