We live in a world that emphasizes logic over emotion. As a result, you may view emotions as a sign of weakness and ignore signs that your emotional well-being is compromised. However, emotions exist and affect different areas of your life, whether you acknowledge them or not.
The American Psychological Association defines emotions or feelings as the brain’s conscious reaction to your environment. They can be aroused by anything, from eating a good meal to not getting enough sleep to watching a cute animal eat. Emotions affect your body and behavior, so it’s important to achieve emotional wellness.
But what exactly is emotional wellness, and what role does it play in your daily life? Below are tips for improving your emotional health and well-being.
Understanding Emotional Wellness: Defining the Components of a Healthy Emotional State
Your brain is active every second you’re alive. As a result, your emotions can change even if you don’t know why, because your brain constantly notices and reacts to things in your environment. If you have poor emotional health, changes in your emotions can negatively impact your thoughts and actions.
Emotional wellness refers to your ability to adapt to changes without letting them affect how you care for yourself and interact with others. Your emotional health determines whether you’ll still go to work after spilling coffee on your clothes or return home and spend the day under the covers. Good emotional health helps you take challenges in stride and find ways to stay present and happy.
Being emotionally healthy doesn’t mean you ignore problems just to remain happy. Instead, when you achieve emotional wellness, you become:
- Conscious of your feelings
- Capable of accepting all emotions as valid expressions of your life experiences
- Free to express the full range of human emotions without fear or shame
- Able to handle challenges, stressors and irritants without breaking down
- Aware of your limits and able to assertively set boundaries to protect your emotions
- Capable of maintaining a positive view of yourself and the world even in difficult times
The Importance of Emotional Well-Being: Exploring the Impact on Overall Health
Being in touch with your feelings and processing emotions healthily sounds like relentlessly hard work. However, emotional health impacts all spheres of your life, so you can’t afford to put up a capable front even as you lose it on the inside.
One of the first victims of poor emotional health is your health. Ignoring or suppressing feelings such as stress, sadness or anxiety wreaks havoc on your hormones, leading to serious health problems. People experiencing hormonal imbalances from negative feelings often erupt in hives, experience heartburn and develop ulcers. You may also lose your appetite and have difficulty falling or staying asleep when experiencing emotional turmoil.
Studies on health risks show that anger can cause or intensify symptoms of coronary heart disease and bulimia nervosa. The emotions accompanying anxiety disorders affect your heart rate and blood pressure and may lead to diabetes. Sadness or depression can cause fatigue, headaches and stomach issues. These emotions can also cause aggressive or reckless behavior that leads to substance abuse, car accidents, self-harm or suicide attempts.
Signs of Emotional Imbalance: Recognizing When Emotional Wellness is Compromised
Noticing the symptoms of declining emotional health lets you take steps to improve it before it impacts your health, relationships and livelihood. Here are a few signs that indicate the need to undertake emotional well-being activities:
- Headaches, stomachaches and joint pain
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Becoming easily irritable, restless or aggressive
- Fluctuating emotions
- Losing interest in loved ones and hobbies
- Loss of appetite and energy
- Feeling constantly overwhelmed by regular life activities
- Changes in sleeping patterns, whether sleeping too much or insomnia
- Feeling guilty, anxious and worthless
- Poor performance at school or work
- Increased reliance on alcohol and other drugs to feel normal
- Engaging in risky behavior, such as having unprotected sex
- Thoughts or attempts to self-harm or end your life
Nurturing Emotional Wellness: Practical Strategies for Enhancing Emotional Health
It’s normal for your emotional health to decline at different points in life. Instead of beating yourself up when you experience emotional decline, use these steps on how to improve emotional health to regain your equilibrium:
- Lower stress: While stress is unavoidable, reducing its sources can help you achieve emotional wellness. Creating and sticking to a schedule can help you remain punctual and accomplish everything you need to do every day. Prioritize activities and give yourself grace when you can’t meet everyone’s expectations. Eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep are also ways to lower stress and strengthen your ability to deal with unavoidable challenges.
- Build resilience: This will help you roll with the punches and get back on your feet despite the enormity of your challenges. You can build resilience by being realistic about your abilities and asking for help when overwhelmed. Shifting your view of the world and remaining grateful will also help you stay positive when facing difficulties.
- Be mindful: Mindfulness can help you communicate well and develop creative ways to resolve problems. When going through a difficult time, take deep breaths and remind yourself that you’re still standing. Get in touch with your body, paying attention to how each part feels. These techniques can help you remain a present and aware participant in your life even when you want to operate on autopilot.
- Exercise: Set aside a few minutes every day to stretch and move around. You can also go to the gym or take a walk, cycle or kayak. Exercising and interacting with nature are good ways of remaining present even during difficult times and reducing the effects of poor emotional wellness on your physical health.
Holistic Approach: Integrating Self-Care, Support Systems, and Professional Help
Since your environment impacts your emotions, you can’t achieve emotional health in a vacuum. Leaning on your romantic partner, friends and family can relieve your emotional burden. Your loved ones can clean, cook and cuddle you, giving you the strength necessary to endure a difficult time.
You should also seek professional help from therapists and counselors when experiencing poor emotional health. Mental health professionals have many tools to help you achieve emotional wellness. Sometimes, your emotional problems stem from mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or PTSD. A professional can diagnose the condition and provide treatment that helps you regain emotional balance.
FHE Health provides a supportive environment for anyone who needs to achieve emotional health. Our compassionate care team can help you gain healthy coping skills against life’s stressors and maintain good emotional health. We also provide supportive emotional well-being activities, including acupuncture, breathwork, yoga, massage and art therapy.
Contact FHE today to work towards achieving emotional wellness.