What is emotional health?
You may have encountered in your readings or on your social media the term emotional health. But do you really know what emotional health is according to medical experts?
According to Web MD, one of the most trusted medical sources on the web, Emotional Health is the ability to cope with both the positive and negative emotions people experience. (1)
The plain fact is that even people with the best of lives, including the best homes, the best jobs, and the best families can experience emotional lows from time to time.
But emotional health is the ability to minimize the effect of these negative emotions and reach out for help if things get too troublesome.
Who is emotionally healthy and who is not?
According to the University of New Hampshire (2), emotional health is generally signified by a number of positive factors:
- 1. Being able to share your feelings with a private confidant or a professional
- 2. The ability to say no when you should, without feeling guilty
- 3. Feeling content with yourself most of the time
- 4. Being able to relax and go with the flow.
- 5. Having a support system you can count on.
of course, these are all generalities, but those who are emotionally healthy tend to keep themselves above water, emotionally so to speak. Meanwhile, those who are not emotionally content attempt to cope with drugs, alcohol, spend money on shopping they cannot afford, or even exercise excessively.
Unusual behaviors are often a sign of internal emotional stress.
Why is it important?
As John Cougar Mellencamp sang in the song about Jackie and Diane, “Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.” You have to be generally content now if you want your life to be mainly happy.
Read also: Top 11 reasons why Cardio Exercise is best for health
Factors that affect emotional health:
- Your General health
If you are constantly sick, not only are you reminded about it all the time by your negative emotions but there is a great temptation to self-medicate with either drugs or alcohol.
- The Brain and mental health
Your brain pretty much controls perhaps 90 percent or more of your emotional health.
There are people who experience almost non-stop constant physical pain, yet they are the ones who tend to complain the least. You read all the time about some famous actor or actress who died of a terminal disease and yet co-workers on the set did not even know they were afflicted.
- Hormone balance
Our hormones play a great factor in our mental health. Of course, this is something that you cannot diagnose yourself. You need to see a doctor, to run tests, to see if you have a normal hormone balance.
Weight gain, decreased energy, loss of interest in sex, premature aging of your skin, insomnia, and bone loss, for example, are frequently experienced by men and women who have a limited amount of HGH (Human Growth Hormone,) may be the underlying cause, and maybe contributing greatly to your emotional levels as well. As for menopausal period HGH for women can be even more crucial than in ordinary conditions.
- Social Environment
Choosing your friends and social environment can also greatly affect your emotional health. If you hang on to a bunch of friends that constantly party till 3 a.m. and
in the end, wouldn’t even bat an eyebrow if you died, are not the kind of friends to have.
Ways to maintain and work on your emotional health:
- Learn to manage stress
The national library of medicine has some great tips on managing stress.
They suggest that learning to accept there are some things you cannot change is of great benefit.
They also suggest that people learn to avoid stressful situations when possible, be sure that your body is relaxed by getting enough exercise, getting plenty of sleep (of which close to 70 percent of us may fit into that category), and important coping methods such as setting limits and learning to say no, particularly at work, are important components.
- Stay positive
Staying positive is an important component of emotional health, but how to do it?
Generally by recognizing that challenges are a natural part of life. Stress and challenges are going to occur to everyone, but it’s how we react that makes the difference. To coin a phrase from a popular book, Don’t Sweat the small stuff, and generally, around 95 percent of our irritations are small, insignificant events.
- Think before acting
The happiest people are those that take a little time to reflect before acting. If we just learned this one critical skill, our stress levels would be cut in half or more.
Just this last weekend, Antonio Brown, the Tampa Bay Buccaneer Wide Reciever, was fired from the Bucs for Stripping off his shirt and prancing into the locker room mid-game.
He says that it was due to an injury which the Bucs coaches refused to recognize, but this is one person who has failed to think before acting.
Meanwhile, in 2021, the FAA notes over 5,000 passengers caused disruptions in flights, many of them who are now barred from going on any USA flight, while thousands of barfights erupt every year across the USA. Learn to think before acting.
- Find Purpose and Meaning
Many people see no purpose and meaning in their life because they haven’t thought about it. We are often so busy trying to achieve goals (which may not be our own) that we do not take the time to go on the inner and learn what are the real purposes in life is.
Writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky said, “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”
- Be aware of your emotions and reactions
Our emotions can propel us to greatness, or sink us into a deep depression.
Learn to recognize the power emotions have on your mental health, but at the same time, recognize that emotions, like the tides, ebb, and flow.
If you don’t automatically react to them, emotions will cause less and less stress in your life.