Emotional Hygiene

By

Emotional Hygiene
Three things you can do to create more happiness in your life

Recently, I had a minor but difficult surgical procedure to lance an abscess on my leg. It was very painful, and while I recovered physically pretty quickly, I had some Post -traumatic stress reactions—bad dreams, flashbacks, and upset—after my recovery. I had to acknowledge my upset and feelings, and let them out before the stress reactions subsided. I often help my clients do this, too, not only with PTSD from shocking or painful experiences, but also with grief and old memories.

Life is not easy, and we often encounter problems and difficulties that require us to pay attention to our own feelings. Relationships, too, whether with family, spouses and partners, friends or even colleagues, can create emotional fallout that we need to take care of.

In addition, if we want to maintain emotional health and balance; create as much happiness as possible in life; and maintain what the twelve-step programs call serenity, or inner peace; our emotions require care. I call this ongoing, routine care of feelings emotional hygiene.

Most of us learned things about bodily hygiene and health in school and at home, from our parents: wash behind your ears, brush and floss your teeth, wash your body and your hair on a regular basis; as well as washing your hands frequently to minimize your exposure to viruses and germs. Even eating well, sleeping and exercising can be considered part of hygiene – maintaining good health. To do this well, you do these healthy things on a regular basis – once in a while isn’t effective for creating good health.

Emotional hygiene is similar. Most of my clients are surprised to learn that their emotions, too, need daily care to maintain optimum balance. Just as a little showering, hand-washing and tooth-brushing can help you maintain physical health and well-being and reduce your time in the doctor and dentist’s office, emotional hygiene can help you maintain emotional well-being and reduce the need for therapy, prescriptions and stress-related problems.

Here are some of my recommendations for daily emotional hygiene:

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Tina Tessina

Author

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
http://www.tinatessina.com
tina@tinatessina.com
562-438-8077
Dr. Romance Blog: http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/
http://www.twitter.com/tinatessina
http://www.facebook.com/#!/DrRomanceBlog
Amazon author page http://amzn.to/rar7RC
 

Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Tina Tessina:

11 Signs Your Guy Is Marriage Material

By

Do men have biological clocks?  Yes, they do! A man can feel the need to grow up and have a family, especially when he finds a woman who inspires those feelings in him. The problem is, how can you be sure the match is a good one? You'd think the positive signs in a date would be obvious, but with all the excitement, the most important clues can ... Read more

The Do's And Don'ts Of Improving Your Attitude

By

I have written in this column recently about emotional hygiene, which is doing the necessary maintenance on feelings as well as your physical body and household. Health reminders tell us to wash our hands frequently to prevent the transmitting of diseases. Did you know you can "wash" your mood, too, and give yourself an attitude adjustment whenever ... Read more

Advice: Confronting A Rift With An Adult Child

By

Dear Dr. Romance, I read your newsletter How To Heal A Rift With An Adult Child with joy because of how you simplify things for us. I already tried by email, but the conflict got more complicated. I received two emails; the second one had a picture with the message, "See what you are missing?" This did hurt me; it was out of context, so I ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB