What does it mean to be emotionally well?
Before we reflect on your emotional wellness, let’s first explore exactly what the term means.
Does it mean you walk around all day, every day with a huge smile on your face and a spring in your step?
Not necessarily. While emotional wellness can lead to happiness, it is not happiness.
We are all human. Life is going to bring us both ups and downs. How you handle these problems, changes and challenges determines your emotional health. It’s also about seeing all the positives in your life, even when life is throwing obstacles in your way.
Being emotionally well means you take care of yourself, make time to relax, consciously reduce stress when you can, and build resilience. It means you are able to be mindful of your emotions and understand how to handle them, even when it means just accepting them.
You approach problems with grace and embrace the parts of your life you love. This awareness and acceptance will help you to lead a happier life.
Are you emotionally well? Reflect on these questions to see if you are creating a mindset that will carry you through life with a sense of well-being:
How do you treat other people? Do you have positive relationships with others?
Emotionally well people are sensitive and compassionate to the needs of others. They treat people with kindness and think it’s important to help others. Being able to communicate and empathize with others is a characteristic of emotional health. This social component is also important for building a network of support to help with difficult times.
Are you grateful?
Emotionally healthy people feel gratitude and appreciation for all the good things in their lives. Instead of grumbling about what they lack, they purposefully count their blessings. Studies show being grateful improves not just emotional health but improves sleep and relationships with others as well.
Are you happy with who you are?
Feeling content with life and who you are signs of emotional health. We all have strengths, weaknesses and quirks. Own all of these and show others your authentic self. When you are genuine about who you are, you can happily live the life you want without the stress of trying to be something else.
Are you open-minded and flexible?
Being adaptable and resilient are other markers of emotional wellness. It means not being emotionally attached to a specific outcome or particular way of doing things. It also means being able to recognize and express emotions when things don’t go as planned. Emotionally healthy people approach life with an openness and sense of curiosity. They also don’t take themselves too seriously which prevents emotional overwhelm.
Do you have purpose?
People who feel connected to themselves, others, and the bigger world tend to have emotional balance in their lives. Appreciating the bigger picture, having a network of support, and trusting your decisions creates perseverance when life gets tough. Using your strengths and passion to help something you believe in also creates purpose. As an added bonus, volunteering is associated with having a longer life.
Do you have ways to manage your stress?
No one can isolate their emotional health from their physical health. Taking care of your physical self by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep are also indicators of emotional health. This includes mitigating emotional stress by creating space to relax and unwind. Finding an activity like mediation, creating art, or caring for a pet that brings calm to your life will boost your emotional well-being.
Keep in mind emotional wellness is not a finish line. You don’t wake up one day, determine yourself emotionally well and you’re done. It is an on-going process that is continually evolving.
On the bright side, these skills can be fostered and built at any stage in life.
Hone your awareness to bring more positivity, gratitude, acceptance, flexibility, and purpose to your life to reap the rewards of emotional wellness.