Our desire to be healthy people is multifaceted. To achieve optimal wellness, we must not only obtain one form of health but also consider the other eight dimensions of wellness, including emotional wellness.
As you might imagine, our happiness and mental health are linked closely to being emotionally well. While it garners far less attention than some other dimensions, like physical wellness, it is essential for our health.
Today, we explore the meaning of emotional wellness and its role in our well-being.
Emotional wellness involves psychological care. The NationalCenter for Emotional Wellness defines it as “refers to an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of our feelings, and our ability to manage effectively through challenges and change.” This is a part of being emotionally well, including experiencing a range of human emotions, finding a positive outlook, and emotionally overcoming challenges.
People with good emotional wellness are not always feeling content and happy. They still feel unpleasant emotions, like stress and frustration, but they can recognize these emotions and reconcile them. Emotionally-stabled people can still function daily despite having negative sentiments.
To truly understand emotional wellness, we must understand what emotions are. The American Psychological Association defines emotion as “a complex reaction pattern, involving experiential, behavioral, and physiological elements, by which individual attempts to deal with a personally significant matter or event.”
Emotional wellness is a crucial component of our overall health. A paper from the BMJ discussed how important emotional well-being is for our health and how it is tied to other facets of overall wellness¹. The article states that “research shows that emotional distress creates susceptibility to physical illness.” Additionally, they found that emotional wellness facilitates recovery and protects us from premature mortality.
Cultivating emotional wellness is essential for finding happiness and success. We will all face hardships and challenges. Those that are emotionally healthy have the ability to deal with these challenges, including stress, relationships, responsibilities, upsetting events, and unanticipated situations.
Life is not always easy, but that is not what emotional health is about. Emotional wellness does not mean you are perfect - free from negative thoughts and problems with friends and family. Instead, it means you have the ability to cope with all of life’s uncertainties.
Emotional wellness is critical for relationships. We need emotional balance to help us effectively interact with the people we meet in our everyday lives. These relationships are vital to cultivate a strong support network.
We cannot correctly navigate relationships if we are not emotionally well ourselves. Weak emotional health strains relationships with family and friends because we cannot correctly handle the everyday ups and downs of social interactions.
One of the most important ways your emotional wellness affects you is through your physical health. These two dimensions of wellness are profoundly connected. A study found that emotional valence reduced the occurrence of illness because the mind and body interact so closely².
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, “poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical conditions.”³ The connection between our mental health and overall wellness is compelling, which is part of the essential reasons why you must strive to maintain your emotional wellness.
It can be challenging to remember, but emotional wellness is not the absence of unwelcome feelings. On the contrary, the key is to understand and manage your thoughts and cope with roller-coaster emotions.
The key to emotional wellness is choosing how to respond and overcome mistakes. It is understanding your feelings and choosing to live your life in a way that is best for you.
Cultivating emotional wellness is an ongoing process that requires dedication. The route to mental wellness is a winding one, filled with many distractions and challenges. Ultimately, achieving emotional wellness will allow you to experience life in an entirely different way and quickly rebound from life's speedbumps.
There are many ways to enhance your emotional wellness and move toward a healthier life overall. Emotional well-being is just as important as the other 7 dimensions of wellness, and it is something you should incorporate into your everyday life.
(1) Stewart-Brown, S (December 1998) Emotional wellbeing and its relation to health. Physical disease may well result from emotional distress
(2) Lee YS; Jung WM; Jang H; Kim S; Chung SY; Chae Y (February 2017) The dynamic relationship between emotional and physical states: an observational study of personal health records
(3) Canadian Mental Health Association. Connection Between Mental and Physical Health
(4) Weir, K (December 2011) The exercise effect
(5) Welch, A (April 2019) How Meditation Can Improve Your Mental Health
(6) Wong, YJ; Owen, J; Gabana, N; Brown, J; McInnis, S; Toth, P; Gilman, L (May 2016) Does gratitude writing improve the mental health of psychotherapy clients? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial
Written by BioNeurix Editorial Team
Originally published 10/01/2020
Last updated 4/27/2021