By Kylie Keisling
Today, the popular phrase “living my best life!” is all over social media. There are pictures of people on a sandy beach or on top of a mountain with big smiles and apparently no cares in the world. While there is nothing wrong with this phrase it begs the question, “How do I live my best life?” As a clinical mental health counselor, my passion is helping people become the best version of themselves. This question may lead to a host of fearful questions and unpleasant emotions. Opening a door to acknowledging we are not where we want to be or spiraling into fear, doubt, or anxiety about what the future holds. Often we feel stuck. Stuck in the same routines, emotions, and reactions. We want to change but we don’t know where to start. Allowing yourself to hope for more in life can be hard. In that vulnerability we open ourselves up to growth. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”. We are made to walk with each other towards the best version of ourselves. Counseling can be that next step toward becoming your best self.
A key habit I help build in my clients is emotional intelligence. Often when we are unsatisfied with our lives, we let our emotions run the show. Causing us to feel out of control as we sit in fear, anger, or anxiety. Emotions are our body speaking to us. When we don’t recognize and process our hard emotions they get stored in our body as stress. This stress builds up and our emotions start coming out in other ways like yelling at your spouse or crying when you make a mistake at work. God made our bodies, minds, and emotions to work together. When we lean into these tough emotions like shame, betrayal, or anger we can process that experience and release our stress. Tapping into, instead of shutting out, our emotional responses means we can better take care of ourselves, and in turn those around us. An important piece for my clients in counseling is implementing an emotional release. This piece is unique to you, and is crucial for our mental and physical wellbeing. Higher emotional intelligence leads to increased stress tolerance, better quality communication, relationships, and more effective decision making and anger management. A key to better living is already within you, walking with a counselor toward a higher emotional intelligence may be crucial to unlocking your success. I’ve found that often what’s holding us back is ourselves. It is ok to say that you’re not ok. It is a sign of strength to reach out for help to move yourself forward. In our world today stressors keep piling up, and we often seek comfort in experiences that give us momentary relief from our sadness, anxiety, and fears. Lasting change is possible and emotions can act as our guide to living each moment to its fullest. Understanding and acknowledging your emotional responses is no easy task, and it can be helpful to walk through with a trained professional counselor. No one should walk through their pain alone. If you desire this lasting relief, I would love to help you live your best life. Please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] for more information or to set up an appointment today.