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Emotional health

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 It is Just as Important as Physical Well-being?

Well-being used to be defined by the physical – if you were sick you saw the doctor, and after successful treatment you were deemed to be well again.  It is only in recent years that the concept of emotional health has come to the fore.  The brain and the emotions it generates can have a significant effect on the way an individual functions.  Taking care of your emotional health along with your body is key to your overall happiness.

What is Emotional Health?

In essence emotional health concerns your psychological well-being.  Being free from familiar mental health issues such as depression or anxiety is a default position that is positive, but does not necessarily mean you are emotionally healthy.  Good emotional health is about feeling good about yourself, maintaining strong and positive relationships, and how effectively you are able to cope with problems and manage your feelings on a day-to-day basis.

These positive characteristics are what define good emotional health, and they manifest themselves in a number of different ways in people:

  • High self-esteem and self-confidence
  • An ability to generate and maintain relationships that are fulfilling
  • A general feeling of contentment with life
  • Resilience – able to re-emerge positively from adverse situations
  • Coping well with stress
  • A sense of purpose and meaning in all areas of life
  • Love of life
  • Able to acknowledge and let feelings out

The Link Between Physical and Emotional Health

Body and mind are inextricably linked.  Emotional well-being improves when your body is in good physical shape, and a healthy frame of mind provides the stimulus and desire for you to take care of it.  Each person has different triggers for what makes them happy, but there a few things we can all do each day to help our mind and body connect:

  • Exercise – this stress-busting activity lifts your mood, and helps you to keep your body healthy
  • Find the Sunlight – a vital source of vitamin D, sunlight also boosts production of the mood hormone serotonin
  • Get Proper Rest – neither your body nor your brain can function well if you are constantly tired and under-rested.
  • Ditch the Drugs – stimulants like alcohol and tobacco make you feel good in the short-term, but their long term impact on your emotional health can be very negative
  • Eat Well – what you eat can have significantly influence your mood and your body

emotional health

How to Be Emotionally Healthy

Taking care of yourself is the key to good emotional health.  Giving yourself the time to manage your own needs and feelings helps to prevent stress and negative emotions building up.  Life can seem like one long round of responsibility, but making time for the things you enjoy will see you mentally stronger and in a far better place to cope with these challenges.

Things you can do include:

  • Give a little – engage in things that have a positive impact on others, such as volunteering, or helping an elderly neighbour with her shopping.  This can improve your self-esteem and self-worth
  • Manage your worry-time – recognise and limit your patterns of negative thinking
  • Learn about Stress Management – we can’t avoid some stress, but how we manage it can make a big difference to the impact it has on our lives
  • Indulge in Art or Nature – studies prove that simply wandering in a garden or art gallery can lower blood pressure and reduce stress
  • Practice Self-Control – a natural sense of hope comes from this and gives you strength to overcome negative thoughts
  • Get Creative – such pursuits make you feel productive, and improve your sense of well-being
  • Take Time Out – meditation, relaxation, or just sitting and allowing your mind to wander over all the good things in your world will help you appreciate them and value your existence
  • Be Selfish – doing something just because you want to is a skill that’s easy to forget, but it nurtures your well-being, and is crucial to your happiness
  • Connect with People – human interaction, touch and caring all play an important part in keeping you healthy

There are no rights and wrongs about how to achieve and maintain a good level of emotional health.  Each individual has unique triggers that will provide results, and finding these for yourself is the fun part.  Learn what works for you in the context of the above suggestions and other techniques, and know that every small thing you do will improve your emotional health and your overall well-being in the long-term.

 

 

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About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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