Emotional Wellness: Definition and Examples
This article is part of the initial introductory texts aimed at familiarizing you with what wellness is and putting pieces together as to what each of the core five dimensions is about, what activities are associated with them, and what you could possibly do to improve the quality of your life in each of those areas.
This piece is dedicated to the inner world of emotions. We tend to pay little if any attention to our reactions to situations in our everyday life and often just go through the experiences without really making sense of them. Living on autopilot is not only not in the direction of evolution and growth but rather the opposite – of the degeneration of who we are.
What is Emotional Wellness
The emotional experiences in answer to everyday changes, challenges, and stress are the topic of the dimension of emotional wellness.
The definition of emotional wellness according to Psychology Today is:
“an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of your emotions, and your ability to manage effectively through challenges and change.”
Focus is on opening your senses and deliberately “listening” to your body sensations. They are like lighthouses in the vast sea of your inner world, navigating you towards your true experiences and reasons behind them.
The more attuned you are with how you feel, the better understanding you get of what you want, what you dislike, or fear, etc. And the better you understand yourself, the more and the deeper you can dig into the motives for those feelings.
This gives you power and control over your responses and reactions to whatever comes your way. And not only that, but it also gives you a stable ground and starting point for working on the given areas to improve them.
Emotional Wellness Activities
Being emotionally well includes various aspects related to the way you react to situations happening in your life. It evolves around generally being resilient to stress, being thankful for the good things in life rather than worrying over the bad ones, focusing less on negative emotions and holding onto positive ones, on what you do have instead of what you lack.
We all experience losses and disappointments in life and there’s no way of skipping that. No formula has been found for being always successful. That’s why to keep our head up high and not get stuck in misery and despair, we need to learn to cope with loss – material and especially emotional. Emotional wellness suggests acquiring healthy ways of dealing with losing loved ones by allowing ourselves to go through all stages of grief, and mourning, accepting, and moving forward in life.
A very important element of being emotionally well is living in the moment. Carpe diem!
In other words – mindfulness is the here-and-now philosophy teaching us to pay attention to the world around us and the current conditions and situations we are in rather than overthinking what has passed or has not yet happened.
Living life in the present tense, not in the past or future.
Emotional wellness is the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses– The National Institute of Health
and adapt to change and difficult times.
How to Improve Emotional Wellness
To set specific and result-oriented goals, first, you need to ask some questions to yourself to identify which areas lack the desired state and need improvement.
- Are you grateful? – Emotionally healthy people experience gratitude for their lives, appreciate what they have, and do not focus on what they don’t. They tend to value more the spiritual aspects of life rather than the material.
- Are you happy with the person you are? – Emotionally healthy people are generally content with themselves. They look for ways to improve physically and psychologically by doing what is beneficial for them rather than complaining.
- Are you open-minded and flexible? – People who are emotionally healthy are not rigid in their outlook on life. They are open to different views and willing to change their opinion should they find enough facts and reasoning for that.
- Do you have a purpose in life? – Emotional wellbeing is a direct result of finding meaning in life. People who have a reason to wake up in the morning, something to pursue during the day that gives them a feeling of satisfaction and keeps them warm at night, tend to be happier overall.
- How well do you handle stress? – Unexpected and not desired events are something we can’t run away from and emotionally stable people tend to be good at navigating through those experiences in constructive ways. They use various techniques for releasing the pressure so they don’t burn out, such as exercise, meditation, relaxation, social support, creative pursuits, etc.
7 Emotional Wellness Goal Examples
Based on the questions from the previous section here are 7 specific approaches towards improving your emotional wellness:
1. Try to be positive
There will always be reasons to feel down, sad, disappointed, frustrated, and hurt. Life is a palette of experiences, but should you manage to focus more on the positive things, you are one step closer to being generally happier.
2. This too shall pass
A direct consequence of the above goal is the attitude you have towards the inevitable negative outcomes in your life. Whatever it is that you’re going through it will eventually be in the past, so the less attention you pay to it now, the better you will feel after all.
3. Accept your mistakes
No one is perfect and everyone has his ups and downs. What is guaranteed in life, besides bad things happening, is bad decision-making. You too will suck sometimes so learn to deal with that and to quickly let it go.
4. Seek balance
Allowing yourself to feel whatever you need to in response to a given situation is just as important as trying not to invest too much into it. Blocking your emotions can backfire with greater power in time, but being emotionally overwhelmed hinders productivity and might even have physical implications as well.
5. Be grateful
Take time to remember all the things in your life that make you happy and be thankful for them. Whenever you feel like you miss something go through what you already have and dwell upon it in detail.
6. Accept support
Social contacts have proven to be an essential element of one’s happiness so don’t underestimate them. If you’re feeling lonely, sad, or angry, pick up the phone and call your family or friends, invite them over or go for a walk. Just spending time together will be enough to make you feel better.
7. Try to live in the moment
It’s a cliche for a reason the saying that all we have is the current moment. What is in the past has passed, and what is in the future has not yet come and might never do. We have no control over the past and the future, we can only change what is happening how.
Emotional wellness is a significant component of living a healthy life. In terms of importance, right next to our physical state is our internal psychological well-being. The way we respond to situations in life, how we experience and handle undesired changes, determine our overall level of happiness and satisfaction.
Emotionally healthy people tend to be content with their lives, have a life purpose, and see the big picture of their path. They seem to achieve that by focusing more on the positive aspects of their lives, be grateful for them, accept and let go of negative experiences, rely on others whilst caring for them as well, and being present in the moment.