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    7 ways to mindfully manage your emotions to avoid a breakdown

    By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 22, 2023

    In life, we often hear advice like “don’t make promises when you’re too happy or too sad” or “think before you speak when you’re angry.” These words of wisdom highlight the importance of managing our emotions effectively to avoid negative consequences. Whether it’s stress, anger, or anxiety, these emotions can have significant impacts on our mental well-being and social interactions in the long run.

    Given the challenging circumstances we face today, with financial pressures, job insecurity, and limited social connections due to the pandemic, it becomes even more crucial to understand how to tame our negative instincts. By doing so, we can prevent unnecessary arguments with family, friends, or colleagues. The World Health Organization (WHO) and other research agencies acknowledge that this is an exceptionally tough time for everyone worldwide.

    To help us navigate these emotions more mindfully, we spoke to Dr. Santosh Bangar, a consultant psychiatrist at Global Hospital in Mumbai. He shared seven expert-backed strategies that can help us manage our mood effectively:

    1. Face Your Emotions Head-On

    According to Dr. Bangar, one of the main issues is that we tend to ignore what we’re feeling. Instead of running away from our emotions, he suggests that it’s better to confront them. By facing our fears and insecurities head-on, we can develop mental strength.

    2. Understand Your Emotions

    Once you’re determined to deal with your emotions, the next step is to understand them. Dr. Bangar advises us to recognize whether we’re feeling sad, angry, anxious, or depressed. Sometimes, we might confuse these emotions. For instance, what we think is sadness could actually be depression. It’s essential to be mindful of the nature of our emotions and seek help if we’re uncertain.

    3. Embrace Acceptance

    Acceptance is the key to managing our emotions effectively. When a doctor diagnoses us with anxiety or anger issues, it’s crucial to trust their expertise and accept their diagnosis. Rather than countering their opinions, we should acknowledge and embrace our emotions. The sooner we accept them, the better equipped we are to address them. Contrary to popular belief, expressing our emotions, such as crying or venting to a confidant, doesn’t make us weak—it’s a sign of strength.

    4. Don’t Suppress Your Feelings

    Dr. Bangar advises against suppressing our emotions. If you feel like eating good food, dancing, or talking to someone, go ahead and do it. Restricting ourselves and bottling up our feelings can escalate negative emotions and lead to deeper troubles. It’s essential to let ourselves experience and express our emotions in healthy ways.

    5. Engage in Activities You Love

    In today’s fast-paced world, finding time for activities we genuinely love can be challenging. However, it’s essential for our well-being. Dr. Bangar suggests that for instant relief, we can listen to our favorite music or engage in activities that help us calm down for a few minutes each day. For long-term emotional well-being, he recommends setting aside dedicated time each week or month for activities we enjoy. Neglecting our passions and hobbies can negatively affect our mood, so it’s crucial to make time for them.

    6. Breathe Deeply

    Learning the art of deep breathing can be immensely beneficial in calming ourselves down. Deep breathing is a technique that many people now rely on to maintain their mental health and achieve emotional calmness. Dr. Bangar advises taking deep breaths until your lungs are full, followed by slow exhalation. Repeating this process 10 to 12 times can bring a sense of calmness and tranquility.

    7. Prioritize Quality Sleep

    Getting enough sleep is vital for our overall well-being, including our emotional state. Lack of sleep or insufficient rest can make us irritable and negatively impact our mood. Ensuring that we achieve seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night can help us maintain a stable emotional state. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Research suggests that insufficient sleep may have a detrimental effect on emotional reactions.

    To manage our mood effectively in the long run, Dr. Bangar emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle and meditation. He suggests incorporating habits such as meditation, yoga, and healthy eating into our daily routines. Additionally, genuine communication and spending time with loved ones are crucial. However, Dr. Bangar encourages meaningful face-to-face interactions when the pandemic allows, as he believes they strengthen bonds like nothing else.

    By implementing these strategies and developing a mindful approach to our emotions, we can navigate through life’s challenges more effectively. Prioritizing our emotional well-being today will equip us with the strength to handle future emotional issues. So, take a deep breath, embrace your emotions, and remember that you have the power to manage them mindfully.

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