What is Mental and Emotional Health? How to Enhance them, Risk Factors

People who have a strong emotional health are often in control of their behavior and emotions. They handle their challenges, recover easily and build strong relationships.

What is Mental and Emotional Health?

Mental and emotional health refers to the overall psychological health of a person. It involves the way a person feels about himself or herself and the quality of relationship that he or she maintains with others. This also involves the ability of a person to handle the feelings and deal with the issues that are upcoming.

What is Mental and Emotional Health

Having a good mental health does not mean that a person is free from mental issues. Being mentally and emotionally healthy means being away from problems like anxiety, depression or other psychological issues. Other than the absence of all the mental issues, being mentally and emotionally healthy also means having a positive state of mind. Likewise, feeling good is not the same as not feeling bad at all. While some people may not experience negative thoughts, they still need to do certain things that tend to make them positive. Individuals with good mental and emotional healthy have:

  • A feeling of satisfaction
  • A passion for living life with fun and laughter at all times.
  • The ability to deal with all the stress and bounce back from the diverse thoughts.
  • A sense of maintaining purpose or meaning in relationships as well as other activities.
  • The flexibility to learn and a deal with new things.
  • To maintain the balance between new things and adapt to various changes as well.
  • Maintaining the balance between rest, work, play and other activities.
  • The ability to maintain strong relationships.
  • High self-respect and confidence.

When one has a positive mental and emotional health, the person learns to participate in life to a complete extent. These positive things also help one in facing all the challenges in life.

The Significance of Adaptability or Resilience in Mental and Emotional Health

Adaptability or resilience plays an important role in good mental and emotional health. Being healthy on a mental and emotional basis does not mean that you are never going to face any bad times or experience emotional imbalances. We all go through changes, loss and disappointments. While these are all normal parts of life, they can lead to stress, sadness and anxiety.

People with a sound mental and emotional health have the ability to regain strength by bouncing back from stress and trauma. This is known as resilience. Such people have the tools for handling most difficult situations and have a positive outlook towards life. They stay focused, creative and flexible even in bad times.

One of the primary factors in resilience is the skill to balance the emotions and stress. The strength to know your emotions and express in them in the right way will save you from being stuck in depression, anxiety or other negative states. The key is to have a strong support system, so that you are constantly encouraged to carry out your daily chores. This will help in boosting your resilience in tougher times as well.

Connection of Physical Health with Mental and Emotional Health

The primary step that has to be taken to balance the mental and emotional health is to take care of your physical body. Your body and mind are completely linked and when you have a better physical health, your mind will stay calm as well. In other words, exercise will not only grant physical well-being but also boost mental health. The activities in which you engage and the choices that you make in the daily life lay an impact on your emotional as well as physical health.

  • Get plenty of rest. It is necessary to care for your health in order to have a better mental and emotional health. Some may need seven to eight hours of rest to function in an active manner throughout the day.
  • Know about the nutrition and follow it daily. Following the right nutritious diet is not easy and you must learn to use it well so that your mood elevates as well as your energy is boosted in the right manner.
  • Exercise regularly to relieve the stress and boost your mood. Exercise is a powerful stress buster and it can also help in getting rid of anxiety as well as depression. The more you learn about nutritious eating, the more you will feel better. Try to follow an exercise routine for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Expose to sunlight every single day. Sunlight helps in lifting your mood, so expose yourself to sunlight for 15 minutes on a daily basis. You can do this while gardening, exercising or socializing.
  • Limit alcohol consumption, cigarettes and drugs. These stimulants may grant temporary relief from stress, but they may have negative consequences in the end.

How to Enhance Your Mental and Emotional Health?

Enhancing your mental and emotional health is crucial in order to live a complete life. In order to strengthen and maintain your mental as well as emotional health, it is important to concentrate on your own feelings and needs. Never let negative emotions build up or be stressed. Try to develop a balance between your responsibilities and things you love doing. If you care for yourself, you will be in a position to deal with various challenges ahead in life. This way, you will also be prepared to tackle all the problems when they arise.

