Emotional health means being able to regulate emotions and behavior under different circumstances. People, who are emotionally healthy, are able to handle life’s challenges well, build strong relationships and recover quickly from setbacks.
Emotional health refers to overall psychological wellbeing of a person. It implies how we feel about ourselves. It is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. It greatly influences our ability to manage our feelings and emotions. And, therefore, it helps deal more efficiently with difficulties.
Anyone can suffer from emotional health problems and over a lifetime most of us will. Majority of us ignore the emotional messages that tell us something is wrong with us. But we try to tough out our emotional issues by distracting ourselves or self-medicating with alcohol, drugs, and other destructive behaviors. We bottle things up in the hope that others don’t notice. But it is difficult to hide our emotional problems from others, especially when they become serious.
So, it is of utmost importance to protect our emotional health because it will not only give rise to many physical and mental illnesses in us but will also adversely affect those close to us.
Improving emotional health –
Below are enumerated some effective strategies for improving emotional health –
Connect with people – We humans are social creatures having overriding emotional need for positive connection with others. We are not meant to survive in isolation, let alone thrive. Interacting with another person can quickly put the brakes on stress and relax us. Find a supportive relationship with someone, who is a good listener. A good listener will listen to the feelings behind your words, and won’t interrupt, judge, or criticize you. Such supportive relationships help you strengthen emotionally. Don’t neglect your real-world relationships in favor of virtual interaction on TV or computer screens.
Get moving – The mind and the body are intrinsically linked. When you improve your physical health, you’ll automatically experience greater emotional well-being. Regular exercise also releases endorphins — powerful chemicals that lift your mood and provide added energy. Exercise also relieves stress, improves memory, and helps you to sleep better. You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Even modest amounts of exercise can make a big difference to your emotional health.
Manage stress- We are mostly not aware how our daily life feels stressful unless stress becomes overwhelming, thereby affecting quality of our life. While social interaction and exercise are excellent ways to relieve stress, other stress management strategies can help you bring things back into emotional balance. Techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation can put the brakes on stress and bring your mind and body back into a state of balance.
Eat healthy diet – What you eat has a direct impact on how you feel. Wholesome meals give you more energy and help you look better, resulting in a boost to physical and emotional health, while unhealthy food can take a toll on your brain and mood.
Give joyously – There is an undisputed connection between social relationships and greater mental and emotional health. The greatest benefit of social connection stems from the acts of giving to others. By measuring hormones and brain activity when people are being helpful to others, the researchers have discovered that being generous delivers immense pleasure to the giver. Just as we’re hard-wired to be social, we’re also hard-wired to give to others.
Invest in self-care – Investing in self-care is as much about caring for others as it is for you. Go to a funny movie, take a walk on the beach, read a good book, or talk to a friend. Fun and play is not an indulgence but a necessity for emotional and mental health. Enjoy the beauty of nature. Simply walking through a garden can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. The same goes for strolling through an art gallery, hiking, or sitting on a beach. Spend some money and time in buying some good clothes and items for grooming. As a matter of fact, an investment in self-care will pay good dividends in terms of happiness.
Develop mindfulness – Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. Simultaneously, we maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment. We do so non-judgmentally without attaching labels to anything. In fact, the practice of mindfulness in our daily activities gives us power to regulate our emotions, thereby enhancing emotional resilience.
Do meditations regularly – A new study from Michigan State University says that meditation can help tame your emotions even if you’re not a mindful person. Those, who practice meditations regularly, recover quickly after a disturbing event because they have developed the ability to regulate their emotions. But there is a caveat that one should practice meditations regularly for emotional health benefits.
The bottom line –
Our emotional health is of paramount importance because our physical and mental health is closely associated with it. The above strategies are quite effective in improving our emotional health, if we employ them prudently in life.