Emotional health is often disregarded with many of us withholding and even denying our emotional selves and assuming it is not worthy of attention.
Emotional health is one of the three areas that one should experience balance in order to be mentally healthy.
To manage feelings and accept life’s challenges and changes, one has to be emotionally healthy.
We live in a world where challenges and changes abound. From the changes we have no control over to challenges that try to break our spirit. Whatever the circumstance, life offers the opportunity for emotional health to flourish by the practice of responses, rather than reactions.
For example, most people practice words of affirmation as a response to negative comments rather than reacting to negative comments.
Misconceptions about emotional health are common. They include but not limited to the following;
1. Emotions “happen” – Emotions do not just “happen” rather they are chosen behaviours with intentions, practised over time. An example of this is a person who knows that their anger can intimidate others, and then learns to get angry at the slightest provocation just to intimidate others. We develop our emotions based on experiences rather than random happenstance.
2. Words cannot express emotions – Emotions connect to our sense of judgement and as such can be described and analysed in detail verbally. Learning to express ourselves verbally is a tool in establishing a sense of self-control. We diminish overreactions and constructively process our feelings when we learn to process our feelings into language.
3. Emotions are “just feelings” – Often, people use the words emotions and feeling interchangeably. The relationship between the two represents a link between our psychological and physical responses. They are however not the same as feelings are bodily sensations, while emotions are psychological and they trigger feelings of happiness or sadness.
Now that we have established emotions to be essentially judgments based on psychological responses to a given thought, situation, or stimuli, it is imperative we pay attention to our emotional health as we do our physical health.
When we pay attention to our emotional health, we develop higher self-esteem, resilience to stress, deeper relationships and more mental energy.
The development of a sound emotional health is a process that requires the following steps:
1. Identifying personal strengths, building them and living for them
2. Building resilience, harnessing the ability to learn from and bounce back from challenges as well as flexibility in facing challenges.
3. Practise coping strategies that help in response rather than reaction to upsetting situations. Some of these strategies include listening to music, journaling.
4. Engaging in physical activity like exercise can help with stress from work or home. This can include short walks and swimming.
5. Practise being mindful as the simply focusing on one thing at a time or a social media detox can lead to less emotional reactivity and greater relationship satisfaction.
6. Strengthening social connections have powerful effect on our emotional health as they provide a buffer when going through challenges.
In conclusion, good emotional health is crucial to your overall wellbeing – pay attention to it, take care of it and be responsible for it.😘 To be mentally healthy, one needs to strike a balance between:
Psychological health and;
Emotional health is being able to respond to life’s challenges and changes rather than react.