Most of us know how to physically take care of ourselves – we eat right, exercise and get enough sleep.
But how many of us know how to take care of our emotional wellbeing?
Just like our physical health, our emotional wellbeing is important to our overall health and wellbeing.
And just like our physical health, there are things we can do to improve our emotional wellbeing.
What is emotional wellbeing?
Simply put, emotional wellbeing is how we feel about ourselves and our lives.
It’s not just about being happy all the time – it’s about feeling good about ourselves, feeling connected to others, and having a sense of purpose in life.
There are lots of things that can affect our emotional wellbeing – from big life events like losing a job or going through a divorce, to everyday stressors like being stuck in traffic or having a disagreement with a friend.
But just because we experience negative emotions doesn’t mean we’re not emotionally wellbeing.
In fact, it’s normal to feel sad, anxious, angry or scared at times.
It’s how we deal with these emotions that matters.
Why is emotional well-being important?
Emotional wellbeing is important because it’s essential to our overall health and wellbeing.
We know that physical health and emotional wellbeing are connected – how we feel emotionally can impact how healthy we are physically, and vice versa.
For example, research has shown that chronic stress can lead to physical health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.
We know that people who are physically healthy are also more likely to have better emotional wellbeing.
What’s the relationship between emotional well-being and health?
There is a strong link between emotional wellbeing and physical health.
As we mentioned before, chronic stress can lead to physical health problems.
But it’s not just about how we handle stress – how we feel about our lives can also impact our physical health.
For example, people who are emotionally wellbeing are more likely to take care of themselves physically.
They’re more likely to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and get enough sleep.
On the other hand, people who are not emotionally wellbeing are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviours like smoking, drinking too much alcohol or using drugs.
Emotional wellbeing is also linked to our immune system.
People who are emotionally wellbeing are more likely to have a stronger immune system, which means they’re less likely to get sick.
So, as you can see, there’s a strong link between emotional wellbeing and physical health.
Taking care of our emotional wellbeing is essential to our overall health and wellbeing.
What is the difference between emotional wellbeing and mental health?
While emotional wellbeing is a part of mental health, they are not the same thing.
Emotional wellbeing is about how we feel on an emotional level. It’s how we cope with day-to-day challenges and manage our emotions.
Mental health, on the other hand, is about our overall mental state. It includes our emotional wellbeing, but also encompasses our cognitive health (how we think and process information) and our social health ( how we interact with others).
Mental health is a broader term that includes emotional, cognitive, and social health.
What are the factors that can influence emotional well-being?
There are lots of factors that can influence our emotional wellbeing.
Some of these factors are within our control, like how we deal with stress or how active we are. Other factors are out of our control, like our genes or our upbringing.
Some of the most important factors that can influence our emotional wellbeing include:
- how well we cope with stress
- how active we are
- our diet and nutrition
- our social connections
- how much sleep we get
- our genetic make-up
What are some signs that you may not be emotionally well?
There are lots of different symptoms of poor emotional wellbeing. Some of these symptoms include feeling:
- sad or down most of the time
- anxious or stressed most of the time
- angry or irritable most of the time
- lonely or isolated from others
- like you have no purpose in life
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to reach out for help. There are lots of resources available to help you improve your emotional wellbeing.
What are some positive emotional well-being examples?
Some examples of positive emotional wellbeing include:
- feeling good about yourself
- having a sense of purpose in life
- feeling connected to others
- being able to cope with stress
- being active and healthy
- getting enough sleep
There are lots of things you can do to improve your emotional wellbeing. Let’s explore these below.
8 practical tips for improving your emotional wellbeing
1. Be self-aware of your emotions.
Pay attention to how you’re feeling and why.
Are you happy, sad, angry, anxious, or something else?
What triggered the emotion?
What is the emotion telling you?
2. Be aware of how your emotions affect others.
When you’re feeling angry, anxious, or sad, it can be difficult to interact with others in a positive way.
Pay attention to your body language and tone of voice.
If you need to, take a step back and take some time to calm down before continuing the conversation.
3. Be assertive.
It’s okay to express how you feel, but do so in a way that is respectful of others.
Avoid aggressive or passive communication styles.
