If somebody asked you if you are healthy, where do your thoughts go to evaluate your answer? For most of us, we think of our physical well-being. Are you eating nutritiously and exercising regularly? Could you be doing a better job spending less time in front of the television? Yet that is only one part of the picture of your overall health.
Many of us spare little time or thought for our spiritual and emotional health. This pertains to the ability to recognize and manage your emotions, both negative and positive. People with good emotional health have developed strategies to deal with their daily emotions or even larger emotions for traumatic events, such as losing a job or the death of a loved one.
A healthy emotional life (and physical life!) goes hand in hand with growing your spiritual life as well. Whether you are religious or not, the spiritual aspect of your being is the nexus of your mental, emotional, and physical health. It is the foundation and expression of your being. It holds the purpose for your life and your core values. Maintaining your spiritual life is a vital – and often overlooked – aspect of your overall health and well-being. Spiritual practices anchor all other health initiatives. Click here to develop consistency with your spiritual practices.
Those with good emotional health share some characteristics.
• You will have strong coping skills and use various techniques to deal with your emotions. These may include meditation, spending time with friends, or the capacity to accept that some things are out of your control.
• You are able to handle new and/or negative emotions, you will understand your feelings and adapt to them, and have resilience despite being uncomfortable. You will also be able to manage your stress positively.
• You have healthy coping mechanisms for stress may include the obvious, such as good nutrition, getting enough sleep, therapy, or exercise - but also may look like using your PTO at work, volunteering for a cause that brings you joy, and the so important spiritual practice of exercising forgiveness.
• Your response to criticism or feedback will also depend on how well you can handle your emotions. When you have healthy emotional responses, you will thrive and be successful because it increases your self-awareness, resiliency, and self-control. Feeling in control also positively impacts your self-confidence and overall sense of well-being.
Emotional health is so important because it affects every part of your life. Learning how to properly manage emotions and reactions greatly impacts the interactions you have with other people. It also affects the way you read and interpret others during an interaction.
Unfortunately, most people usually do not realize that they might be struggling with this until it’s already happening. There are a few warning signs which could indicate unhealthy emotional health maintenance.
• Often feeling anxious or irritated
• A noticeable increase in conflicts with those around you
• Regularly feeling drained or burned out
• Low energy
• Eating too much or not enough
• Sleeping too much or not enough
• Decreased self-esteem or confidence
• Decreased work performance
• Lower standards for health and hygiene
• Isolating from friends and family
• Increase in substance use
• Even physical manifestations such as increased blood pressure or palpitations
If you find that you identify with many of the items on this list, don’t worry! You are not alone and there are many ways to regain positive emotional health.
As with most things, emotional health is a work in progress and our handle on it will fluctuate over time. Being mindful and willing to develop new strategies is the best thing you can do to develop good emotional health. Throughout life, you should try to keep balance and strengthen your emotional skills to help your feel happy and fulfilled. Remember that we are ever-changing beings, ebbing and flowing with the rhythms of life.
And remember - tending to your spiritual health supports all aspects of your health. A healthy and vital spiritual life multiplies your efforts in physical and emotional health and well-being.
Must be Logged In to leave comments.
Hi, my name is Melissa Ebken, and I'm so glad you found your way here.
I am at home in the difficult spaces of peoples’ lives, willing to listen and to support those who work to grow themselves. I am a trained coach and have consulted with churches in conflict. Not your stereotypical minister, I embrace the Gospel with joy and laughter as I seek to help those around me grow in faith and understanding, always striving to leave people better than they came. An agent of wholeness, I create a safe space for people, especially those who have been marginalized, where they can understand how ridiculously loved and valued they are by God/Higher Power/Spirit, and to experience the difference that makes in life.
I started the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast to share the stories of people who have faced life's most difficult challenges, to inspire you to lean into and overcome your own. It's helpful to know that you're not alone in your struggles and to see how others have navigated similar circumstances. You can listen to it here.
Here's what I can do for and with you.