When it comes to our emotional health, there are a variety of things that if we did less of them, we would actually get more in return. From my work with clients, I would say that these are what I would choose as the top 5:
- Speak less and listen more. One of the most useful skills I learned in graduate school was how to listen. To listen with the intention of understanding, to get the full picture. We tend to listen with our own emotional filters; coupled with living in a society that teaches us we must have an immediate opinion. By listening to understand, we slow down this process and allow for greater communication.
- Get ‘out of our head’ and into our body. From our own critical voice, to rumination, to needless worry – we spend too much time focusing on what’s in the noggin, and not enough time feeling centered and grounded.
- Less information and more wisdom. We are on information overload; what our emotional health needs more of is self-reflection – it is here that we gain a greater understanding of ourselves in order to create structural change.
- Less negativity and more gratitude. Being aware of our negative bias is crucial to our emotional health. In order to combat the tendency to complain, we can purposely focus on our blessings. Writing them down is especially confirming.
- Less rush, more peace. We spend way too much time in the fight-or-flight system – which is easily brought on by a hurried pace of life. By slowing down, focusing on self-care, anchors to our day – we feed our comfort system. And there, we find peace.