Feel your feels

Each of our emotional lives are unique and unbelievably complex. Emotional wellness is centered around getting a comprehensive understanding of your emotional world through recognizing and attending to your emotional responses and coping mechanisms under various circumstances.

If you’re noticing any of the following, now might be the right time to begin improving your emotional wellness:

  • Irritability and anger
  • Increased frustration, anxiety, and/or worry
  • Depressive episodes

Things to consider

It can be easy to focus on the negative during challenging circumstances, but practicing gratitude and appreciation for everything you do can help you build resilience. Here are a few ways to start looking on the bright side:

  • Adjust your mindset. What if you thought of all your challenges as speed bumps instead of road blocks? Thinking about obstacles as opportunities can help you use your talents, strengths, and skills to grow and move forward instead of feeling defeated.
  • Start journaling. Try writing down three things you are grateful for every day, and clearly take note of things you are grateful for during your day as they happen. This gives you a literal, more tangible way to see the brighter side of things.
  • Spread the positivity. Showing appreciation for those around you can change your perspective and may brighten someone else’s day as well.

Sometimes verbalizing our feelings can be difficult. However, talking them through can help you better understand yourself, explore your talents, strengths, and skills in difficult situations, and allow you to grow from these situations. Consider exploring these resources from the Student Health Center:

  • Stop by CAPS. The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) department at the Student Health Center offers several counseling options, workshops, and support groups designed to help you talk through your present emotional stressors.
  • Use WellTrack. WellTrack is a free app for IU students that’s all about supporting your self-care progress. It’s self-guided, interactive interface allows you to move at your own pace and focus on what matters to you. The MoodCheck section and the Thought Diary can be used to help you clearly visualize how you’re doing emotionally.

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully aware of your present feeling and sensations without judgment or interpretation. Research has shown it to be helpful for a broad array of common challenges, including anxiety, chronic physical pain, depression, coping with stressful life experiences, attention regulation difficulties, and relationship issues. To work on improving your mindfulness, consider one of the following:

  • Attend a workshop. CAPS offers several Mindfulness workshops, each focused on different ways to implement mindful practices into your everyday life.
  • Eat mindfully. Visit a Student Health Center Registered Dietitian to discuss ways to become a more mindful eater.
  • Try meditation. Healthy IU has several pre-recorded meditations, that way you can take a moment for mindfulness at any time.
  • Spend time outdoors. Whether you choose to walk through Dunn Meadow or sit alongside the Campus River, disconnecting and enjoying the natural surroundings is an easy way practice mindfulness on campus.

Your Emotional Wellness to-do lists

Check out these ideas provided by the Student Health Center's Peer Health and Wellness Educators on what you can do to improve your emotional wellness and build resilience.

This week:

  • Start journaling
  • Get vulnerable with yourself or a friend
  • Engage in positive self-talk & language
  • Asking for help from faculty, tutoring, friends, etc

This month:

  • Journal consistently
  • Make a counseling appointment
  • Stand up for yourself by practicing assertiveness communication
  • Prioritize yourself by establishing boundaries and saying “no”
  • Attend a monthly wellness event