Your Emotional Well-Being Is Important
The Role of Emotional Health and Well-Being
What Is Emotional Well-Being? When thinking about your health, the first thing that comes to mind may be your physical condition. That makes sense, since physical function has such a major impact on your quality of life. However, there is also another crucial factor to keep in mind: your emotional well-being.
At one time, the importance of emotional health and well-being was underestimated or ignored. But today, doctors and public health officials are well-aware of the need to stay emotionally healthy. Why is emotional well-being such a big deal? High levels of emotional wellness have major positive effects on multiple aspects of your daily life. The reverse is also true. In other words, poor emotional well-being can make your life harder in a variety of ways.
What Is Emotional Well-Being / Emotional Health?
So, exactly what do we mean when we are talking about emotional health? Broadly speaking, this term describes the ways you feel and react in everyday life. That includes such things as:
- Your general emotional state
- The ways you respond emotionally to specific situations
- Your usual patterns of thinking
- The thoughts you experience in specific situations
- Your typical day-to-day behaviors
- The behaviors you engage in while in specific situations
Most feelings, thoughts and behaviors are appropriate at least some of the time. That is true for the full range of human experience, from the highs to the lows. But, as a whole, certain feelings, thoughts and behaviors have a negative effect on your over time. In contrast, certain feelings, thoughts and behaviors tend to have a positive effect over time.
What determines your overall level of emotional health and well-being? As a rule, it is your relative ability to control how you feel, think and act. Solid control in these areas tends to lead to a high level of wellness. Lack of self-control tends to have the opposite effect.
That doesn’t mean that people with high emotional well-being never:
- Feel sadness, anger or other distressing emotions
- Think in negative or unhelpful ways
- Take actions that reflect distressing feelings or thoughts
Instead, it means that they have the ability to rebound quickly from negative or damaging states. To do this, you must first be aware of how you feel, what you are thinking and how you are behaving. You must also know how to keep a solid perspective on the ways these things are affecting you. Just as importantly, you must know when your ability to cope is being overwhelmed.
Known Benefits of Sound Emotional Health
Research shows that positive emotional health and well-being have wide-ranging benefits. That may include:
- Helping you avoid mental and physical health problems
- Improving your general sense of being healthy and well
- Making you more productive
- Potentially increasing your lifespan
- Increasing your desire and ability to maintain your social connections
The benefits of emotional wellness are closely tied to other aspects of well-being. That includes your physical health. It also includes things such as your economic status and your work satisfaction.
How is Emotional Well-Being Measured
How do we know what we know about emotional wellness? To gather the information they need, reputable researchers rely on well-designed studies and screening tests. These studies and tests come in a variety of forms. In addition to emotional health, they may also look at many other aspects of your well-being.
Interested in finding out about your own state of wellness? You might consider beginning by talking to your doctor. Today, many doctors offer mental health assessments. These assessments include measurements of your state of well-being. You can also seek the help of psychologist or other mental health expert.
What Determines Your Level of Emotional Wellness
Several things can have an effect on your typical state of emotional wellness. One potential factor is your genetic background. Unfortunately, some people have genetic histories that make them vulnerable to emotional problems. In some cases, your level of increased vulnerability may be relatively minor. However, it is well-known that there is a genetic risk for serious mental illness, as well.
Your personality can also have a significant impact. Some people have personality traits that tend to support sound emotional health. Examples of such traits include:
- Holding a general outlook based on optimism
- Having a good sense of self-esteem
- Being outgoing and socially oriented
However, certain other personality traits make it harder for you to maintain emotional well-being. A key example here is neuroticism. This term has a couple of definitions. It can be used to describe a tendency to experience negative or down states of mind. It can also refer to lack of the ability to rebound quickly from negative emotional states or experiences.
A few other things also have a notable impact on your level of wellness. That includes:
- The quality of your relationships with others
- The stage of your life
- Your gender
It also includes the amount of money you make relative to your needs.
Can You Change Your State of Emotional Well-Being
If your current state of emotional health is lower than you would like, have no fear. Experts agree that emotional well-being is not set in stone. Instead, it is a skill that you can learn and improve with practice.
Looking to hone your skills? Here are some of the most widely recommended things to do.
Keep Your Stress Levels Under Control
Your stress levels have a major effect on your emotional state. By keeping these levels within a manageable range, you make well-being easier to maintain. Effective elements of a stress reduction plan may include:
- Getting plenty of exercise
- Making sure you get adequate sleep
- Asking for support from your friends and family
- Taking an organized stress management class
- Practicing meditation, yoga or other stress-reducing techniques
- Calling on professional help when you feel overwhelmed
Improve Your General Outlook
Given all of the pressures and worries of modern life, a positive outlook might seem hard to muster. But from a mental health perspective, such an outlook has big benefits. Steps you can take to promote a positive point of view include:
- Finding things in life that bring purpose and meaning
- Learning how to forgive your past mistakes
- Spend time with people committed to a positive life outlook
- Take care of your basic physical needs for food, sleep and daily activity
Develop Your Ability to Cope With Unwanted Change
No matter who you are, you will deal with some extremely unpleasant situations at some point in your life. Major, unwanted changes such as death or divorce can leave you reeling. By developing your ability to cope with these changes, you improve your emotional resilience. In turn, this improves your emotional well-being. Specific things you can do in moments of crisis or grief include:
- Maintain contact with supportive friends and loved ones
- Join a support group for people in similar circumstances
- Keep up your commitment to physical well-being
- Avoid making major life decisions
- Give yourself time to recover your mental equilibrium
- Seek professional help if your coping methods are not enough
Slow Down and Pay Attention
Your chances of ignoring your emotional health and well-being go up when you live life on autopilot. That is true because, in such a state, you do not typically slow down enough to check in with yourself. Instead, you let habit run its course. If your habits already support emotional wellness, that may not be such a bad thing. However, if your habits are harming your emotional health, you may be making things worse without even knowing it.
As much as possible, take the time to check in on your current emotional state. Also take a look at what you are thinking and how your behaving. This might not be easy to do, especially when you first start. However, with time, almost anyone can develop their abilities and make self-awareness an ally.
Seeking Professional Help
You may need professional help to support your emotional and psychological health. Such help can be crucial in preventing the development of significant problems. It can also help you recover from any problems that are already affecting you.
In the past, there was a considerable social stigma attached to having a mental health issue. Such stigma prevented untold numbers of people from benefitting from available treatment. Fortunately, things are changing in the 21st century. More and more, people are willing to talk openly about mental health problems. This has led to a significant increase in the amount of people seeking advice, guidance and treatment.
Where can you turn if you need professional help for mental health-related issues? One option is to start working with a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. Not all people with these titles specialize in mental health care, but many do.
The help available from mental health specialists may include counseling and psychotherapy. It may also include medication. Counseling, therapy and medication are all common elements in mental illness treatment plans. In each case, such plans are customized. This means that your treatments will be tailored to suit your specific path of recovery.
Need more information on the importance of emotional health and well-being? The experts at Emerald Isle can help. We are available to answer any question you may have on mental health topics. We also specialize in the assessment and treatment of mental illness. Contact us today.
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