16 Feb Mental Health vs Emotional Health
The best mental health and addiction treatment facilities understand the difference between mental and emotional health. Think of mental health like a vast ocean. Within that vast ocean are waves. Emotional health is like the waves. Mental health is more about absorbing all the data you encounter on a daily basis, but emotional health involves the feelings that result from the absorbed data. When it comes to mental health vs emotional health, there is a relationship between them, but the two are also markedly different. Part of treating addiction involves resolving mental and emotional health problems as well. At New Method Wellness, we understand the difference and how to manage both.
What Is Emotional Health?
Emotional health involves being aware of your emotions, accepting your emotions, expressing your emotions and managing them appropriately. Having a healthy emotional state is a combination of emotional intelligence and regulation. How do you process appropriately the incoming data of daily life? The way you process it and the level of your emotional health are also related to your mental health.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health might be looked at like the hardware of your brain function versus emotional health, which is more like the software. A healthy mental state helps you make decisions, interact easily with others and manage stress. If you have mental health problems, they can sometimes stem from your family history, traumatic experiences and brain chemistry. If you struggle with addiction, it can have a negative impact on your mental health.
Mental Health vs Emotional Health
You can also think of mental health vs emotional health as thinking vs expressing. A mentally healthy person will have different thought patterns versus people who are not mentally healthy. Similarly, emotionally healthy people will express their emotions differently from those who are not emotionally healthy. In other words, if you have depressive or anxious thoughts, then your cognitive ability will be limited. Limited cognitive ability means that you’ll have trouble processing situations and interactions, which can then lead to inappropriate emotional reactions. In order to appropriately express emotions, you need to have correctly processed and accurate information. Mastering the ability to do this is a big marker for a mentally healthy person.
Why Healthy Mental Function Is Important
A healthy mental function can improve many areas of your life, including the following:
• More productivity at work, school or daily life
• Better ability to set goals and follow-through
• Healthier relationships
• More motivation to contribute to society
• Being able to easily handle challenges
• Improved ability to adapt to change
• Succeeding at tasks
Mental disorders have become increasingly common. Nearly 20% of American adults have some type of mental illness. Mental illness negatively affects emotional health as well. This negativity can seep into all areas of your life and impact your energy, motivation, sleeping habits, mood and much more.
Symptoms of Bad Mental Health
If left untreated, negative mental health can lead to other problems, including physical symptoms. Some examples of the impact of bad mental health are as follows:
• Physical aches or pains with no obvious cause
• Mood swings
• Substance abuse
• Relationship conflicts
• Chronic anxiety
• Pervasive negative emotions like fear, hopelessness and anger
• Difficulty doing basic life functions
• Thinking about death or suicide
Why Healthy Emotional Function Is Important
Emotional health is a positive state of being that allows you to function and react in an appropriate manner to the situations and challenges of your life. Emotional health is an extension of your mental health status. It enables you to do the following:
• Manage and express your emotions
• Feel healthy and satisfied
• Appreciate aesthetic concepts like art and beauty
• Have a fully functional “inner” self
Nothing in the above list is automatic or guaranteed. Even if you have good mental health, it doesn’t mean that your emotional health is on the same page. Having an emotionally healthy status requires work and self-care. You need to learn how to refine your feelings, thoughts and behaviors. A healthy emotional state will allow you to regulate your feelings, avoid self-judgment, form healthy connections and stay curious, creative and positive about life.
Awareness of Mental Health vs Emotional Health
The key term to keep in mind when thinking about your emotional health is self-awareness. By being aware of your evolving emotions, you can more easily regulate and manage them. If you don’t have self-awareness, then it’s easy to get trapped in a reaction cycle. When you have self-awareness through a healthy emotional state, you’ll respond to situations in a more aware and measured way. However, don’t conflate suppressing your emotions with good emotional health. You’re not supposed to be unfeeling, which can be very dysfunctional in its own way.
Instead, your goal with mental health vs emotional health is to be aware of what you’re feeling so that you can more easily manage it. Awareness of emotions positively impacts your mental health. On the other hand, the inability to control your emotions negatively impacts your mental state. Similarly, a bad mental state can cause out of control emotions.
What Is An Emotionally Healthy Person?
Emotionally healthy people practice self-care. They typically do not have any problems discussing their emotions, and they regularly seek to help other people and connect with them. They feel a sense of purpose and are ready to face challenges. If you’re having issues with a bad emotional state, then you might experience some of the following symptoms:
• Chest pain
• Not eating enough or binge eating
• Feeling tired constantly
• Sexual problems
• Profuse sweating
• High blood pressure
These are just the physical signs of negative emotions. You may experience mental issues as well, including symptoms of anxiety and depression.
How To Care For Yourself Mentally and Emotionally
Many people tend towards being quiet and anxious when they’re suffering from mental or emotional issues. However, other people will find themselves thinking dark thoughts and developing dark moods. These people may also isolate themselves, which can make it harder for them to get help. Some best practices when it comes to cultivating a healthy mental state include the following:
• Keeping a gratitude journal
• Taking good care of your body
• Cultivating a healthy support system
The last one is perhaps the most important. Humans are social by nature. Isolating when you’re struggling mentally or emotionally is a good way to make things more difficult. Instead, find people that you can reach out to for support. Listen to their experiences and be willing to share your feelings and emotions with them.
New Method Wellness is a dual diagnosis treatment center with programs for addiction and mental health. To learn more about Mental Health vs Emotional Health and how it can impact your dual diagnosis treatment, get in touch with our helpful staff today.