4. Be empathetic.
Try to see things from another person’s perspective.
Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand how they’re feeling.
5. Be responsive.
When you’re feeling emotional, it’s important to take action in a way that is constructive and positive. If you’re feeling angry, channel that energy into something productive, like exercise or writing.
If you’re feeling sad, reach out to a friend or family member for support.
6. Be resilient.
Life is full of ups and downs.
When you’re experiencing tough times, remember that this is just a phase and it will eventually pass. Lean on your support system, practice self-care, and stay positive.
7. Be proactive rather than reactive.
Take the time to think about how you want to handle a situation before it happens.
This will help you to stay calm and collected when things do get emotional.
8. Express your emotions in a healthy way.
Find an outlet for your emotions, whether it’s talking to a friend, writing in a journal, or listening to music.
Improving your emotional intelligence can take time and practice, but it’s worth it.
When you’re able to manage your emotions in a healthy way, you’ll feel better both mentally and physically.
You’ll also find it easier to build meaningful relationships, handle stress, and achieve your goals.
9 Ways to maintain emotional wellbeing
So you’ve improved your emotional wellbeing, how do you maintain it? Here are 9 ways to make sure you keep feeling your best:
1. Make time for yourself
It’s so important to schedule some “me” time into your busy schedule.
Whether it’s taking a yoga class, going for a walk, or reading your favorite book, taking some time for yourself will help you to recharge and feel more balanced.
Make time every day for things that make you happy.
Do something each day that brings you joy.
2. Connect with loved ones
Spending time with loved ones can help reduce stress and promote positive emotions.
Whether it’s catching up with a friend over coffee or spending time with your family, quality time with those you love will help you to feel more connected and supported.
3. Be mindful
Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment and focusing on your breath.
It can help to reduce stress and anxiety and promote calmness and peace.
Seven ways to practice mindfulness:
- Practice deep breathing: Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, filling up your lungs. Hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale slowly through your mouth.
- Focus on your senses: Notice what you can see, feel, smell, taste, and hear.
- Be in the moment: Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
- Let go of perfection: Accept yourself and others just as you are.
- Be kind to yourself: Treat yourself with compassion and understanding.
- Practice gratitude: Express gratitude for the good things in your life.
- Write things down: Use journaling as a way to express your thoughts and feelings.
4. Get moving
Exercise is a great way to release endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.
Even just a moderate amount of exercise can help to improve your mental wellbeing.
So get out there and take a walk, go for a run, or hit the gym!
5. Eat healthy
What we eat can have a big impact on our mood and energy levels.
Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help you to feel your best.
6. Get enough sleep:
Sleep is essential for our physical and mental health.
Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may feel irritable, have difficulty concentrating, and be more prone to accidents.
7. Seek professional help:
If you’re struggling to cope with your emotions, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
A therapist can help you to understand and manage your emotions in a healthy way.
8. Be mindful of your self-talk.
We can be our own worst critics, but it’s important to remember that we’re human and we make mistakes.
Talk to yourself with kindness and compassion, and try to avoid negative self-talk.
9. Check-in with yourself regularly:
How are you feeling today? If you’re not feeling great, what can you do to turn that around?
Emotional intelligence is an important skill to have in life. By being aware of and managing our emotions, we can reduce stress, build better relationships, and lead happier, healthier lives.
So take some time for yourself and start practicing emotional intelligence today!
Having a regular journal process is a great way to monitor your emotional wellbeing.
Check out our journals for mental health blog post to get started.
Final thoughts on emotional wellbeing
Now that you know a bit more about emotional wellbeing, it’s time to start incorporating some of these tips into your own life.
Remember, emotional wellbeing is important for your overall health and happiness.
Don’t feel guilty if you’re not happy all the time – it’s perfectly normal! If you’re struggling to cope with your emotions, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
A good friend or therapist can help you to understand and manage your emotions in a healthy way.
Where To From Here?
Take some time for yourself, be mindful of how you’re feeling, and start practicing emotional intelligence today.
By taking care of your emotional wellbeing, you can lead a happier and healthier life. The people around you will also benefit from your positive attitude and outlook on life.
This article is part of How to be healthy – a guide for busy women.