What Is Emotional Health?

Kelly Ferguson

The term emotional health can have a variety of definitions, but usually it refers to the level of mental and emotional well-being a person is able to maintain. This can be somewhat synonymous with mental health, meaning that a person is of good emotional health if he or she is generally happy and free of any mental or emotional disorders. Other times, the term is used specifically to describe the ability of a person to correctly express him- or herself through emotions.

Taking a vacation can help improve a person's emotional health.
Taking a vacation can help improve a person's emotional health.

A lack of emotional health can lead to a number of problems, from depression and anxiety to anger problems. A person suffering from depression is constantly plagued by negative emotions and often feels as if positive, enjoyable emotions are either too short-lived or out of reach completely. An anger problem could possibly manifest in a person who feels so unable to express his or her emotions, either through fear or through a lack of emotional knowledge, that he or she feels almost cut off from the rest of the world, as if no one understands or cares to understand. Additionally, a person like this might be more inclined to misinterpret the emotions of others, leading to further problems.

Each individual's emotional health plays a major role in determining the wellbeing of a relationship.
Each individual's emotional health plays a major role in determining the wellbeing of a relationship.

Some psychologists view bad emotional health as a result of society's standards that people must keep emotions largely private. Indeed, most people feel uncomfortable at the thought of sharing any deep emotions with anyone other than the closest of friends and family. In response to this, many people suppress their emotions and ignore them, never acknowledging or dealing with things that may be troubling them. Additionally, because emotions are so rarely talked about, most people have an extremely limited vocabulary of emotions when compared to the vast range of feelings that humans can experience, making it very hard for someone attempting to open up to describe what he or she is feeling to another person.

Relaxing activities such as getting a massage can improve a person's emotional health.
Relaxing activities such as getting a massage can improve a person's emotional health.

Many psychologists who believe that bad emotional health results from ignoring one's own emotions state that doing so can greatly increase the severity of a situation beyond what is healthy or reasonable. For example, a small worry or negative feeling about a relationship left unacknowledged can eventually develop into a severe anxiety problem or deep resentment toward the other person. Often, the person feeling this way has difficulty pinpointing what caused so much negative feeling in the first place because the original thought was suppressed so thoroughly.

Someone with poor emotional health often has a hard time controlling their emotions.
Someone with poor emotional health often has a hard time controlling their emotions.
Poor emotional health can lead to anger problems.
Poor emotional health can lead to anger problems.
Someone who has poor emotional health may react poorly to challenges.
Someone who has poor emotional health may react poorly to challenges.
A lack of emotional health can cause severe anxiety problems.
A lack of emotional health can cause severe anxiety problems.
A lack of emotional health may lead to depression and anxiety.
A lack of emotional health may lead to depression and anxiety.

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Discussion Comments

serenesurface

@donasmrs-- Emotional competence is about being aware of one's emotions, reacting to social circumstances properly and managing emotions like anger and frustration.

You can speak to a therapist if you feel that you have issues regarding these. You can learn to develop your emotional competence for emotional health.

donasmrs

My counselor said that I need to work on my emotional competence. What does this mean? Can anyone give me emotional health tips for better emotional competence?

burcidi

I think that there is an inclination to view emotional health and mental health issues as being something that people can control. It's still taboo to express mental and emotional disorders and people feel ashamed to be suffering from them.

However, as science and medicine develop, we hear more and more about emotional disorders that are hereditary or due to a dysfunction in the brain. Emotional and mental disorders can happen to anyone, regardless of background or life experiences. Stress and abusive relationships are big factors, but they're not the only ones.

I wish people could see emotional health as they see physical health. If we have high blood pressure, we don't blame ourselves for it. We go and get treated. This is how we need to view emotional health as well.

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