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Emotional health is a state of positive psychological functioning. It can be thought of as an extension of mental health......
Definition of Emotional Health
Emotional health is a state of positive psychological functioning. It can be thought of as an extension of mental health; it's the "optimal functioning" end of the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make up both our inner and outer worlds. It includes an overall experience of wellness in what we think, feel, and do through both the highs and lows of life.
In a successful attempt to provide a definition of emotional health, the organization BelongTo.org (n.d.) quotes the Mental Health Foundation: emotional health is "a positive state of wellbeing which enables an individual to be able to function in society and meet the demands of everyday life."
Emotional health is an important part of overall health. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They’re able to cope with life’s challenges. They can keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks. They feel good about themselves and have good relationships.
Being emotionally healthy doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time. It means you’re aware of your emotions. You can deal with them, whether they’re positive or negative. Emotionally healthy people still feel stress, anger, and sadness. But they know how to manage their negative feelings. They can tell when a problem is more than they can handle on their own. They also know when to seek help from their doctor.
Research shows that emotional health is a skill. There are steps you can take to improve your emotional health and be happier.
Path to improved health
Emotional health allows you to work productively and cope with the stresses of everyday life. It can help you realize your full potential. It helps you work with other people and contribute to society.
It also affects your physical health. Research shows a link between an upbeat mental state and physical signs of good health. These include lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, and a healthier weight. There are many ways to improve or maintain good emotional health.
Be aware of your emotions and reactions.
Notice what in your life makes you sad, frustrated, or angry. Try to address or change those things.
Express your feelings in appropriate ways.
Let people close to you know when something is bothering you. Keeping feelings of sadness or anger inside adds to stress. It can cause problems in your relationships and at work or school.
Think before you act.
Give yourself time to think and be calm before you say or do something you might regret.
Learn relaxation methods to cope with stress. These could include deep breathing, meditation, and exercise.
Strive for balance.
Find a healthy balance between work and play, and between activity and rest. Make time for things you enjoy. Focus on positive things in your life.
Take care of your physical health.
Exercise regularly, eat healthy meals, and get enough sleep. Don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. Keep your physical health from affecting your emotional health.
Connect with others.
Make a lunch date, join a group, and say hi to strangers. We need positive connections with other people.
Find purpose and meaning.
Figure out what’s important to you in life, and focus on that. This could be your work, your family, volunteering, caregiving, or something else. Spend your time doing what feels meaningful to you.
Focus on the good things in your life. Forgive yourself for making mistakes and forgive others. Spend time with healthy, positive people.
Benefits of Emotional Health
Emotional health takes work. It involves attending to and fine-tuning thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The benefits of creating and maintaining wellbeing, though, are well worth the effort. Defining and living your emotional health leads to positive change and personal growth, a healthy sense of self-confidence, a peaceful sense of healing and recovery from mental health challenges, and a sense of hope.
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