Taking care involves undertaking activities that release endorphins naturally and make you feel good. Apart from regular exercising, endorphins are released when you:

  1. Do things in a positive way that impacts others. Being useful to others can help in building the self-confidence.
  2. Practice self-control. When you have control on yourself, it leads to hopefulness and can help you in overcoming negative thoughts and despair.
  3. Learn to find out about new things. Join a book club, take an education class for adults, learn a new language or visit a museum and travel to someplace new.
  4. Enjoy the beauty that the nature unfolds. Taking a simple stroll through the garden can reduce stress and lower the blood pressure as well. You can also visit an art gallery, sit on a beach or go for hiking.
  5. Learn stress management. Stress can have a direct impact on emotional as well as mental health, so keeping it under control can be beneficial. You cannot avoid all stressors but managing them by using various strategies can help you in maintaining the balance.
  6. Stop worrying. Avoid being mentally absorbed in negative thoughts and engage in other mental habits. It can drain the energy completely and can trigger the anxious feelings, depression or fear.
  7. Choose to stay calm and soothe your senses. This can help you in keeping energized, and you can appeal the sense of sound, sight, smell, touch and taste. Listen to your favorite music or place fragrant flowers that can calm your senses completely.
  8. Get a dog. It is true that caring for pets is a responsibility, but you will feel loved as well as needed. Pets can give you unconditional love and they may also help you in getting out of the house.
  9. Choose to make leisure your priority. Do certain things that make you feel good. Read a good book, invest your time in talking to a friend, go for a walk on the beach, listen to your favorite song. Play is necessary for balancing the emotional and mental health.
  10. Make some time for appreciation and contemplation. Think about all those things for which you are grateful. Pray, meditate, enjoy the sunset and stay positive throughout the day.

Each person is different. Some may feel better by calming down while others may need activity or excitement for feeling better. The task is to find something that you love doing and something that will keep you in a balanced state throughout the day.

The Basis of Good Mental and Emotional Health is Supportive Relationships

No matter the quantity of time you dedicate to your mental and emotional health is maximum, you may still need a person’s company to feel better. The basis of good mental and emotional health is supportive relationships. Humans are such beings who need to maintain a mental and emotional health with others to have a strong connection. We are not meant to survive alone or live in isolation. We may always need a companion even if situations in the past have made us distrustful or feel shy of others.

You can reduce the stress when you speak about it to someone else. The key is to maintain strong relationships with a good listener and who will listen to all your agendas without judging anything. Try to develop a relationship with someone whom you can trust and speak about intimate things as well.

Risk Factors for Mental and Emotional Health Problems

Your emotional and mental health has always been shaped by the experiences, which will continue to be like that. Biological and genetic factors also play a vital role and even they can be changed by various experiences. The risk factors that can compromise mental and emotional health:

  • Reduced attachment or connection to your caretaker in earlier life. Feeling unsafe, isolated, confused, abused and lonely as a young child.
  • Serious losses or trauma in early life. Various traumatic events and death of a parent.
  • Adopt helplessness. When you are stuck with negative experiences, you may often feel helpless and have a little control over life situations.
  • A chronic illness that may disable you from others or feeling of isolation.
  • Side effect of drugs or medications, especially in adults who may be subjected to various medications.
  • Substance abuse. Drug and alcohol abuse can cause mental health issues, which can worsen emotional problems.

Whatever may be the cause of problems in mental and emotional health, you can still make changes in your psychological health. You can adopt certain strategies to manage with the stress and gain emotional balance in the future.

Seeking Professional Help for Mental and Emotional Health Problems

If you have been making efforts to improve your mental and emotional health and are not feeling any better, then it is better to rely on a professional. As we are often attuned socially, help from a caring and knowledgeable professional may be of great help rather than doing things on your own.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 22, 2019

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