Updated: May 2, 2022
According to the National Center for Emotional Wellness, “emotional wellness refers to an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of our feelings, and our ability to manage effectively through challenges and change.” Understanding and managing our emotions are vital to supporting our mental health and wellness.
You may be surprised to learn that the U.S. spends more to treat mental disorders than any other medical condition. Negative thoughts, unhealthy thinking patterns, and poor communication skills can increase stress, anxiety, and depression.
Pathfinders Pastoral Care Ministries is committed to fostering emotional wellness by providing information, guidance, practical strategies, support to help individuals prioritize their mental health. In this article, we share the importance of emotional wellness and how it impacts our lives.
Understanding Emotional Wellness
While no one person is credited with the idea of emotional wellness, the belief that a person can’t lead a healthy and fulfilling life if they are emotionally unwell has grown over recent decades.
Our emotional health is just as important as our physical health. Just like we need to exercise and eat right, we also need to learn how to address and express our feelings in healthy ways.
One fundamental component of emotional wellness is resilience, or the ability to navigate challenging life events. Resilience impacts how you face challenges and how you think about the challenges you face. Being resilient doesn’t mean you don’t care or that things don’t bother you; it means you have developed the skillset to accept a challenge and find a way to successfully move forward.
How Our Emotions Impact Our Lives
The state of emotional wellness impacts our relationships, whether they are personal or professional. For example, when you’re passed up for a promotion at work:
Do you feel motivated to work harder, or do you feel resentful?
Are you optimistic that another opportunity will come along when the time is right, or do you feel an overwhelming sense of failure?
While it’s natural to feel disappointed when this occurs, it shouldn’t negatively impact how you move forward. Our emotional wellness allows us to focus on the positive and manage the negative feelings we may have in a given situation, which can help us create and maintain healthier relationships.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” - Philippians 4:8
Our Physical Health
While our emotions impact our mental health, research has also found that increased negative emotions can affect the physical health of our bodies. For example, feelings of stress can weaken the immune system and increase our risk of developing high blood pressure.
Focusing on Your Emotional Wellness
While every person is different, some signs that you need to prioritize your emotional wellness could include:
You are isolating yourself from others
You have lower energy levels than usual
You are sleeping too much or too little
You are eating too much or too little
You are increasing your reliance on substances such as alcohol
You are experiencing feelings of irritability, hopelessness, or worthlessness
You don't have to handle negative emotions on your own. Reaching out for professional support can help you learn strategies and techniques to manage these feelings.
Pathfinders Pastoral Care Ministries aims to help individuals understand their emotions, uncover their spiritual genetics through Temperament Therapy, and identify healthy strategies to meet their needs and manage their emotions.