While you go through your daily routine, ask yourself – how often do you enjoy what you do?
You may be surprised by the answer. Often, we are caught up in our daily grinds that we forget to live in the present. We don’t enjoy life. We just live through it. In living such a lifestyle, we are sacrificing something very precious – our emotional health.
Mental health and emotional health are often used as interchangeable terms under the broader context of wellness, but there are some differences between the two. Mental health involves thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that allow optimal and productive functioning. So it does have a valid component. But emotional health refers to our very outlook on life, the way we view wellness, ourselves, and our experience. Thus, emotional health can be seen as an extension of mental health, which includes a more holistic and positive attitude towards life.
Many mistake the idea of emotional health as being happy all the time. Nothing can be farther from the truth. It is impossible to be happy all the time. To pretend the same would be to ignore your other emotions, which in turn is actually unhealthy. Emotional health requires awareness of your feelings and psychology. When you are aware of what you feel, you can use that information wisely. So you will not make important decisions when you are angry. You will try to find out what exactly is making you sad. You will try to do more of the things that make you happy. Emotional awareness can thus facilitate better decision making, productivity, interpersonal bonds and an optimistic view on life.
Emotional health is not an inborn talent either. The idea that you ‘cannot’ control your emotions is a false one. Yes, for some, psychological management comes easy. But for the rest of us, we can learn this skill. Through a little planning, effort, and self-improvement, anybody can live a better life by managing their emotions.
Ways for achieving emotional health and wellness
- Resilience, or the ability to bounce back from adverse circumstances, is one of an essential life skill you can learn. Not only will it increase your mental and emotional wellness, but it will also help you to move forward in the real areas of your life.
- In today’s social media connected world, we take our relationships for granted. Talk to your friends and family, even if it is just over the net. Make plans, get together, share life experiences. Your network of interpersonal relationships is your greatest asset.
- Think before you act. It is the best way to avoid regret. And when you think, factor in your emotions too.
- Learn to manage stress. It is the most deadly killer of wellness. Engage in hobbies and physical activities, volunteer, play with pets. Do something that makes you let go.
- Learn to express your emotions appropriately. An outburst is just hurtful for you and the other parties involved. Sit, talk and listen.
- Find purpose. Aimlessness breeds stress, anxiety and a host of other negative feelings. Follow your passions, set short and long-term goals, and engage in what makes you enjoy life.
- There is no shame in seeking help. Life is hard and can sometimes become overbearing. Don’t let the stigma prevent you from seeking counseling or therapy. It is your life, and the opinions of others should not prevent you from making it better.
Remember, just knowing about the concept and some tips will not suddenly make you an actualized person. You have to make an active effort to balance your mind, body, and emotions. And this balance may not always be possible. The most important thing to know is that it is okay if you don’t feel your best sometimes, in any dimension. It is the ability to keep moving forward that matters.