Emotional Wellbeing is important – especially during challenging times. How we feel really does matter! As parents, the more in tune we are with how we feel, the better we can manage how we express our emotions.
Emotional Literacy is a huge component of emotional wellbeing. This is especially important when we are role models for the younger generation. Our Emotional Wellbeing impacts our children’s emotional wellbeing.
Below are three ways to help boost your Emotional Literacy and Wellbeing:
Name the emotion – pause and take note of your current emotion. Say to yourself, I’m feeling x at the moment. This helps bring awareness and presence to your feelings.
Accept the emotion – be mindful of your emotion as you are feeling it. Sit with it, don’t try to avoid or suppress it, simply be with it (especially if it’s uncomfortable) and know that it’s okay to feel x emotion.
Manage the emotion – decide to express and manage how you feel in an effective (wellbeing-savvy) way. If you are experiencing a negative emotion, sit with it and wait until your feeling subsides a little before taking inspired action.
You have just had an argument with your partner. The emotion you’re feeling is rage.
Notice – pause and notice how you are feeling, and say to yourself something such as, “I’m feeling rage right now.”
Accept – take a moment to check-in and see how your body is responding (sweaty palms, heart racing, tense shoulders). Take a deep breath and accept that rage is the feeling that you are experiencing in this moment (and feel comfort knowing that the feeling will subside).
Manage – decide to express your rage in an effective way. You may like to take some inspired action such as writing your thoughts down on paper then ripping it up into tiny pieces. You may look in the mirror and share your thoughts about the situation. You might call a trusted friend or move your body and do ten star jumps!
In order to identify your emotions, it’s helpful to familiarise yourself with certain ‘words’ so that you can name and describe how you are feeling. This is the foundation of Emotional Literacy.
Rhiannon’s Rainbow of Emotional Wellbeing is a reference tool designed to help parents use their ‘words’ and expand their Emotional Literacy. There are over sixty emotionally infused words which can be used in your everyday family conversations. You may like to pop a copy of the rainbow tool on your fridge as a reminder to incorporate your ‘words’ into your everyday discussions with your family. It is so important to speak about how you are feeling, both the positive and negative feelings, so that our children can observe how you consciously navigate your feelings.
When parents are able to name, accept and manage their emotions effectively, they not only boost their emotional wellbeing but help empower and provide their children with emotional wellbeing tools, too. Children need the support of parents to empower them with Emotional Literacy tools to strengthen their emotional wellbeing and resilience.
Emotional wellbeing matters, and you can start boosting yours today with these three simple steps – notice, accept and manage!