Emotional wellness has become a never-ending need these days when most of us are freaked out because of excessive stress in our daily lives. The process helps us to learn more about our subtle feelings that go unnoticed in real life and somehow get suppressed after a period of time.
It allows us to heighten our awareness of these feelings and bring it to the surface for either full acceptance or a complete let-go. It is vital to note down how we are feeling at any moment in time so that our mental well-being is never on the edge.
Let’s dive deep into how we can become emotionally healthier in our daily lives.
Emotional Wellness – Definition
Emotional wellness is the art of managing one’s emotions in such a way that the person can live satisfying relationships and live their life happily amidst chaos and challenges.
As per the definition given by The National Center for Emotional wellness, the concept was defined as follows:
“Emotional wellness refers to an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of our feelings, and our ability to manage effectively through challenges and change.”
Emotional wellness refers to a person’s ability to experience, handle and manage their emotions or precisely, their subtle feelings while meeting the various challenges that one encounters in his/her life. We know that changes and challenges are the only constants in our lives. A person who practices and preaches Emotional wellness will confront such changes and challenges with ease and grace.
He/she will try to cope up with them in a socio-adaptive manner. Our emotional health is a big part of our overall mental health and wellness. It is true for everyone, but, for those who face mental health challenges and conditions, it can be even more impactful. Emotional wellness can be considered one of the facets of Emotional Intelligence.
The term “Emotional Intelligence” was popularized by Daniel Goleman in the year 1995, in his book which was also named “Emotional Intelligence”. Emotional Intelligence is an umbrella term that includes our ability to understand, manage, and accept our emotions and that of others.
It is practically impossible to feel fulfilled and content all the time. Life is dynamic and ever-changing. So here is the challenge how we, as individuals, may try to embrace emotional wellness amidst the chaos that goes on in our internal as well as our external environment.
Emotional wellness impacts our self-concept, interpersonal relationships, and occupational functioning.
Signs of Emotional Wellness
Psychologists have also found some qualities in people who are emotionally well. They are:
1. Awareness of one’s emotions
One needs to be aware of their emotions. They must identify their emotions and emotional responses to situations around him/her. Emotionally well people are said to be generally high on Emotional Awareness. They have the ability to self-validate their subtle feelings in the best possible way.
2. Clarity about one’s strengths and weaknesses
If someone is emotionally healthy, he/she possesses a clear idea about one’s strengths and weaknesses. Efforts are made by the person to bridge this gap between his/her strengths and weaknesses in a healthy way. Here comes the expertise and progressive thinking of Carl Rogers. He introduced the evergreen concept of “Unconditional Positive Regard”. Accepting one’s real and true self is an important indicator of positive emotional health.
3. They’re adaptable
People with emotional wellness have the ability to adapt to almost all kinds of situations that they face in their day-to-day lives. They perceive their surroundings and their emotions by being in the present moment.
They also give priority to how others react to a given situation. An emotionally healthy person considers all these factors and then decides the most appropriate action that the situation demands.
In fact, flexibility is one of the core concepts that are addressed by mental health professionals during psychotherapies.
Closely related is the concept of Resilience. Resilient individuals are said to show effective adjustment in life. They can switch back to normality even in the face of dire adversity.
4. Openness to new learning
Emotionally well people understand the benefits of learning to switch off thinking about their everyday life stressors. However, they do not totally disregard touch with reality.. It helps them to restore their physical and psychological resources to function better with recharged energy.
5. Sense of definite purpose in life
Having a sense of meaning is an important sign of emotional wellness. Eminent existential psychologist Viktor Frankl, who survived the Nazi Holocaust, stated that a meaningful life supplies us with a sense of purpose and happiness.
Meaningfulness in life enhances self-confidence, self-esteem, and also longevity in life. Emotionally healthy people focus on what they learn during life crises. They possess a balanced perception of reality contact. They believe in hope and optimism.
Social Signs of Emotional Wellness
Now, we are moving from the “SELF” to the social aspects of emotional wellness.
- Emotionally healthy people know how to place themselves in others’ shoes. They show openness while trying to perceive a situation from others’ points of view. They also learn to be receptive to others’ needs and feelings. They try to make others feel “valued”. This improves their interpersonal adjustment in life.
