Are You Emotionally Wealthy? A Psychologist Shares 8 Ways to Become Your Best Self
When do you feel happiest? Dr. Sherrie Campbell, licensed counselor, psychologist, and marriage and family therapist, believes that the time you spend smiling correlates with your emotional wealth, rather than financial or milestone-based successes. “More than money or success, most people want one thing in life… to feel happy,” she says. So while spending your hard-earned cash on expensive new workout gear might feel great, the health-focused experiences you’ll have wearing them may be where you’re really getting the bang for your buck.
Plus, says Dr. Campbell, emotionally healthy people are less needy, less frantic, easier to love and have more to give. “Life feels good when YOU are the source of power—not fame, money or status,” she expands. “You, yourself, are the source. This is liberating because it’s healthy, and it’s within your control.”
But that doesn’t mean it will come super easily. “Emotional wealth is hard work,” Dr. Campbell explains. “Because you actually can’t buy it, and you can’t borrow it either. To be emotionally healthy, you must put effort into making yourself a whole person. This isn’t selfish—it is actually focused.”
Dr. Campbell says that making sure your basic needs are met is the first step on the road to peak emotional wealth and happiness. “Think about nutrition, sleep and exercise first,” she offers. “Then consider your mental needs: Giving and receiving love, having a support system—followed by your spiritual needs. Do you have a solid belief system to help you cope with challenges? Next, consider your financial needs and think about abundance, hard work and commitment to money matters. Once you have all of the elements in order, you’ll be more emotionally wealthy.”
8 Ways to Become Emotionally Wealthy
“Life doesn’t come with promised happiness, but we can work to feel joy and strive to take care of ourselves every day,” Dr. Campbell reminds us. “Yes, life is difficult, but once we accept that, it’s easier to live life with an ‘it’s up to me’ perception.”
Want to live a rich existence? Consider Dr. Cambell’s top eight tips to become emotionally wealthy.
1. Remember that personal worth runs deeper than income.
“Know who you are,” Dr. Campebell advises. “Money and success only enhance your life, so dive into self-love and personal development as you build your legacy. When you know who you are and what you value, money will never lead you away from your integrity.”
2. Embrace challenge.
Can you flip the script on something different? Whether it’s a business challenge or tough obstacle in your personal life, you may find an opportunity to grow. “Use challenge as training; every great athlete endures difficult and painful training to compete and the end result is worth it,” Dr. Campbell reflects. “When life challenges us, we must use it for life training and grow with our challenges to become better and more self-aware.”
Feel stuck? Consider asking for help, making an appointment with a therapist, or coming up with a plan that’ll help you push forward.
3. Resist distraction.
Ditching distraction is one of the most important things you can do to become more emotionally wealthy; negativity or criticism can threaten to steal your sense of self or tempt you to drift away from healthy goals. “Keep your eyes forward. Make zero time for blame or criticism. Let go of resentments that serve only to hold you back,” Dr. Campbell says.
4. Allow yourself to shine.
Don’t live as a smaller or more simpler version of who you are. “Strive to be the best version of who you are capable of being; no one determines your worth or your potential but you,” says Dr. Campbell. “You’ll never get what you truly want or need unless you state it and put in the hard work to get there.”
Aim to become the brightest version of yourself by asking for feedback, pushing yourself to learn new things, participating in experiences that take you outside of your comfort zone and by connecting with people outside of your everyday social circle. You’ll radiate!
5. Choose faith over fear.
It doesn’t matter what faith is to you—believing in something bigger than yourself can serve you when things are hard. “Faith brings us through our challenges and heartbreaks, and it leads us to trust when we have questions. Giving up happens when a person is low on faith, so know when you simply need to try a new route,” Dr. Campbell suggests.
6. Be unapologetically yourself.
“You can’t develop emotional wealth or escape loneliness when living as the billboard version of who you think others need you to be. Have the courage to be exactly who you are, not a person who is built upon a false set of pretenses,” Dr. Campbell says. “Be consistently yourself with each person and in each environment to earn trust and grow your confidence.”
7. Love what you do.
Loving what you do brings you purpose, which translates to your emotional health and overall happiness. “Love, passion and excitement are part of the fuel that will sustain you throughout your life and career. When we love what we do, we are easier to be around, and work life and family life are naturally more joyful,” Dr. Campbell says. “This is also contagious; people want to be part of what we love to do and live life like we do.”
8. Give back.
“The greatest gift that comes with emotional wealth is observing that what we do is about more than just making us rich,” Dr. Campbell acknowledges. “Being ‘rich’ really isn’t about money; health, love, service, generosity, character, family and faith allow us to give, which expands our personal potential in many different ways.”
Whether you give back in time, by sharing your talents, donating to causes you care about, or something else, you’ll help foster a cycle of health, connection and happiness.
Feeling emotionally set but want to get even healthier? Check out this doctor’s five tips to bio-hack your health.