How do you achieve good emotional health?
How would you describe good emotional health? Most people would find that their definitions included things like control of thoughts and feelings; many would cite the environment in which they live, relationships, work and children as factors in maintaining their health; more still might see it as a balance in life.
Emotional health is important because it insulates us from the peaks and troughs of life. It offers us resilience in the face of things that upset us or drag our lives down. Yet it is much more than avoiding depression or other mental illness; it is about getting the most out of life, feeling free to enjoy your life and having enough confidence and self-belief to try new things or enjoy those things that make you feel good. So, how do you go about having good emotional health?
Many studies have now shown a strong link between emotional and physical health. A first and important step toward good emotional health is to look after you. You don’t need to join a gym, but try to get the recommended activity built into your life. Try to get the sleep that your body needs to refresh itself. While everybody enjoys a good feast from time to time, try to make your diet nutritional and healthy.
A big part of emotional health is finding time for you, giving yourself permission to do things for yourself; perhaps have a relaxing bath or visit the theatre, or even hit a punch bag down at the tae Kwando club. The point is, you should engage in something that makes you feel good about yourself and offers you space to organise your thoughts and feelings.
Relationships are a big factor in how we feel. So, if your relationship is causing you problems, perhaps it is something that you have to tackle for your own health. There are many articles here and elsewhere about relationships; perhaps a counsellor is the option that you feel you need. Communication and trusting your partner is the key to making your relationship better.
Inevitably there are things that can do a great deal of damage to your emotional health, and you want to be wary of any times that you find yourself using drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. In the same way that good physical health can make you mentally better, so too can poor physical health have a negative effect; so if you are ill you need to take more care of yourself.
Good emotional health is as important as good physical health and we can all have it by taking the time and effort to improve them. It’s never too late to start making a difference.
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