Health isn't just about the physical; it also includes a person's emotional condition. Thus, if we are to achieve complete health, we also need to take care of what's inside. Here is a short guide to help you improve your emotional health.
What is emotional health?
Emotional health, otherwise known as mental health, refers to a person's psychological well-being. It's how well the person feels emotionally relaxed and secure. Emotional health encompasses your self-esteem, your ability to handle your feelings, and the quality of your relationships.
Take note that good emotional health isn't merely the absence of anxiety, depression, or any other psychological problems. It's about having positive characteristics like being focused and flexible even during difficult times. When tough times do occur, emotionally healthy people can step up and take action.
There's also a difference between feeling good about yourself and not feeling bad. You may not be overrun with negative emotions, but you still have to take steps to feel positive and achieve good emotional health.
Characteristics of good emotional health
Here are some of the attributes of people who are emotionally healthy:
- Can handle stress and get over adversity.
- Have a sense of meaning and purpose in what they do and in their relationships.
- Adaptability to change.
- Have a healthy work-life balance.
- Loves life.
- Confident and a good sense of self.
- General feeling of contentment.
- Able to laugh and have fun.
Importance of resilience in emotional health
Everyone goes through change, loss, and other difficulties. This means you'll still experience emotional difficulties even if you're emotionally and mentally healthy. It's normal to feel stressed, afraid, or sad. What sets emotionally healthy people apart is their ability to overcome anxiety, hardships, or even severe mental strain. This is because emotionally healthy people are resilient and can cope with their difficulties while keeping an optimistic mindset.
One of the important attributes needed to overcome emotional problems is the ability to balance anxiety/stress and one's feelings. It's important that you are able to acknowledge your emotions and communicate them appropriately. This would help keep you from staying stressed, depressed, or whatever other negative feeling.
Another factor that helps people stay resilient and emotionally healthy is a strong social support network. Having friends for support and encouragement can help you get through difficult times.
The link between physical and emotional health
To stay emotionally healthy, you also need to take good care of your physical health. Why? Because the two are interconnected. Emotional difficulties like anxiety, stress, and depression can cause a range of physical afflictions such as insomnia, lethargy, and an upset stomach, among others. But if you do manage to improve your physical health, your emotional and mental health will be enhanced as well.
How to improve emotional health
Here are a few practices that can help you boost your emotional well-being:
Get sufficient sleep
Have at least seven to eight hours of sleep at night. You'll feel better physically, emotionally, and mentally if you do.
Exercise every day
To drive your blues away and ease your anxiety, take the time to exercise daily. You don't have to join the gym; just look for ways to exert more physical effort. For instance, you can skip the elevator and take the stairs instead. Try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise for each day.
Nutrition plays a huge role in your physical health, which in turn influences your emotional well-being. Because of this, you should pay attention to what you eat, especially since it would affect your mood, energy level, and how you feel overall.
Avoid cigarettes and control your alcohol intake
Alcohol and cigarettes will probably help you feel good now and may help you cope with emotional difficulties, but they have lasting health ramifications that would provide a whole new set of problems in the future.
Get some sun
Find time to go outside and get some sunlight for at least 15 minutes daily. Experts like Dr. Andrew Weil advise that you get your sun and vitamin D during noon instead of the afternoon.
Manage your stress
Up to a certain point, stress can be good for you. It's your body's way to protect you and help you overcome a problem. Prolonged stress, however, will negatively affect your emotional and physical health. Not all causes of your stress can be avoided but you can still manage them.
Avoid energy-draining mental habits
Negative habits like anxiety and depression can really take their toll on your emotions and vigour. They're also unpleasant emotions so it's tough to be stuck with them. Because of this, you should try to avoid returning to these harmful old habits.
Find time to enjoy art or nature
One way to manage stress levels is to take the time to appreciate nature or art by gardening, watching a sunset, relaxing on the beach, visiting an art gallery, or simply strolling through the park.
Tap into your creative side
Engaging in a creative activity like sketching, playing an instrument, writing, or building something can make you feel engaged and productive.
Get a pet
Love animals? Consider getting a pet. They involve additional responsibility, but pets give unconditional love, which is great for one's emotional well-being. Having a pet would also compel you to get out of the house for some sun and exercise.
Stop, meditate and appreciate
Meditating has a number of advantages: it gives you better focus, more empathy, less anxiety and stress, more mental stability and positive emotions, and improved memory. To enjoy these benefits, you need to devote time for some reflection and appreciate the positive things that happened to you.
Spend time with people you like
No man is an island; this is why you should interact with people, particularly the ones you like. Spend time with friends, neighbours, and associates who are positive and genuinely interested in you. The last bit is particularly important because an essential part of relationships is talking with people about your problems, and this will help you cope. Listening, of course, works both ways.