Well-being is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and the ability to manage stress. More generally, well-being is just feeling well.
While Emotional health is an important part of overall health. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They’re able to cope with life’s challenges. They can keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks. They feel good about themselves and have good relations.
Being emotionally healthy doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time. It means you’re aware of your emotions. You can deal with them, whether they’re positive or negative. Emotionally healthy people still feel stress, anger, and sadness. But they know how to manage their negative feelings. They can tell when a problem is more than they can handle on their own. They also know when to seek help from their doctor. Research shows that emotional health is a skill.
Can You Actually Improve Your Well-Being?
Increasing your well-being is simple; there are tons of skills you can build. But increasing your well-being is not always easy: Figuring out what parts of well-being are most important for you and figuring out how, exactly, to build well-being skills usually require some extra help.
How Long Does It Take to Improve Well-Being?
Usually, when people start consistently using science-based techniques for enhancing well-being, they begin to feel better pretty quickly. In the studies I’ve conducted and read, most people show significant improvements within five weeks.
Where Does Well-Being Come From?
Well-being emerges from your thoughts, actions, and experiences — most of which you have control over. For example, when we think positively, we tend to have greater emotional well-being. When we pursue meaningful relationships, we tend to have better social well-being. And when we lose our job — or just hate it — we tend to have lower workplace well-being. These examples start to reveal how broad well-being is, and how many different types of well-being there are.
Emotional health allows you to work productively and cope with the stresses of everyday life. It can help you realize your full potential. It helps you work with other people and contribute to society.
There are many ways to improve or maintain good emotional health.
Be aware of your emotions and reactions. Notice what in your life makes you sad, frustrated, or angry. Try to address or change those things.
Express your feelings in appropriate ways. Let people close to you know when something is bothering you. Keeping feelings of sadness or anger inside adds to stress. It can cause problems in your relationships and at work or school.
Think before you act. Give yourself time to think and be calm before you say or do something you might regret.
Manage stress. Learn relaxation methods to cope with stress. These could include deep breathing, meditation, and exercise.
Strive for balance. Find a healthy balance between work and play, and between activity and rest. Make time for things you enjoy. Focus on positive things in your life.
Take care of your physical health. Exercise regularly, eat healthy meals and get enough sleep. Don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. Keep your physical health from affecting your emotional health.
Connect with others. Make a lunch date, join a group, and say hi to strangers. We need positive connections with other people.
Find purpose and meaning. Figure out what’s important to you in life, and focus on that. This could be your work, your family, volunteering, caregiving, or something else. Spend your time doing what feels meaningful to you.
Stay positive. Focus on the good things in your life. Forgive yourself for making mistakes and forgive others. Spend time with healthy, positive people.
5 Major Types of Well-Being:
Emotional Well-Being. The ability to practice stress-management techniques, be resilient and generate the emotions that lead to good feelings.
Physical Well-Being. The ability to improve the functioning of your body through healthy eating and good exercise habits.
Social Well-Being. The ability to communicate, develop meaningful relationships with others, and maintain a support network that helps you overcome loneliness.
Workplace Well-Being. The ability to pursue your interests, values, and purpose in order to gain meaning, happiness, and enrichment professionally.
Societal Well-Being. The ability to actively participate in a thriving community, culture, and environment.
To build your overall well-being, you have to make sure all of these types are functioning to an extent.
To develop emotional well-being, we need to build emotional skills — skills like positive thinking, emotion regulation, and mindfulness, for example. Often, we need to build a variety of these skills to cope with the wide variety of situations we encounter in our lives. When we have built these emotional well-being skills, we can better cope with stress, handle our emotions in the face of challenges, and quickly recover from disappointments. As a result, we can enjoy our lives a bit more, be happier, and pursue our goals a bit more effectively.
Things to consider
People who have good emotional health can still have emotional problems or mental illness. Mental illness often has a physical cause. This could be from a chemical imbalance in the brain. Stress and problems with family, work, or school can trigger mental illness or make it worse.
Counseling, support groups, and medicines can help people who have emotional problems or mental illness. If you have an ongoing emotional problem, talk to your doctor. He or she can help you find the right type of treatment.
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