Strategies for Improving Your Emotional Health

December 26, 2016

People in good emotional health have control over their emotions and their behavior. They’re also capable of juggling the many challenges of life, building strong relationships and recovering from setbacks.

But just like effort is needed to be in good physical health, it’s also necessary that we make a major effort when it comes to our mental and emotional health.

Improving our emotional health can be a gratifying and extremely beneficial experience, in every aspect of life.

What is emotional health?

Emotional or mental health is defined as a general, psychological state of well-being. It includes the way we feel about ourselves, the quality of our relationships and the ability to deal with our feelings and cope with difficulties.

Good emotional health is not just the absence of mental health problems. Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than simply being free of depression, anxiety or other psychological problems.

emotional brain

Mental and emotional health refers to the presence of positive characteristics, such as self-confidence, self-esteem, an ability to cope with stress and recover from adversity, zest for life, ability to laugh and have fun, ability to build and maintain satisfactory relationships and flexibility to learn new things and adapt to changes, among others.

These positive characteristics of emotional health are what allow to us fully participate in life through meaningful activities and strong relationships. In addition, these positive characteristics also help us to address the many challenges and stresses of life.

What role does resilience play in our emotional health?

Being emotionally healthy doesn’t translate to not going through tough times or experiencing emotional difficulty. The difference is that people with good emotional health have the ability to recover from adversitytrauma and stress.

This ability is known as resilience. People who are emotionally healthy have the tools needed to face difficult situations while upholding a positive attitude. One of the key factors of resilience is having the ability to balance stress and emotions. 

The ability to recognize emotions and adequately express them helps us to avoid becoming stuck in a depression, in anxiety or other negative states of mind. Another key factor is having a strong support network.

Having people we can trust and turn to for encouragement and support will increase our resilience in tough times.

flower raindrops

Our physical health is linked to our mental and emotional health

Caring for our bodies is a very important step to having good emotional health. When our physical health improves, we automatically experience a greater state of mental and emotional well-being.

Not only does exercise strengthen the heart and lungs, but it also causes your body to release endorphins, which are powerful chemicals that provide us with energy and elevate our moods.

Resting adequately, eating well, exercising, getting sunshine and avoiding the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs are the basics to starting on the road to great physical health. If you want to improve your mental health, you must take good care of yourself.

In order to maintain and strengthen your mental and emotional health, it’s important to pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Don’t allow stress and negative emotions to accumulate.

Try to maintain a balance between your daily responsibilities and the things you enjoy. If you take care of yourself, you’re better prepared to face the challenges when they occur.

Taking care of yourself implies doing activities that release endorphins naturally and help to make you feel good. In addition to exercise, endorphins are also released naturally in the following cases:

  • Being helpful to others
  • Practicing self-discipline and self-control
  • Learning something new
  • Enjoying nature, beauty and art
  • Adequately managing our stress levels 
  • Participating in creative activities
  • Making time in our schedules for leisurely activities