- Showing gratitude for people and possessions around us also is an indicator of emotional well-being. Emotionally healthy people tend to appreciate what they possess or what they have earned. They do not complain about what they lack. This is how they protect themselves from the vicious cycle of wanting more and more in their lives.
- Emotional well-being depends on the social connections of the individual. Our social support system should consist of people, who will support us during difficult times and also be a part of our celebrations.
- Your social support system should consist of people who will not exploit your vulnerabilities. Emotionally invalidating environments threaten people’s self-esteem and sense of security. This is one of the significant contributing factors to the psychopathology of Borderline Personality Disorder.
The Impact of Poor Emotional Wellness on Your Life
Poor emotional health can pose an all-around impact on your overall functioning. From the Psychological point of view, lack of positive emotional health results in:–
- Self-inadequacy and poor sense of self
- Frustration and stress intolerance
- Difficulties in concentrating and focusing on work
- Interpersonal difficulties
- Difficulties in occupational functioning
- In severe cases, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness along with guilt may arise from prolonged periods of not feeling emotionally healthy. Such factors, combined with environmental factors may predispose any individual to develop Anxiety Disorders and Affective Disorders, especially Depression.
Poor emotional health may also threaten one’s physical health by:-
- lowering immunity
- Increasing blood pressure and the risk for Cardio- Vascular diseases.
- Prevalence of illness and infections owing to decreased immunity.
Emotional Wellness Examples
Two examples of emotional health are given below. They will show you what strong emotional health looks like in everyday situations. Here, both individuals demonstrate their emotional health rituals and strategies that they undertake to manage and handle the stress that their lives throw at them.
Example #1 – Moving out of one’s comfort Zone
A student shifted to another country to pursue his Ph.D. in a foreign University, away from his home. The pandemic began just after he shifted. It was winter at that time. Home quarantine and harsh winter prevented him from going out.
His initial University classes were also online. Experiencing culture shock was also tough for him. The boy has developed the following strategies and practices that he uses to manage his professional and personal stresses.
- Journaling each day and noting down three things he is grateful for each day at the foreign land
- Maintaining online communication with friends and family members by checking differences in time zones
- Cooking and listening to music every day
- Practicing Yoga and Meditation every morning
The practice of journaling helped him gain clarity in his thoughts. Initially, he was unable to make new friends or become a part of a community. Hence online communication with friends and family members who stay back at home allows him not to feel lonely and isolated.
Cooking and listening to music allow his mind a break from the stresses of everyday life. Practicing yoga and meditation every morning helps the person stay physically fit and healthy. He is very aware of the fact that he needs to stay fit both physically and emotionally in a foreign country. Otherwise, he will not be able to survive and deal with the pressure of his academic research work.
Example #2 – workplace pressures
SS is a busy Research Associate who manages a team of 18 members. He has to attend 15 hours of meetings at his office. Then again, he also has to attend 15 hours of online meetings with clients and collaborators who stay outside the country.
He manages his team, assigns tasks to each and every member, and takes updates about work from each member individually.
He has to audit and make data entry for the everyday performance of his team and submit it to his authorities.
SS’s work hours get extended till midnight almost every day. He does not get any days off from the office. Sometimes he has to work all 7 days a week. Hence SS is left exhausted by the end of each day and each week. He has started smoking and drinking alcohol to let go of his corporate work pressure. Throughout the day, SS uses these specific techniques to help him manage his physical well-being and emotional well-being.
- Having casual and light-hearted talks with his colleagues and team members whenever he gets the opportunity
- Participating in every social activity organized at his office
- Going out on vacation with his team members when the workload is manageable
- SS also has taken membership at the office gymnasium, where he visits every weekend. Engaging in rigorous physical exercises has helped him to vent out the emotional frustration he experiences at work.
Emotional Wellness Activities in Workplaces
In workplaces, practicing the art of emotional wellness is all the more important because of the challenges that corporate workers are facing day in and out. Emotional wellness programs will help the workers, managers, and top employees of the organization handle their stress triggers and overwhelming feelings in a better way.
