Emotional wellness focuses on the ability to understand and accept feelings, as well as coping with stress. It enables people to form symbiotic relationships and build resiliency. People with higher levels of emotional wellness are more able to deal with difficult emotions and find meaning in their experiences. This can help prevent relapse and encourage recovery in individuals who have used substances as a way to cope with negative emotions.
Emotionally healthy people have a more positive outlook and see life as an adventure rather than a struggle. They are able to take pleasure in simple things like spending time with friends, eating a good meal or taking a walk in nature. They can also recognize their own strengths and are grateful for what they have in their lives. They don’t judge themselves or others and are able to forgive themselves when they make mistakes. They can also manage their own stress and find ways to cope with it through activities they enjoy, such as meditation, exercise or mindfulness.
A person’s level of emotional wellness is directly tied to their physical health. When a person is struggling with negative emotions, they are more likely to develop other health problems, such as heart disease or cancer. This can occur even if the negative emotions are not caused by the illness itself. This is because unhealthy coping behaviors, such as smoking or drinking, can contribute to these conditions.
Some things that can affect a person’s emotional wellness include their job, social connections, family and school stressors, sleep quality, nutrition, physical activity, mental health conditions and the ability to seek help when needed. People who are unable to cope with their emotions may become depressed or anxious and are at increased risk for suicide. Others can turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to mask the symptoms of depression or anxiety, leading to substance abuse and addiction.
If a person is suffering from poor emotional wellness, they can learn strategies to improve their well-being through counseling or other self-help resources. It’s important to find a support network and surround yourself with positive, supportive people. It’s also essential to find a balance between work and play, as well as finding a purpose in your life. This could mean volunteering, pursuing a hobby or exploring your beliefs about the world and spirituality.
NIH’s resources about emotional wellness can help people make healthy choices that support their overall health and wellbeing. They can start by setting aside time to do things they enjoy, avoiding drugs or alcohol and practicing healthy coping skills. They can try exercising regularly to reduce stress, set priorities and learn to say no to new tasks when they’re overwhelmed. They can practice mindfulness and meditation, like yoga or tai chi, to increase their awareness of the moment. They can also make a habit of taking note of what they have accomplished at the end of each day and be grateful for what they have instead of dwelling on their negative emotions.