Emotional Wellness (cont.)

10. Don't Go It Alone

Psychologists would urge just about everyone to get into therapy. None of us make it to adulthood emotionally unscathed, and there are mental health experts waiting to help you.

"It's the 21st century," Curtis says. "Don't be a dinosaur and insist on doing it all by yourself."

11. Write It Down

Identify negative thoughts and don't let them ambush you, says Judith Orloff, MD, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at UCLA. "Don't beat yourself up for being stressed, but bring your fears into the open on paper. Make a list of your seven worst fears."

Then, she says, make a second list of the things you are grateful for.

Irwin says he did much the same with a family member who was getting down and negative. Parents need to teach children to make a list of positives, too.

Writing the negatives bleeds them of power. They become words on paper.

12. Protect Yourself from 'Energy Vampires'

The Drama Queen, the Sob Sister, the Constant Talker, the Blamer - do you know any of these people? Chances are, you do. And any of them can wear you out

You need to learn to set boundaries," Orloff says. "Listen for awhile, then break off the interchange. People are so afraid to do this. They don't want to seem impolite. You need to be firm, though kind."

The same goes for technology, which can be an overwhelming stressor. "People go into despair when their computer breaks (or they forget their cell phone for a day).

"Don't let your computer hypnotize you. Get outside, at least look outside!"

SOURCES: WebMD Feature: "10 Steps to Emotional Health in 2005." WebMD Feature: "Spring Break Makeover for the Mind."


Last Editorial Review: 2/13/2006

© 2005-2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.



STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!