“How are you feeling?”
This is a question that we often ask each other when we want to know how our friend, family member, or co-worker is doing. Emotional wellness has become just as important as mental or physical health in today’s society. We live in a fast-paced world where most people have trouble making it through the day without checking their phones for updates from social media feeds. So are the behaviors that are so autonomous to us good for our emotional health?
This article will explore what emotional wellness is, why it is important for our well-being, and how to create a sense of emotional well-being in life.
What does Emotional Wellness mean?
Emotional wellness can be defined as an individual’s ability to function at their best while dealing with any number of stressors. Basically, no matter what happens or who may say something that upsets you – if you have a high level of emotional wellness then nothing will be able to bring you down for very long.
A high level of emotional wellness can result in a stronger sense of self-esteem. It is important to have a balance between one’s ability to manage and cope with their emotions as well as the skill to be able to express their thoughts and feelings verbally. When one has a high level of emotional wellness, they will feel more in control over their lives and more aware of how they’re feeling.
Emotional wellness stems from developing a type of emotional regulation. This resilience takes time, patience, and work. When we lack these qualities we struggle with self-confidence, positive emotions, and the ability to cope. I have had personal, first-hand experience with this, many times.
What does it mean for something to ‘upset’ someone? An individual can be said to have been upset when they experience a negative emotional reaction that is triggered by an event or action. For example: if somebody says something unkind then you might feel hurt and lash out at them in retaliation. This type of reaction means it is upsetting because your sense of dignity has been violated.
Coping Skills to Strengthen Emotional Wellness
A person with a high level of emotional health will use constructive coping skills to manage and cope with their emotions. These can be ways of expressing themselves through writing, art, physical activity, or positive self-talk. In addition to these coping skills, a person with a high level of emotional health will also be able to cope productively and effectively when they are experiencing painful emotions.
How do people develop a kind of resilience against the negative reactionary impulses to triggers? Emotional resiliency takes daily action in awareness, patience, and work. But there are some things one may try such as:
- Talking through feelings with a therapist
- Practicing mindfulness exercises
- Daily meditation (even for as little as five minutes a day)
- Seeking out social action or volunteer opportunities to feel like they are making a difference.
How is Emotional Wellness Created?
These practices (or work) create emotional wellness. It is important to practice. Especially for people who live with anxiety, depression, unhealed trauma, or any other mental struggles. People often experience symptoms from the chemical imbalance of not having this kind of stability in the brain. Sometimes these types of chemical imbalances can cause or be caused by neurological disorders. Speaking to a professional about any feelings of emotional pain, depression, anxiety, or debilitating symptoms is important to guide us in the direction of what may be best for us. Emotional regulation and seeking mental clarity allow for positive feelings to arise, such as happiness and gratitude. Dialetical Behavioral Therapy can be used to strengthen our emotional wellness and help with daily self-regulation.
Emotional wellness can be created through a variety of practices. Some may find that connecting with a community of like-minded people is the best way for them to process what’s going on in their heads and heart. Or they might choose to do mindfulness exercises like meditation (even if just five minutes per day). These practices, techniques, and so many others are available for free on our membership platform. Other people might try something different such as talking about how they feel when experiencing anxiety, depression, unhealed trauma, or any other mental struggles.
Recommendations from an Expert
Dr. Bill Hettler, a licensed therapist and self-care expert, has been helping people find their way to emotional wellness for over 30 years. He says that the best thing one can do is make sure they are well taken care of in six areas of wellness; physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, spiritually, and within one’s career life.
This usually means eating healthily, setting boundaries with those who may be unhealthy influences in your life such as unhealthy friends or family members, practicing cognitive exercises and meditation (even if just five minutes per day), spending time in nature on a regular basis, getting enough sleep every night so you wake up refreshed each morning and keeping an exercise routine going (whether it’s walking around the block at lunch once a week or doing yoga daily).
When taking these necessary steps, he also recommends making sure there isn’t too much stress and always be kind to yourself and others. When you strive to be kind, it feels rewarding which strengthens your emotional resilience.
The Importance of Emotional Wellness
Stress is a natural reaction to our environment. We all experience it, and the level may vary from day to day or week to week. But if you notice your stress levels are consistently elevated, that can be a sign there’s an underlying problem – one that needs addressing before things get worse. The first step in taking care of yourself is awareness. Recognizing when something isn’t right so you can do something about it.
The National Institute of Health lists 6 strategies for improving your emotional health.
- Brighten your outlook
- Reduce stress
- Get quality sleep
- Cope with loss
- Strengthen social connections
- Be mindful
Check out these interactive flashcards here.
How to Create Emotional Wellness Today
Strategies for improving emotional health can be broken down into three main areas: coping with loss, reducing stress, and building social connections. For example, strategies that help you reduce your stress include eating right, getting proper sleep, and limiting the amount of caffeine in your diet.
Strategies for strengthening social connections could involve spending time with friends and family members who care about you or volunteering at a local charity organization. When we prioritize our mental well-being, it will have an effect on how we interact in the world.
Our relationships with others improve tremendously. The quality of our own lives each day improves as we work toward sending and receiving love and tolerance.
The Benefits of Emotional Wellness
The benefits of having strong emotional health are many, but the National Wellness Institute lists the few below:
- You’ll be able to express feelings freely and manage feelings with a more effective and positive perspective.
- You’ll be able to arrive at personal choices and decisions based upon the synthesis of feelings, thoughts, philosophies, and behavior. It will help you grow as a person in your own way as you explore these decisions.
- Working independently and realizing the importance of asking for help and appreciating the support of others will come naturally.
- Interdependent relationships with others will be of importance to you. They will be based upon a foundation of mutual commitment, trust, and respect.
- Challenges, risks, and conflicts will all be approached and appreciated from the perspective of being potentially healthy.
Managing your emotions in life is personally rewarding in so many ways. Not taking anything personally and taking responsibility for your actions come with unimaginable rewards. Action helps us see life as an exciting, hopeful adventure.
When we prioritize our emotional well-being, the quality of our lives improves in more ways than one. We must love ourselves more than anyone else does! It’s only us who can find and step into our own life’s purpose. The adventure of self-love and becoming the best version of yourself becomes the ultimate challenge and the greatest gift.
Go show yourself some love. Give these tips a try and let us know how they work for you. With a spiritual approach and the right tools to retrain your brain – You have the power to transform your life and habits significantly. Satori Way is here to help set the stage with what is right for you, join us as a free member, and check out our 5-day course here!
Hettler, B. (2021). Six Dimensions of Wellness | National Wellness Institute. Retrieved 12 August 2021, from https://nationalwellness.org/resources/six-dimensions-of-wellness/