Emotional health is an important part of overall health. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They are 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 does not mean you are happy all the time. It means you are aware of your emotions. You can deal with them, whether they are 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 well being
Emotional health is an important part of your life. It allows you to realize your full potential. You can work productively and cope with the stresses of everyday life. 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. Emotions can be powerful. Give yourself time to think, and be calm before you say or do something you might regret.
- Manage stress. Try to change situations causing you stress. 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. Your physical health can affect your emotional health. Exercise regularly, eat healthy meals, and get enough sleep. Don’t abuse drugs or alcohol.
- Connect with others. We are social creatures. We need positive connections with other people. Make a lunch date, join a group, and say hi to strangers.
- Find purpose and meaning. Figure out what it is 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.
- Stay positive. Focus on the good things in your life. Forgive yourself for making mistakes, and forgive others. Spend time with healthy, positive people.
Things to consider
People who have good emotional health can still have emotional problems or mental illness. Mental illness often has a physical cause. This could be a chemical imbalance in the brain. Stress and problems with family, work, or school can trigger mental illness or make it worse.
Counseling, support groups, and medicines can help people who have emotional problems or mental illness. If you have an ongoing emotional problem, talk to your family doctor. He or she can help you find the right type of treatment.
Questions to ask your doctor
- What steps should I take to improve my emotional health?
- Would medicine help me be able to cope better?
- Should I see a therapist or counselor?
- How does my physical health affect my emotional health?
- What stress management techniques would work best for me?
National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mental Health
National Institute of Mental Health
Mental Health: As Important As Physical Health
Our society today does not value our mental health like it should. If society would only pay as much attention to mental health, they would be better off in the long run. Think about an athlete playing a sport, they certainly understand how important physical health is. When a baseball player injures his knee, he is out and waits until it heals. But like many people, mental health is overlooked. Most teenagers do not realize that the many things like stress or eating disorders are coming from a poor mental state. They think that if they just ignore it they will snap out of it, this is not true and many times this kind of thinking will only make it worse (Change Your Mind). Mental health is not seen as important as physical health due to misconceptions and stigma behind mental health patients. By increasing the importance of personal mental health, people can reduce issues associated with mental health problems and raise awareness for people who suffer from mental health issues.
There is a difference between feeling blue for a while and having a mental health problem such as depression. But it becomes a problem when people start to ignore their feelings and think less of their self. The Rode Island Physiological Association found that people who got their mental health problem fixed decreased their medical visits by 90%, their overall laboratory costs decreased by about 50% and their overall treatment costs decreased by 30%. Under health care the government says that they give adequate coverage to their patients and that they want to help with mental health problems, so that each American can have the same benefits than others (Useful Psychology Information). There is a point of getting medical help. As a result of Americans overlooking their mental state it caused 17% of Americans to not receive the appropriate mental care says Caroline Peterson, The director of mental health care reform. Caroline says that our modern Americans think that mental health and physical health aren’t interrelated. One of her very important ideas on this topic is that “You cannot keep people physically healthy if you cannot address their mental health issues.” It gets to a point where you can see the physical problems in a person if they do not take care of their mental health. Most of the time people who struggle with things like alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and behavioral issues are coming from their mental health state. The world health organization says, “These types of things are commonly found to be related to some sort of disorder such as depression or stress.” Dr. Dorothy Cantor says, “We’ve been told for so long to get physical checkups, but taking care of our emotional well-being has been sorely overlooked. We are whole people- Whole in the sense that our minds and bodies are connected. If we only took care of our physical well- being and not our emotional well-being, it could come back to haunt us.”(Redirect). She’s stating that if you know that you...
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