Tips for good emotional health

In the 21st Century too many of us take our emotional health for granted. There is a myriad of people and services telling us how to look after our physical health. We are encouraged to take 20 minutes of exercise 3 times a week and 5-a-day in a health sensible diet. Yet there seems little help when it comes to our emotional health.

When we are in good emotional health, we find that we can cope with change and the events that life can throw at us. We have the tools to even out the lumps and bumps of emotion that can make us anxious or depressed. People who are in good emotional health also seem to have better relationships, perhaps because they are more comfortable with who they are.

What steps could you take to ‘exercise’ your emotional health, are there simple things that you can do that will help make you more resilliant to the challenges that life will offer. You may be pleased to learn that there are simple straight forward steps that everyone can take that can make a big difference.

What is emotional health?

Before embarking on this journey to improve our emotional health it is perhaps worth passing and saying what is meant by emotional health. Often emotional health and mental health are used interchangeably. Yet, emotional health is more than mental health, mental health is about many things. One very broad definition might any disease of the mind; or the psychological state of someone who has emotional or behavioural problems serious enough to require intervention. Emotional health, is in part this but it is more than a lack of mental problems

Emotionally healthy people are confident and indeed happy with who they are. They have strong self-worth and self-belief. They value their own opinion of themselves more than the stranger’s viewpoint. Someone who is able to manage their stress well or has a strong sense of commitment to what they stand for might be said to be emotionally healthy. They are also better equipped to deal with changes and upsets in their lives and more ready to accept them.

If you were to break down the key parts of someone who is emotionally healthy amongst the key elements would be a strong support network and a self-knowledge that enables them to keep balance in their lives.

Now having read the description you may feel that this is a description of some sort of super human, but this is not the case. Like everyone else those with good emotional health fail all the time, the difference is better self-belief to let them recover. By practicing getting to know yourself and developing your own support network you can help your emotional health.

Boost your emotional health in 10 simple ways:

Look after your physical health – Make sure you get enough sleep as it helps the mind to rest, eat nutritional meals that provide food for the body.

Exercise regularly – As well as improving our physical health, it has been shown that exercise can help prevent and even cure low levels of depression. You don’t need to join a gym a brisk walk is good enough.

Examine your vices – Cigarettes and alcohol are not helpful in large quantities and attack both your physical health and your emotional state. Illegal drugs do this much more quickly and can do more lasting damage.

Get fresh air and sunlight – Sunlight helps the body regulate itself so getting a dose of natural light helps stimulate the bodies systems. In extreme cases like Seasonal Affective Disorder, it is easy to see the strong like between good emotional health an good quality sunlight. Try new things – new things challenge us and stimulate our cognitive processes.

Volunteer – Besides being a great thing to do, helping someone else gives you the chance to put something back to prove your worth to society and to build your self-esteem.

Take a little me time – Whether its taking a hot bath, meditating or building model aeroplanes, we all need to focus on our own passions sometimes. It helps you to get in contact with yourself and what is important to you. So spend a little caring on yourself

Get creative – By unleashing our creative sides we nourish the emotional side of the brain, it allows us to learn how to innovate and look at problems from a completely different angle.

Spend time with people who are a positive influence on your life. People you admire or enjoy the company of perhaps you are inspired by them or admire a character trait. Perhaps you just have a great time in their company and it makes you feel good about yourself.

Switch off the telly or the computer. Technology has its place but it is our tool to switch off. If you want to be good at communication you need to get out and meet people. Facebook, Skype and all of these other media only tell half the story, most communication is done by non-verbal means, so get out there and practice.

By following these simple steps you should start to see a difference in your emotional health. If you still feel that things are not improving then perhaps it is time to seek professional help from a counsellor or your GP.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Glasgow, G46
Written by Graeme Orr, MBACP(Accred) Counsellor
Glasgow, G46

I am an Accredited Member of BACP offering counselling in person (southside of Glasgow) and on-line (UK wide) for individuals. It can be a daunting prospect to choose a counsellor just when we are at our most vulnerable, I hope that what you read here resonates with you.  We all struggle with d...

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