Moreover, these wellness programs are meant for developing resilience and equipping employees to handle setbacks and disappointments well. They will be able to handle failure and crisis and move on with their lives in a satisfying manner.
Some of the emotional wellness programs that can be used in workplaces are as follows:
Take out time from your busy schedule. Have a carefree discussion with your colleagues. Have a good time with them, like watching films, and sharing funny instances from each other’s lives. Spending such carefree time during some part of the day will help you to deal with your work stress. It will also improve your work efficiency.
2. Breaks when required
Taking necessary breaks from work is highly crucial for any worker. Workplace environments have a competitive and suffocative atmosphere. It is necessary to take a break and go out of work for a while, for example, going out on short trips and vacations. Such breaks will help to restore your physical and mental health and fitness.
3. Meticulous work plans
Some workers feel that their job consumes most of their mental resources and time. Hence they feel that they will not be able to do anything else apart from work. If planned meticulously, it is possible to make yourself productive at your workplace and yet start some other hobbies or interests. This could be something like reading, playing games, cooking, traveling, watching films, engaging in social work, etc.
4. Mental Unwinding
Switching off and on from work and thoughts related to work will help workers to be emotionally healthy. It is very important for workers to understand when to stop thinking about work and when to start again. This detachment is essential. It helps our minds to restore it and function with greater efficiency next time.
5. Discuss your feelings
It is important to discuss your feelings and thoughts with co-workers and counselors present at workplaces. It helps people talk about their emotions and vent out the frustration resulting from work stress. Counseling helps people to deal with and manage their stress at the workplace.
6. Social participation
Participate in social and team activities at your workplace. Feel free to volunteer in social activities in your workplace. It instills team spirit and group cohesiveness. It is also beneficial for emotional health. Workers do not feel pressurized or compete in such activities. A collaborative atmosphere prevails.
Maintaining a Thought Journal or diary for the workplace can also help deal with emotions better. Write down your emotions when you find it difficult to express them. A journal is private. The worker can record whatever he/she is feeling at that moment. Writing in a journal is like talking to someone with no one else around. This helps to prevent the accumulation of your pent-up emotions.
8. Hopelessness is a big no
Do not lose hope after failures at your workplace. Practice uttering “I am worth it” or “I am better than this”. Such positive affirmations will help you get through the bad times.
How Do You Achieve Emotional Wellness? (10 Self-Help Tips)
Here are 10 ways to achieve emotional wellness and improve your overall emotional and physical health –
1. Enhance Emotional awareness
Pay attention to your emotions. Address your emotional needs. If not aware of your emotions, you may continue to engage in behaviors that threaten your emotional well-being. You will begin to learn which situations, people, or thoughts lead to problematic emotions. It can provide you with a greater sense of control and competence in your lives. This boosts your self-confidence and self-esteem.
2. Practise Positive Affirmations
Practice uttering “I am worth it” or “I am better than this” after every achievement and failure you encounter in your life. Such positive affirmations for the self will help you get through tough times in life.
Self-acceptance is the ability to experience your emotions without judging them and accepting them the way they are. Let your emotions be as they are. Allow them to spontaneously dissipate on their own. Try to focus and accept your emotions spontaneously.
4. Share your positive emotions
When something good happens to you, share your emotions with someone with whom you want to share. Share your achievements, promotions, or anything that makes you feel good with people who will value your positive emotions. This enhances your feelings of goodness. Your emotional health will be boosted.
5. Distance yourself from negativity
Learn to distance yourself from negativity. Stay away from people who do not boost your morale or value you. Such negative influences will get you stuck in your negative emotions only. Choose people and the environment around you wisely.
6. Let go of resentments
When people do bad things to us, we inevitably feel resentful and angry. But holding such grudges will do no good for us. It does not even punish the other person. Instead, it makes us feel terrible and worse. So try to let off such resentments. Move on with life. This will help you to boost emotional wellness and restore your functioning capacity.
7. Time Management
Perceived time pressure causes unwanted mental pressure. It negatively impacts your emotional well-being. Progress to goal-directed behavior will get interrupted. This will again add to your frustration. Try to practice effective time management skills. Plan your day-to-day activities accordingly. This will lead to improvement in emotional health.
