- Symptoms of emotional health crisis may include sleep disorders, avoidance of friends and family, conflicts in relationships, substance abuse, and eating disorders.
- Thus, mental illness is closely tied to an individual’s emotional disposition, habits, awareness, and coping skills, says the APA.
- Although it is easier said than done, emotional health is achieved only through persistent efforts to nurture positive feelings through lifestyle choices, the APA says.
Emotional health is critical to achieving success in work, relationships, and health. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a decline in emotional health can lead to severe mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and addiction. Thus, mental illness is closely tied to an individual’s emotional disposition, habits, awareness, and coping skills, says the APA.
Why emotional health is important?
Around one billion people suffer from mental disorders globally, and some 75% of people suffering from mental diseases in the developing world do not get treatment, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Also, roughly three million people perish every year due to substance abuse and one person die by suicide in every 40 second, the WHO data shows.
However, every US$1 spent on mental health can generate benefits worth US$4 in return. Hence, emotional, and physical health is paramount to the overall well-being of people, the APA stresses.
Emotional health is not the same as emotional intelligence, which is associated with empathy. Instead, it is linked to the understanding of emotions and the ability to stay calm under pressure. Emotional health, therefore, is the ability to cope with negative emotions, it says.
Symptoms of emotional health crisis may include sleep disorders, avoidance of friends and family, conflicts in relationships, substance abuse, feeling continually lethargic, eating disorders, feeling hopelessness, and neglect of personal hygiene. Although it is easier said than done, emotional health is achieved only through persistent efforts to nurture positive feelings through lifestyle choices and habits, says the APA.
So, here are five tips to achieving sound emotional health in case you are looking for help.
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Observe your reactions multiple times daily: Most people fail to recognize that their reaction could be an expression of intent or a triggered outcome of an event. You may feel uneasy listening to the news or get angry for not being acknowledged - situations when external factors activate responses. The first step is to observe your emotions at least 3-4 times a day.
Acknowledge and name your emotion: Once you recognize your emotions, it will clarify what triggered your response. Studies confirm that our subconscious mind always focuses on negative emotions first.
Fortunately, we also have a stress hormone called Cortisol to fight negative thoughts. We feel more in control when we accept that a specific emotion was produced due to a trigger.
Naming emotions helps in understanding the underlying factors that triggered a reaction. You would realize that you and your emotion are different. It helps in shifting your focus from being negative to being a solution-seeker.
Connection with family, friends, and community: Family, friends, and community are important to keep you emotionally healthy and energetic. Although the coronavirus pandemic has made family get-togethers difficult, if not impossible, it cannot replace the joys of meeting in person. Plan out time for people you care about and who care for you.
Positive psychology and resilience: Practice positive self-talk in your mind continually. These exercises will become your thoughts, and they will gradually turn into action or reaction. Once you have reached there, your resilience power will surely enhance. It will improve your ability to handle day-to-day emotions and difficult and stressful random situations.
Exercise and meditate: According to a study published in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience in 2017, exercise is therapeutic that can give relief from psychiatric stress. As stated earlier, overall health depends on the wellness of both mind and body.
Devoting 30-60 minutes daily to physical exercise would help boost overall health and well-being. On the other hand, meditation is for the mind. It helps to keep your thoughts clear and focused. It is the key to getting emotional fitness.