Emotional health and well-being is an important aspect of everyone’s life. People who are in control of their feelings, have a positive self-image and can handle life’s challenges are more likely to lead a happy and fulfilling life. Having good emotional health is also often a contributing factor to success in work, relationships and health.
This section includes information about what characteristics makes an emotionally healthy person, as well as risk factors that can compromise emotional health.
Nurturing and developing the emotional health of children is extremely important, and is heavily influenced by the connection they have with influential adults in their lives. Our resources can provide parents and adults in child-related employment with guidelines to encourage the social and emotional health of the children around them.
Regular exercise, strong support networks and stress management techniques are all proven ways to improve emotional health. See our Tips section for an overview of healthy habits and strategies that can help you foster a sense of emotional well-being.
People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They are able to handle life’s challenges, build strong relationships and recover from setbacks. They also possess the following positive characteristics:
Just as it requires effort to build and maintain physical health, the same is required to achieve good emotional health. Improving your emotional health can be a rewarding experience, benefiting all aspects of your life including boosting your mood, building resilience, and adding to your overall enjoyment of life. See our Tips to Improve Emotional Health section to learn how.
Genetic and biological factors play a role in emotional wellbeing, however your mental and emotional health has been and will continue to be shaped by your attitude and experiences. The risk factors below can foster poor emotional health and lead to conditions such as stress, depression or anxiety.
Although these factors can influence your emotional health, the good news is that it’s never too late to make changes that will improve your psychological wellbeing. Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology and Director of the Positive Psychology Center , theorises that while 60% of happiness is determined by our genetics and environment, the remaining 40% is up to us. This means that certain attitudes and habits, such as practicing gratitude, being resilient and building strong relationships, can improve your emotional health.
Being emotionally healthy doesn’t mean never going through tough times or experiencing emotional problems. We all go through disappointments, loss and change. The difference is that people with good emotional health have resilience – the ability to bounce back from adversity, trauma and stress.
According to Psych Central , resilience, not happiness, is the opposite of depression. People who are happy and emotionally healthy have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook.
Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary, and is a quality that people commonly demonstrate. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.
The American Psychological Association reveals that the primary factor in resilience is having caring and supportive relationships either within or outside the family. Trusted people you can turn to for encouragement and support helps boost your resilience in tough times.
Other factors that are associated with resilience include having confidence in your strengths and abilities, and the ability to manage and express your emotions appropriately. Resilience also involves the capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out.
All of these are factors that people can develop in themselves. While building and developing resilience is a personal journey, some strategies in our Tips to Improve Emotional Health section can help.
Difficulties managing negative emotions, such as anxiety, are among the most common emotional and mental health issues that affect children and young people. In the short term, this can cause children to underperform at school, have fewer friends and miss out on activities that other children enjoy. In the long term, children who have difficulty with their emotions can find it hard to transition to employment and independent living, and are also more likely to develop mental health problems throughout their lives.
It is important to remember that kids learn by imitating. Most often, they will follow your lead in how they deal with anger, solve problems, and work through difficult feelings. Effective communication is the key to a healthy connection between you and your children. However, parenting is hard work and maintaining a good connection can be challenging, especially since parents are often dealing with many other pressures. Being available for your children, letting them know you’re listening and responding to them in a way they will hear are very important aspects of strengthening communication with your children.
If you are a parent or are engaged in child-related employment, these resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics can help you promote emotional health among the children in your life.
Everyone is different so not all of the below tips will be equally beneficial to all people. Some people feel better taking time out and relaxing, while others prefer more excitement or stimulation to lift their moods. The important thing is to find activities that you enjoy and that give you a boost. These strategies can help improve your emotional health: