Emotional Hygiene

Emotional Hygiene is a concept most people don't even consider. Culturally, we understand and practice hygiene. According to the Oxford dictionary, hygiene can be defined as the "conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness." Emotional hygiene then would be the conditions or practices conducive to maintaining emotional health and preventing disease, especially by cleaning our minds." How does one "clean" their mind?

We need to learn to develop the conditions and practices conducive to maintaining emotional health and preventing diseases of the mind, such as depression and anxiety.

Emotional Hygiene and Loneliness

Loneliness can kill you. It actually increases the likelihood of early death by 14%. If you are going to practice emotional hygiene, you must address the feelings of loneliness. Many people don't even recognize it in themselves. We may be surrounded by people and still be lonely. It is the feeling of being disconnected. 

When I was in my twenties, I moved across the country to San Diego. I had never been alone. When I got out there my cousin as actually in Los Angles and she came down to San Diego with me to help me settle in. When she left, that was the loneliest feeling I have ever experienced. It was devastating. I had a very difficult time trying to adjust. Again, I had never been alone. I had always had family or friends around me now I was 3,000 miles from my support system, but surrounded a million people.

Today, we are more "connected" than ever, yet the feelings of loneliness are on the rise. It is one of the great oxymorons of our time. How can we be more connected yet feel more disconnected than ever? The consequences are dire. 

If we practiced better emotional hygiene, we would be much better at keeping our minds "clean" and preventing the onset of disease. We are not taught though how to practice emotional hygiene, nor do we build in the conditions and practices of emotional hygiene even if you were taught what to do. Knowledge alone is not enough. You need to train your mindset.

Emotional Hygiene and Failure

Practicing emotional hygiene means cleaning out our minds of any past "failures." Learning to adopt the belief that there is no such thing as failure is vital.  When we look at a set back and accept it as a failure we are much less likely to move forward and embrace challenges, which is a fundamental characteristic of a growth mindset. We tend to give up and then rationalize why it is okay to give up. That creates an emotional wound that needs cleaning or it can become infected in impact our emotional health, which in turn impacts our physical health.

We must learn to become masters of our mindset. We need to learn how to learn from all situations, reframe the "failures" into successes. There are conditions and practices that we can do daily that should be part of our emotional hygiene. We need to not only learn what those are, but we then need to be trained to do it daily, just as we train ourselves to brush our teeth daily.

When hygiene practices became normalized over 100 years ago life expectancy increased dramatically. If we normalize emotional hygiene, how much will our quality of life will improve? 

Emotional Hygiene, Self-Image, and Defeating Negativism

Practicing emotional hygiene allows us to bloom into the image of God that we are intended to reflect. It requires regular practice of managing our self-image. It means discovering all the lies we tell ourselves about who we are and what we are capable of. Far too many people ruminate over lies - I'm fat, ugly, dumb, weak, cowardly, a loser - and they come to believe these lies. Your self-identity drives your emotionality and your behavior. You must create a true self-image of yourself and defeat the negative little voice that far too many people have and listen to. Emotional hygiene practices do just that.

There are numerous practices we teach people how to use. We also go beyond that by doing everything we can to help coach people into developing the hygiene habits. It doesn't do any good if you know what you should do and don't develop those practices as part of your lifestyle. You are ultimately responsible for making that happen, but a good coaching program or training program will help you put into place the incentives and accountability to improve the likelihood of creating those practices or habits in your life. That is emotional hygiene. 

Watch this video and then consider scheduling a free consultation with us. We would enjoy having a simple conversation with you about your situation and if our programs would be the right approach in helping you build a mindset around emotional hygiene. You and anyone else who should be part of the conversation should be available when you schedule the time. It is important. We will listen and ask questions more than talk. Do this for yourself and those you love.

Please consider joining our private Facebook group: Mastering Your Growth Mindset

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