Let’s Talk About Emotional Wellness

Sometimes I feel like my emotions are all over the place. How about you? It’s not unusual for us to have times when our emotions get the best of us, but when they start to control us, it may be time to take a look at our emotional wellness.

So…What is Emotional Wellness? 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Emotional wellness is “coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships.” (1) The National Institutes of Health adds that it’s “the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times.” (2) The University Of California, Riverside defines it as “the ability to be aware of and accept our feelings, rather than deny them, have an optimistic approach to life, and enjoy life despite its occasional disappointments and frustrations.” (3)

Emotional wellness isn’t just some level we obtain and then never have to worry about again. It’s a continuing process of checking in with ourselves, making sure we’re where we need to be, and if not, determining what needs to be done to get us there.

Here are some questions we can ask ourselves to help us determine how we’re doing with our Emotional Wellness:

  • Am I able to maintain a balance between work, family, friends, and other obligations?
  • Do I have close relationships with people who are a positive influence in my life?
  • Do I have a stress reduction “toolkit” – things that help me deal with stress? (For some stress reduction suggestions, check out 10 Tips For Managing Stress.
  • Am I able to accept responsibility for my actions?
  • Am I able to set priorities?
  • Is stress affecting my attitude, relationships, or health?

Checking in and asking these questions from time to time can help us know if we’re where we want to be with our Emotional Wellness.

Sometimes it just needs a little tweaking for us to be where we need to be.

Strategies for Improving Emotional Health

If that’s the case, the National Institutes Of Health has a great Emotional Wellness Toolkit. This includes 6 Strategies for improving Emotional Health:

  • Brighten your outlook.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Get quality sleep.
  • Cope with loss.
  • Strengthen social connections.
  • Be mindful. (2)

For each of these strategies, they provide printable checklists  with suggestions for how we can improve in each area. If our Emotional Wellness just needs some small adjustments, this is an extremely helpful tool to help us get where we want to be.

Pasadena Villa Psychiatric Treatment Network gives these tips for improving our emotional wellness:

  • Identify and build personal strengths.
  • Realistically see the positive in all situations – good or bad.
  • Develop the resiliency to learn and overcome challenging situations.
  • See the good in yourself.
  • Create coping skills to help with mental health issues and stress.
  • Live your life with a sense of purpose.

There are other times, however, when we experience emotional distress. In these cases, we need to ask for help from certified professionals. It’s important that we know the difference between normal “bumps in the road” with our Emotional Wellness and when we need to ask for help.

One way of determining this is looking for signs of emotional distress.

Signs of Emotional Distress

Here are some of the signs the Joint Services Support website lists as signs of emotional distress:

  • Inability to eat, sleep, or concentrate
  • Negative outlook or depression
  • Hypersensitivity to perceived threats, unexplained suspicion or fear
  • Irritability, inability to control anger
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Fearfulness, nervousness, or anxiety
  • Feeling emotionally numb or detached

If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these signs of emotional distress, please reach out for help. You never have to suffer alone.

We live in such a fast-paced world that it’s easy for our Emotional dimension of wellness to suffer. By checking in with ourselves from time to time and taking steps to make sure we’re doing well with this dimension, we can catch any problems early and hopefully, nip them in the bud.

Do you ever do an Emotional Wellness check-in with yourself? What do you find most helpful for keeping you emotionally well? Please share!

Blessings,

~Terri

Sources:

(1) https://www.samhsa.gov

(2) https://www.nih.gov/health-information/emotional-wellness-toolkit

(3) https://wellness.ucr.edu (Link has since been removed)

(4) https://www.jointservicessupport.org/PHP/Emotional.aspx (This is the link I initially used to find the information above, but it now shows it’s not private, so I removed the link. It’s a military link, so they may have just changed their certificate, but better safe than sorry).

(5) https://www.pasadenavilla.com/2019/07/22/mental-v-emotional-health-related/

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12 comments

  1. Now this was a really good post Terri. I think that emotional wellness is something that I often try to strive for but have a hard time doing it. Sometimes work bleeds into family life and trouble starts to happen. Been trying to work on it and have gotten some good headway but it still needs to be improved upon. Thanks for some of the the tips.

    1. Thank you so much Mark! Finding that work/life balance can be so hard sometimes, can’t it? I think you should give yourself credit for realizing it’s something you need to be aware of and for actively working on it. Hope you’re staying safe and well dear friend! Blessings to you!

  2. I think you’ve made such an important point with recognising the signs of distress. I can almost see it as a set of scales, with wellness and tools on the one end, and distress on the other. The tips you shared from the Pasadena Villa Psychiatric Treatment Network are good – I know I’d like to work on the last one, the point of living with a sense of purpose. I imagine that eludes many people, and not just in terms of the search for the meaning of life, but in the more real, here-and-now search for our meaning, for our purpose to get up every day, for our purpose for living and the longer-term goals we keep living for. That’s a rocky area for me that needs working on. You always make such helpful posts, Terri. Very nicely done so thank you for sharing!

    Caz xx

    1. Thank you so much Caz! Your ‘scales’ analogy is brilliant! I was really happy when I found the PVPT Network site. They had some good information on there. I think having a sense of purpose is huge for our overall wellness. As you said, “not just in terms of the search for the meaning of life, but in the more real, here-and-now search for our meaning, for our purpose to get up every day, for our purpose for living and the longer-term goals we keep living for.” Finding that sense of OUR purpose can keep us going when we’d rather just give up. I’m sorry to hear that it’s a rocky area for you, especially since I so clearly see at least part of your purpose over and over – you are an encourager through and through. That may not seem to be a big thing for you since it seems to come naturally, but to those of us who benefit from knowing you, it’s HUGE. Thank you for sharing your wonderful self with us!

  3. This is an excellent post with equally excellent resources. I often think those emotions creep up on us, without us actually noticing until we’re at a stage where we’re suffering more. The last few months were causing some issues for me but thankfully I realised and took a step back and gave myself some breathing space.

    What you’ve said here is just so important – “By checking in with ourselves from time to time and taking steps to make sure we’re doing well with this dimension, we can catch any problems early and hopefully, nip them in the bud.”

    1. Thank you so much Liz! I completely agree with you that these emotions can creep up on us without us noticing. I’ve learned that for me, if I start wanting to sleep more, it usually means I’m starting to feel depressed, even if I don’t realize I’m feeling that way at first. I’m glad you were able to recognize you were having an issue and give yourself some breathing space. I hope you’re doing better now, and staying well. Blessings to you sweet friend!

  4. I think that emotional health is the least explored subject yet energy is everything. How you feel means alot. This is such a nice post for anyone looking to have a sheer insight on emotional health. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! I agree that we don’t always spend enough time/energy on our emotional wellness. I think that’s starting to change now that people are starting to realize just how much our emotional health can affect other areas of our wellness. Thanks for reading and for following. I look forward to getting to know you!

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