“I’m alone, but I’m not lonely. I like who I am. I like who I’m becoming.”—Deena Kastor
Today, because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the digital mental health market is exploding.
Stress and anxiety have accelerated the demand for virtual behavioral health services.
According to the European Connected Health Alliance, more than 380,000 health apps are available through Apple and Android operating systems, and around 20,000 of them address mental health.
But what about emotional health?
Emotional Health Vs. Mental Health
In researching this topic, I did not find apps specifically to help with emotional health.
I believe this is because mental health and emotional health are two terms often used interchangeably.
But while deeply intertwined, mental health and emotional health are not the same things.
Emotional health has to do with your thoughts and feelings—and get the best of you.
On the other hand, mental health impacts our ability to process information and what’s going on around us.
For instance, our emotional health enables us to express our dissatisfaction if a situation makes us upset or angry. But our mental health affects how we understand what’s going on and process the problem.
In other words, I was thinking vs. expressing.
Some say that mental health is hardware, meaning how well our mind processes and understands information and experiences; our ability to carefully reason through decisions and remain focused and steady.
Whereas emotional health is the software, meaning our ability to manage and express emotions that arise and deal with life’s challenges.
Emotional Health Matters
When we cope with life relationships, we must balance our thoughts and emotions.
Though caring for our mental health (being productive at work, setting goals, contributing to society, etc.) is essential, too, our emotional awareness and health (behaviors, feelings, and thoughts).
Thus, if you are struggling with life’s stresses and the ability to adapt to life’s changes and handle difficult times—unable to manage the ups and downs of day-to-day life—you are not emotionally healthy.
And you need to take action now!
Here are eight helpful tips to improve your emotional health:
Tip #1. Practice daily self-care
- Drink cold water (8 glasses a day)
- Exercise (walk 15 minutes outside, if possible)
- Eat healthy meals
- Practice gratitude
- Manage stress (practice yoga)
Tip #2. Talk about your feelings
- Feel good about who you are
- Be positive
- Tell someone if you feel anxious
- Write positive affirmations down and repeat them to yourself
- Ask for help; accept support
- Say “no” when you need to
Tip #3. Have a sense of purpose
Having a driving force or something to inspire you keeps you going:
- Commit more time to your children
- Take up a hobby
- Get a new job
Tip #4. Get quality sleep
To have good health, it has been said that “sleep is to a man what winding up is to a clock.” In sleep, you:
- Get a break from the many tensions of the day
- Get rest from such burdens as loneliness and poor health
- Relieve feelings of guilt, depression, anxiety, or worry
Tip #5. Learn to manage your time to reduce stress
Time management means the conscious control of time spent on specific activities. The benefits: more productivity and less stress.
Check out the Harvard Business Review for tips on ways to improve your time management and feel like you’ve accomplished what’s needed.
Tip #6. Connect with others
Scientists are finding that social connections will help you live longer because of the effects on emotional and physical health. Ideas:
- Deepen relationships (with the kids, friends, family)
- Take a class
- Accept invitations
- Join at least three groups (online or in-person)
Tip #7. Be Mindful
“Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally, to things as they are.”—Zindel Segal
- Slow down
- Breathe deeply
- Focus on the moment
- Spend time in nature
- Keep a daily journal
- Forgive yourself, repeatedly
Tip #8. See a therapist
If you aren’t able to deal with your feelings adequately, and your loved ones aren’t helping you to do so, then, by all means, see a therapist. They can help you identify areas of your emotional health where you want to improve and help you come up with a plan.
Seeking professional help is a way to practice proper self-care.
Emotional health is equally important to physical health.
In this article, you have discovered eight tips to put you on the path to improved emotional health.
If you feel like you don’t have control of your thoughts and emotions, then
make self-care a priority.
Start by caring for your core needs: explore ways to reduce stress, get adequate sleep, connect with others, meditate, stay positive, call a friend.
Believe it or not, you can choose how to feel.
Emotional and physical health are two sides of the same coin. There is a strong connection between the mind and body.
Emotional instability will affect your work and your family.
Please, do not take your emotional health for granted.
But if you’re struggling to keep it together and need help, then it’s time to contact a therapist, which is the most self-loving choice you can make.
“When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us, so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves.”—Jess C. Scott