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What is Emotional Health?

Emotional health affects our thoughts and feelings. It encompasses our overall sense of well-being, our ability to regulate and acknowledge our own emotions, and our resilience in the face of adversity.

Contrary to popular belief, taking care of your emotional health doesn’t mean you’ll feel happy all the time. Instead, emotional health means being in control of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When you’re emotionally healthy, you’re able to cope with life’s challenges and bounce back from setbacks. People with good emotional health still experience anger, sadness, and stress, but they know how to manage these negative feelings with coping strategies that build resilience.

Emotional health is a skill, and practicing healthy coping mechanisms can help you achieve emotional wellness. Whether you’re navigating mental health issues or looking to improve your relationships, here’s how to take better care of your emotional health.

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Acknowledge your emotions and reactions.

One of the essential prerequisites to emotional wellness is emotional awareness. When you’re emotionally aware, you can recognize emotions in yourself and others. For example, you might feel stressed before an important test, and you might start procrastinating your study sessions. At first, you’re probably not aware that you’re procrastinating because you’re stressed. Then, you might begin to notice that a few hours have passed—and you might also realize that you’re stressed.

If you’re just getting started on your journey to emotional health, take a few minutes each day to write down how you feel and why. The more specific you are in identifying your feelings and acknowledging those reactions, the more accurate you can identify your emotional needs. Even if you’re experiencing positive emotions, like happiness, it helps to identify those emotions so you can start living a happier, more fulfilling life.

Find appropriate ways to express your feelings.

Finding healthy, appropriate ways to express your feelings is associated with countless mental health benefits—from better emotional regulation to increased psychological resilience. Even though it’s easy to see why healthy emotional expression is important, finding ways to express your feelings isn’t always as straightforward.

Some tips for healthy emotional expression include the following:

  • Practice positive self-talk. We all have an inner critic—and sometimes, it can be hard to ignore your self-criticism. If you’re dealing with a negative internal dialogue, identify ways to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones. Psychotherapy, mindfulness practices, and journaling can help you clear your mind and pinpoint irrational thoughts.
  • Cut out the distractions. Whether you’re scrolling through Instagram for hours, tuning out with video games, or binge-watching Netflix shows, distractions can hold your attention hostage. Try replacing screen time with more meaningful hobbies or sports.
  • Express your emotions through art. Art therapy is commonly used by mental health professionals to treat mental health issues like trauma, addiction, anxiety, and depression. Try writing, painting, or sculpting to bring your feelings and emotions to life.

Take care of your physical health.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Physical health problems can increase your risk of experiencing emotional and mental health problems—and vice versa.

In other words, your body reacts to the way you think and feel. Poor emotional health can weaken your body’s immune system, leaving you vulnerable to physical illness. It’s essential to nurture both your physical and emotional health for a healthy body and a healthy mind. Make sure you’re engaging in regular physical activity, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep. In addition, avoid turning to drugs, alcohol, or other substances to manage negative feelings.

Reach out for help if you need it.

If you find yourself bottling up your emotions, it’s time to let those feelings out in a healthy way. Emotional wellness can make all the difference in your relationships and quality of life. It can also help you cultivate compassion, recognize bad habits, and set healthy boundaries.

If you’re unsure where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional mental health care. Therapy sessions can help you differentiate between rational and irrational thoughts, find healthy coping strategies to manage negative emotions, and navigate any mental health issues that might be impacting your emotional health. Psychotherapy can help you find solutions, self-awareness, and personal growth to live an emotionally healthy life.

To find a mental health professional, reach out to a therapist through WithTherapy. We’ll connect you to a licensed therapist you feel comfortable with based on your personal preferences and requirements. One of the experienced therapists on the WithTherapy platform will help you find healthy, productive ways to cope with the stresses of everyday life and strengthen your emotional health.

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