How to avoid the roller-coaster of emotions

Interesting information regarding men's and women's emotions:

From a study at Vanderbilt: Women are not more emotional then men; they are just more expressive of their emotions.

Men are more likely than women to crave alcohol when they feel negative emotions.

Researchers from Stanford University believe the reason why men and women deal with emotions differently is because they use different networks in their brains to remember emotional events.

A San Francisco doctor says, "Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road."

Not wanting to fuel the "Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus" fire, let's set aside the above information. The National Wellness Institute describes an emotionally well person as one who emphasizes an awareness and acceptance of one's feelings. Emotional wellness includes the degree to which one feels positive and enthusiastic about oneself and life. It includes the capacity to manage one's feelings and related behaviors including the realistic assessment of one's limitations, development of autonomy, and ability to cope effectively with stress. The well person maintains satisfying relationships with others. Awareness of, and accepting a wide range of feelings in yourself and others is essential to wellness. On the wellness path, you'll be able to express feelings freely and manage feelings effectively. You'll be able to arrive at personal choices and decisions based upon the synthesis of feelings, thoughts, philosophies, and behavior. You'll live and work independently while realizing the importance of seeking and appreciating the support and assistance of others. You'll be able to form interdependent relationships with others based upon a foundation of mutual commitment, trust, and respect. You'll take on challenges, take risks, and recognize conflict as being potentially healthy. Managing your life in personally rewarding ways, and taking responsibility for your actions, will help you see life as an exciting, hopeful adventure.

Did you know that there are eight basic emotions? Robert Plutchik created a wheel of emotions in 1980. The eight basic emotions listed in this wheel are joy, acceptance, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, and anticipation. It's funny, yet scary, to reflect on those eight. How many of those are "good/happy/positive" emotions? A whopping one - Joy.

Let's keep the joy alive. Here are some tips to increase your emotional wellness:

• Make friends, and keep them.

• Enjoy quiet time.

• Work on that physical dimension of wellness. Exercise has been shown to lift your mood and enhance your quality of life.

• Seek pleasure.

• Find your passion.

• Plan for when things don't go as smooth as what you'd like.

• Seek for constructive criticism

• Take healthy risks.

• Ask for help if you need it.

• Breathe and let things go.

• Protect yourself from toxic people.

• Laura Brownlee is a Carson City resident and works with the National Wellness Institute. She can be reached at editor@nevadaappeal.com.

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