Emotional health is a topic that many of us are familiar with. At the very least we understand that poor emotional health can lead to problems in our personal and professional lives. Because emotions are crucial to a person’s success, the knowledge of the characteristics of emotional health and well-being is very important.
What Are Emotions?
Before we can fully grasp the characteristics of emotional health and well-being, we must first understand what emotions are. Emotions are our response to different thoughts and situations. To put it simply, experts define emotions as a “class of feelings.”
Emotions are personal in the sense that two people may have the same experience, but feel differently about it. Imagine two people receiving the same mean comment from a co-worker. One of them may feel sad, while the other may feel angry. The difference occurs because the two have different thoughts about the situation.
Additionally, a person may feel more than one emotion at any one time. In the scenario above, receiving a mean comment may prompt a person to feel both sad and angry. Understanding these characteristics of emotional health and well-being will make it easier for you to be emotionally healthy.
What is Emotional Health?
After discussing the characteristics of emotional health and well-being, we can now define what emotional health is. Emotional health, according to experts, is the ability to not just manage your emotions, but also to accept them in times of challenges and changes.
Although it may seem like emotional health only affects our feelings, the truth is it reaches beyond that. How healthy our emotions are will have direct or indirect effects on our intellectual, spiritual, social, and even physical well-being.
Why is Emotional Health Important?
Learning the importance of being mentally healthy will motivate you to practice ways on how to improve mental health. In gist, emotional health is important because, as human beings, we will always socialize and experience challenges or adversities.
Can you imagine handling challenges or difficulties while having poor emotional health? On top of dealing with the physical symptoms of stress, you may even experience a breakdown because of mismanaged emotions. Additionally, how are you going to respond or communicate with “difficult people” when you are emotionally unhealthy?
To overcome challenges and better socialize with people, you must actively take steps to improve your emotional health.
How Does Emotional Health Affect the Body?
The characteristics of emotional health and well-being directly affect our ability to manage our reactions and responses. With mismanaged emotions, especially chronic ones, you may experience:
- A lower level of overall well-being. Unexpressed or poorly expressed emotions may lead to a low level of overall well-being. Often, the reason for these “repressed” emotions is the desire to preserve an “appropriate” front. Although healthy emotional regulation is encouraged, overusing it may be problematic.
- Depression. Poor emotional health is directly linked to depression. Additionally, the ability to understand emotions with a “positive explanatory style” can help prevent depression. This is very important, considering that the WHO stated that depression is one of the leading causes of disability across the globe. Ultimately, when you practice the steps to improve your emotional health, you may also stave off depression.
- A wide range of physical symptoms. Just because our emotions are involved, that does not mean that we will not show physical symptoms. When you feel hopeless and helpless, you may experience chronic stress. Stress causes a lot of symptoms, like pain, increased heart rate, and nausea. Additionally, poorly-managed anger is also linked with digestive disorders and cardiovascular diseases, like hypertension.
When you know the characteristics of emotional health and well-being, you will be more equipped in preventing depression and stress, along with their physical symptoms.
How to Improve Your Emotional Health
These are some of the best practices on how to improve your emotional health.
Understand the Characteristics of Emotional Health and Well-being
As mentioned, appreciating the characteristics of emotional health and well-being is one way to improve your mental health. Know that emotions are complex. Do not reprimand yourself when negative emotions come your way. Remember that what is important is how you act or respond to them.
Remember to be Self-Aware and Open
Being self-aware means you acknowledge your thoughts and feelings. When you identify your feelings, then it will be easier for you to manage them. On the other hand, being open is all about seeing things both as they are and as what they could be. Openness gives you a better avenue to understand others and therefore makes you more accepting of feedback. Additionally, when you are open, you will be more resilient to changes around you or within you. To increase self-awareness, you can do the following:
- Designate “Me-Time” daily, when you can “connect” with yourself
- Process your thoughts and feelings by writing in your journal regularly
- Listen to others and gain another perspective
- Practice exercises that cultivate mindfulness
Do not forget that being self-aware and open means you need to appreciate the characteristics of emotional health and well-being first.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
Poor physical health acts like a poison. It makes you vulnerable to stress and emotional breakdowns. To take care of your body, you can do the following:
- Have balanced nutrition and eat on time
- Get adequate sleep
- Perform physical exercises regularly
- Avoid vices or at least, keep them in moderation
While stress is normal, chronic stress is a great burden on our emotional health. To avoid too much stress, you can do the following:
- Prioritize your tasks to avoid burnout and, if possible, delegate tasks to others
- Think positively
- Take care of your body, physically
- Ask help when needed
- Employ relaxation techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises
Strengthen Social Connections
Social connections keep us going when things get tough. They also provide us happiness and purpose. Scientists believe that our connection to others has a huge effect on both our emotional and physical health. To strengthen your social connections:
- Spend quality time with your friends and families
- Join clubs or organizations that promote your hobbies
- Volunteer your time and talent
- Attend classes on things you want to gain skills on
- Travel to different places and talk to people
Emotional health has a huge impact on our life. For this reason, work on the practices and tips discussed above. Finally, do not forget that understanding the characteristics of emotional health and well-being will also make the process of acceptance and healing easier.
Learn more about a Healthy Mind here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.