Good health starts from the mind. As cliché as this sounds, your mind and emotional state can have a profound effect on your physical body, your spiritual experience, and your over-all quality of life. People experience a variety of emotions that either have a positive or negative effect within the body. These emotions may include: happiness, sadness, anger, excitement, depression etc.
Feelings and thoughts are associated with specific parts of the body and may be linked to different illnesses or ailments. Those who have good emotional health are often mindful of their thoughts and feelings and have cultivated habits and ways of coping with stressors they experience daily in their lives. Chemicals released within the body cause individuals to experience a variety of emotions. For example, when serotonin is released in the body, a happy feeling is experienced.
Similarly, emotions can cause the body to experience physical reactions. For example, if an individual feels nervous or anxious, the feeling may be observed in their stomach which is commonly described as “butterflies”. Even if an individual has developed these coping mechanisms, some life event (positive and negative) can disrupt an individual’s emotional health and their ability to deal with stress. The death of a loved one, the loss of a job, and money problems may cause an individual to experience strong feelings of sadness, stress, and anxiety.
The body responds to thoughts and feelings and as a result of poor emotional health, it may bring about a variety of physical signs and symptoms such as: Weight gain or loss, back pain, chest pain, headache, sweating, insomnia, constipation, lack of appetite, voracious eating, and extreme general fatigue. These are enhancing factors of poor emotional health and can make individuals more prone to diseases and illnesses. The reason is that, they will be less likely to eat healthy meals, exercise or take their prescribed medication. They may also be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol which worsens their state of mind and subsequently, their physical health. On the other hand, good emotional health can broaden the perspective of an individual and build resilience to negative emotional experiences over time. According to research, a good emotional state of being has benefits for both physical and mental health which includes: better sleep, fewer illnesses, faster recovery from stress, and an overall better sense of happiness.
Tips on how to improve and maintain good emotional health. Here are a few tips on how to improve and maintain good emotional health:
• Learn to identify your emotional triggers. The emotional health of a person can be improved by the person learning to identify what triggers his /her emotional responses. The moment these triggers are spot on, the easier it becomes to control and manage the emotional health successfully.
• Take out time to relax. It is very important take out time to relax and free your mind from the very numerous worries and hustles of this world. Go on vacations, go to the movies or a soothing musical concert, go to the spa for a massage, take yoga classes e.t.c. Basically, make sure you relax.
• Focus on positive experiences. Focusing exclusively on problems at work, school, or home can cause an individual to overemphasize negative feelings more often. There is actually no way to completely avoid negative feelings; however, they can be managed and properly addressed. It is important to focus on positive experiences and feelings when negative feelings begin to get in the way. Identify hobbies and activities that you enjoy and would distract you from stressors.
• Express emotions appropriately. There are times when your emotions may go beyond control. In such cases, find ways to express those emotions rather than bottling them up and allowing them eat deep within, because the truth is that those stacked up emotions will eventually affect your physical health. Discuss your feelings with a loved one, or seeking counsel from a good counsellor. Ensure to find an outlet for those negative emotions as it will improve your ability to deal with stressors and boost a good mood.
• Cultivate healthy habits. The human mind and body are connected and the condition of either will affect the other. Eating healthy meals, getting enough rest/sleep and exercising regularly can improve one’s emotional health and subsequently one’s physical health. Healthy habits can help expel toxic emotions that may be detrimental to our overall health. Ensure to avoid using drugs and alcohol as shortcuts or coping mechanisms, as these only worsens the overall wellbeing.