We often hear how important it is to regulate our emotions, but how is that achieved and how can we help our young people do this? How can we help our young people experience normal human feelings but also stay balanced and not overwhelmed? Here are three quick tips for helping your young person maintain emotional well-being.
Emotional well-being is not always about improving a person’s mood, oftentimes, emotional well-being is about maintaining a healthy balance of mood. For someone to maintain their mood, they must first begin by realizing that, like it or not, they are going to experience many different feelings in life.
It is helpful to explain to your young person that each year, each month, and even each day will be full of a variety of feelings, and a combination of them at that. Miniature shifts in mood occur because of the time of day, environment setting, and everything going on with work, school, or relationships. Plus, it’s never just one simple feeling filling our brain. What’s pretty obvious is that we aren’t just happy or sad, fearful or hopeful. We can be nervous but excited. We can be worried but grateful. We can even be exhausted and then re-energized within a matter of minutes.
Even though it’s natural to strive to be content and work to enjoy each passing moment, we don’t need to be happy all the time. Experiencing a full range of human emotions is beneficial for our livelihood. It’s what sets us apart as a progressed human species. In order to react and respond appropriately, it helps us to have feelings and acknowledge those feelings. This is known as an affect. Highs and lows are natural and expected, but it’s always about how we handle those life events and manage any feelings that come up as a result. Good news, bad news, fun situations, embarrassing moments, positive social interactions, and annoyance or arguments are all a part of being human.
Maintaining emotional well-being starts by realizing that this will all occur in any given year. Support your young person in what and how they are feeling and encourage them to feel each intricate emotion. This gives them valuable feedback into their current existence, and gives them insight into how to respond and carry on — whether through the sorrow and heartache, or with the aura of joy and exuberance.
Helping them recognize that a range of feelings will occur is empowering for them. It allows your young person to experience each complex combination of emotions without being critical of themselves and without self-judgment.
Self-judgment compounds problems. So, without being angry for being angry, becoming more sad and frustrated for being sad or frustrated, encourage them to allow the feelings to set in, recognize them, and then they can be ready to respond and move on to managing their emotional state.