Your overall health is composed of several areas of wellness, including emotional wellness. But what constitutes emotional wellness? These five aspects of emotional wellness have been identified by the National Institute of Health.
While this article aims to offer a brief introduction to this topic and so will not go into great detail on how to improve aspects of your emotional wellness, identifying which of them maybe areas of concern for you can help you identify solutions or resources for further study.
How you see the world and your place in it is an important aspect of your emotional wellness, largely because of how it impacts the other aspects. You will form relationships differently, find stress in different places, cope with loss differently, and understand yourself differently if you see yourself as a puppet of fate, a master of your own destiny, or anywhere in between.
Your outlook also includes how you see yourself in relation to other people, which can play a huge part in how you form relationships with those around you.
Relationships with romantic interests, friends, coworkers, family members, and even strangers can have a strong impact on emotional wellness. Relationships can be supportive, harmful, or challenging. They can help you out of trouble or get you into it.
Sometimes honing your relationships for better emotional health means pruning less healthy relationships, while other times it means nurturing or pursuing healthier relationships. Understanding other people and where they come from is important to healthier short-term relationships with people that you bump into every day, but this skill is reliant on a realistic outlook.
Stress can come from issues or imbalances in any of the other aspects of emotional wellness and how you handle it can have serious implications for your emotional and physical wellness.
Your stress and emotional health are closely related – lots of stress can upset your emotional health, and strong emotional health can contribute to controlling stress – but lots of stress can also make you feel physically worse.
Fortunately, developing a better outlook, fostering healthier relationships, developing coping mechanisms, and practicing mindfulness can all help to decrease stress.
People usually think about coping in terms of recovering from the loss of a loved one, but the loss of a job, of property, of opportunities, can all be traumatic experiences with painful recovery. Also, like stress, grief can have physical symptoms as well as emotional symptoms.
Your outlook and mindfulness can impact your coping mechanisms, stress and coping can impact each other, and your healthy relationships can help you to cope in quicker and healthier ways.
This aspect of emotional wellness refers to how well you understand your own mental and emotional health. While there are some systems of understanding and control that make mindfulness easier to wrap your head around, it's less about learning and more about paying attention.
Some people lose touch with their mindfulness because they feel that their emotional health is unimportant, while others may feel that an unhealthy level of emotional distress may be normal, and therefore does not need to be addressed.
Of the other aspects of emotional wellness, mindfulness is most closely tied to stress: the higher your level of mindfulness, the lower your stress.
Hopefully, this brief introduction to the aspects of emotional health will help you to increase your own emotional health and reap the wide array of benefits, both emotional and physical.