- Mental Health
Emotional health - Tips for improving your emotional health
What is emotional health or mental health?
Emotional health mental health refers to overall emotional well being. It is not the mere absence of mental illness, but the ability to make good adjustment within self, with others and with the environment around. Emotional health means that the individual is in of control his/her thoughts, feelings and behavior. To explain it further, the individual is able to manage himself?herself and relationships with others a fair degree of balance. It is freedom from stress, the ability to be happy or feel good about oneself and being well-adjusted with the environment.
Emotional health is equally important as physical heath. In fact, physical health is always affected by a person’s emotional health. Individual’s today spend a considerable amount of time improving their physical fitness, but there is hardly any time or effort spent on an equally important part of their lives –emotional health. We are leading very busy, stressed-out lives- balancing deadlines at work, life on the home front, travel, pursuing hobbies or sports, social relationship- the list is never ending.
The ill effects of ignoring your emotional health
Neglecting emotional health shows up in the inability to balance or cope with some or all areas of our lives. Heart attacks are a direct result of the emotional stress we face. Depression, anxiety attacks, violence and bullying in schools, eating disorder are just a few symptoms of the malaise this society faces because we have not given enough importance to our emotional health.
The World Health Organization has identified three important dimensions of healthy living: physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions. If one needs to be healthy mentally and emotionally one needs to be balanced in all the three areas of health, namely physical health, emotional health and spiritual health.
How important is emotional intelligence for emotional health?
David Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence, says that emotional intelligence is a more accurate predictor of one’s ability to succeed. Studies show that intelligence accounts for only 20 percent of our success. The rest is determined by emotional and social intelligence. This makes it absolutely essential for individuals to ensure their emotional well being to succeed in life. Goleman also points out that it is not only important to be intelligent, but we need to be emotionally intelligent.
Why is it so? A person could be greatly intelligent and innovative, but if he /she is unable to deal with the business associates, well, they could blow it all up. Intelligence is something that we are born with. We cannot do much about it, emotional intelligence on the other hand develops through experience. This can be achieved by anyone who puts their mind to it. This is ‘another way of being smart’ says Goleman.
Why do we need to control our thoughts, feelings or emotions and behavior?
Just as the body needs to get rid of toxins in it to function normally and effectively, so also the mind needs to get rid of toxins to function effectively. Toxins like anger, hostility, hate, guilt, shame, fear, selfishness, skepticism, cynicism etc have to be dealt with rightly. These emotions are baggage from the past and interfere with the way one reacts to the present. These color present decisions and cause one to take wrong or rash decisions that affect self and the others whom it concerns. Detox your mind today.
set the stage for emotion, emotions underline behavior, behavior becomes
habits and habits form character or disposition. Thoughts have immense power
and if they are controlled and directed well, we can achieve whatever we want
and overcome negative feelings and behavior.
How to control thoughts and program your mind set your vision / personal
goals and achieve them has been dealt with at length in a different section.(Please
follow links to each of these for further reading.) When we take control over our thought life, the root cause of emotional stress, our emotions,our attitudes also change.
We need to be in control over ourselves not only for our sakes, but also because emotions are contagious, majority of us live with family members, work in teams and negative emotions are as contagious as positive ones. We influence others through our emotions and behaviour.
How to improve your emotional Health and reduce stress?
Emotions are a product of how we think; if we allow our mind to be filled with negative thoughts our emotions will not be much different. We need to develop the habit of positive thinking, using power affirmations or positive affirmations to balance negative emotions and achieve a good degree of self control. This helps one develop self belief and avoid stress that arises from self doubt and low self confidence.
Banish fear; fear is the greatest deterrent to success. Fear is an immobilizing emotion and causes one to think and act irrationally. How to banish fear is dealt with in ‘Over come fear of failure and take control over your life.’ Banishing fears from our life enables us to think clearly and take the right decisions.
Communicate with purpose, clarity and be open to questions. Learning to listen to others with empathy and the ability to pick up emotional cues from others would by itself keep away many problems.
We also need to know our strengths and weaknesses, focus on the strengths and work on weaknesses. Acquire skills or knowledge or work habits to fill up the lacunae. Reflective learning or learning from past experiences will help you function effectively. When we act on these lines we develop a tremendous amount of self confidence.
Keep stress away. Proper planning and execution of tasks enable us to keep stress away. Planning here would include prioritization, breaking goals into smaller achievable units and working on them on at the required level of importance.
Keeping up promises and commitments are a must to enjoy good emotional health. It builds confidence not only internally, but also enables others to trust us.
Pick out your battles; it is not necessary to fight every battle. I am talking about ego tussles here, if we fight with people every time we feel hurt or ticked off by them, our energies will be scattered and our action will go in other directions except in that of our goals. We need to fight only what is needed to achieve our goals. When we master the art of picking out our battles we reduce our stress levels further.
Tips to reduce stress and increase your ability to bounce back or emotional resilience
Emotional health also includes the ability to adapt and grow, so openness to feedback is very important to learning continuously. Overcoming any habits that may be detrimental to self development and social development is a must.
The resilience or the ability to springing right back to normal functioning in the face of adverse circumstances is an important constituent of emotional health.
Admit your mistakes, unless one learns to admit their own mistakes it will be impossible for that individual to learn and grow.
Being assertive and able to say no, firmly and politely is an art that is much needed to maintain emotional health.
The other component to emotional health is staying positive or having a positive attitude and finding creative avenues to express oneself and leading a fulfilling life.