Relaxation techniques like taking deep breaths, and relaxing muscles can be really helpful for increasing emotional wellness. These can decrease stress and increase our sense of calm. You will have a feeling of getting a sense of control over your emotions.
meditation and mindfulness Yoga is a way to get rid of stress, anxiety, and depression. Yoga can also help you to protect your mind from other mental illnesses. Like relaxation, yoga allows you to achieve a sense of calm amidst the chaos in your external and internal world. Yoga also keeps you physically fit.
Meditating will help you to gain better stability and understanding of your surroundings. Meditation calms the mind by removing all feelings of stress or anxiety. It is highly beneficial for achieving overall functioning both physically and emotionally.
Social-Emotional Wellness – Importance and How to Do It Right
Social emotional wellness is reflected by a person’s ability to recognize the emotions and feelings of others, consider them and show empathy towards others.
Social-emotional wellness is very essential to build and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships
Importance of Social-emotional wellness
The concept of social-emotional wellness comes with plenty of benefits:-
- It helps us to identify, express, and regulate emotions, as well as interpret and understand the emotions of others.
- It helps us to be self-aware of our thoughts, behaviors, values, goals, attitudes, challenges, and mindsets, and understand how these impact behavior and choices.
- It helps in building and maintaining your relationship with others.
- It reduces stress, and physical illness and increases immunity.
- Finally, it helps us to remain optimistic, resilient, and confident in order to persevere through the problems of daily living.
How to do it right?
Here are some ways how you can improve your social and emotional well-being.
1. Develop Coping Skills
Develop coping skills for stress, anxiety, anger, and other negative unpleasant emotions. This can help one to regulate and take charge of their emotions in the long term. Journal or write down your thoughts as you experience them. Once you feel that you can take control over your emotions, it shall build your self-confidence.
2. Show gratitude for what you already have
Showing gratitude positively impacts our overall health and well-being. At the beginning and conclusion of each day, write down at least three things that you are grateful for. Discuss these with people whom you connect with socio-emotionally.
3. Learning to understand what is under your control and what is not
Life is full of surprises and uncertain events. We do not have control over each and everything in our lives. Accept this and focus on what is within your control. This can help you feel safe and centered. Most importantly it can ease the anxieties of the unknown.
4. Self-care practices
Engage in activities that make you feel happy and pampered. Go to some movies; meet friends, visit a salon or spa, or go shopping. Take a relaxing bath with essential oils. Ideas may also include cooking, baking, gardening, or engaging in musical activities. Perform activities that increase your endorphins. Endorphins are one of the feel-good chemicals our bodies produce.
5. Take breaks whenever needed
Taking necessary breaks will help one to calm down and restore your energy and used resources. It also increases your clarity of thinking, making choices, and taking decisions.
6. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about trying to live and focus on the present moment. It encourages us to be mindful of each and every moment of our lives. It helps us to take part in our lives. Your physical and emotional well-being will be benefited in the long run.
7. Socialize a lot
Socialize in your group. Have a heart-to-heart discussion with your group. Spending time with your social support system in this way is one of the key ways to be socio-emotionally well. Such socialization facilitates emotional exchange along with showing empathy towards each other. This is highly beneficial for your physical and mental health.
Summing Up from ‘ThePleasantMind’
Poor emotional wellness has far-reaching repercussions on both our physical and psychological health. People strive to remain physically fit. They should also be aware of their mental fitness.
We should have the ability to feel, understand, and express our emotions. Everyone should be motivated to work towards their emotional wellness. With dedicated attention and care of mental health professionals, the importance of emotional health should be prioritized and realized.
A Psychologist with a master's degree in Psychology, a former school psychologist, and a teacher by profession Chandrani loves to live life simply and happily. She is an avid reader and a keen observer. Writing has always been a passion for her, since her school days. It helps to de-stress and keeps her mentally agile. Pursuing a career in writing was a chance occurrence when she started to pen down her thoughts and experiences for a few childcare and parenting websites. Her lovable niche includes mental health, parenting, childcare, and self-improvement. She is here to share her thoughts and experiences and enrich the lives of few if not many.