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.