Most people confuse emotional health with mental health. Although both are quite similar and both are required for being completely, holistically healthy, there is a thin line of divide between the two. Emotional health refers to a state of being where we are in control of our emotions and behaviour. An ability to handle life’s inevitable challenges with resilience, build and nurture trust in relationships, and lead productive, fulfilling lives as a result also fall under the purview of emotional health.
Quite like mental health, the concept of emotional well-being is undervalued and largely misunderstood. People take it for granted – issues like this coming to fore only if any serious problem like nervous breakdown, depression etc. surfaces.
What needs to be appreciated is that it takes equal if not more effort to maintain sound emotional and mental health as it takes to maintain good physical health. All these aspects are vital for holistic health and thus require equal time and energy investment. Being emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. Emotional health refers to the presence of positive characteristics.
People who are mentally and emotionally healthy possess:
- Self-confidence and high self-esteem
- An ability to balance work and play
- A sense of satisfaction
- Enthusiasm and the ability to laugh and have fun
- The skill to deal with stress and to bounce back from the situation
- The openness to learn new things and to adapt to change happening around them
- The ability to build and maintain relationships
These characteristics help a person deal with any adversity in life.
The role of fortitude and resilience in mental and emotional well-being
If a person is emotionally and mentally healthy, it does not at all mean that he/she has never faced challenges and emotional problems. There is no person on earth who has never faced disappointments, defeat and change. We, being human beings, although the stress is a part of our life, tend to feel sad and anxious during adverse situations.
Now, how to differentiate between a person how is emotionally healthy and a person who is not? Well, a person with good emotional health has the ability to bounce back from the problem he has faced. This ability is known as resilience. These people can cope up with difficult situations and maintain a positive outlook towards life. This outlook helps them to be focused and open to change in both good and bad times.
Balancing your emotions is one of the important factors when it comes to resilience. Understanding your own emotions and being able to convey them correctly can really help in keeping depression and anxiety at bay.
Did you know that physical fitness and emotional health are co-related?
You must have heard the adage- ‘A health mind in a health body’ innumerable times. The first step towards mental and emotional health is keeping your body fit, as these two are linked. You, too, may have experienced this – whenever you are feeling physically fit, you automatically feel happy. Regular exercise can strengthen your heart and lungs, but did you know that exercising releases endorphins, which not only energize us but also lift our mood?
Whatever you wish to and choose to do in your daily life affects the way you feel physically and emotionally. So, here are a few tips that will help you stay fit, physically and emotionally.
- Rest is best– Remember that it’s very very important to let your body rest, and getting enough sleep is the best form of rest. One must sleep for six to eight hours every night; this will help your body function optimally on the next day.
- Good food – Your energy and mood reflect your diet. So eat foods that make you feel good and healthy from within.
- Your daily dose of sunlight – Spending some time in the early morning sunlight helps to lift your mood. 10-15 minutes exposure to sunlight is a must, everyday.
- Any addiction is bad – As far as possible, limit your alcohol intake and avoid smoking.
- Exercise – Stress, anxiety, and depression are common in today’s competitive world. But it is our responsibility to find ways to fight them. You may say that you have no time to exercise. There can still be solutions, one of them is to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Indulge in creative activities– This is very important. You will not only feel good but also productive. Take up any activity you like- writing, drawing, gardening, etc.
- Me time – It is very important to do things just for yourself. Watch a film, go on a small vacation, read a book, or maybe just call a friend and chat.
- Contemplation and gratitude – Meditation and prayer can work wonders. Think about the good and bad things you have done during the day. Be happy about the good things you did and apologise for the bad.
It is not possible that all things are equally beneficial to all, as every individual is different. While some people love to relax to feel better, some enjoy the day only when they are very busy. So, just do everything that makes you happy rather than things that drain your energy and trigger anxiety and depression.