The World Health Organization defines mental health as "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Emotional health is typically defined as "the degree to which you feel emotionally secure and relaxed in everyday life; the positive management and expression of your emotional actions and reactions void of any unhealthy stress or depression". Emotionally healthy people are usually content, have high self esteem, demonstrate the ability to adapt to change, and have the ability to cope with stress and problems.
You are considered emotionally healthy when you are able to:
1) recognize in yourself the areas that have both a positive & negative emotional effect on your life
2) respond with the appropriate emotions to life events & not remain "stuck" in any one emotion (i.e. obsessive fear, guilt, shame, etc).
Similar to physical health, our mental and emotional health must be proactively attended to. If you make a point to work-out several times a week in hopes of maintaining optimal physical fitness, then you should also make it a point to “work-out” your mind in similar fashion. After all, what good is a sound body without a sound mind?
Here are 3 steps you can take now to strengthen and protect your emotional health:
- Get Organized: Keep track of daily responsibilities, projects and deadlines by making a list of what's urgent. Decide what matters most and what can wait. Use a schedule planner to plan your day or week. Just seeing on paper that there is time to get each task done can help you get to work. Break a large project into small steps, and set a deadline for each one.
- Learn to say "no": Don't overcommit yourself at work, in your relationships, to friends, or to family. If you take on too much, you're creating stress. Do one thing at a time. In some cases you can do two things at a time, but if you start to feel stressed, go back to doing one thing at a time.
- Ask for help: It's not always important to have all the control. Seek help from your significant other, friends, family, co-workers, etc. before life becomes overwhelming. Practice positive thinking when faced with life’s challenges and seek the assistance of a trained mental health professional when your feel the need more targeted support.
Working with a trained psychotherapist is akin to working out with the personal trainer at your gym. Via one on one support, therapy can help you notice irrational thoughts about yourself and stop the thoughts. Therapy can help you learn how to replace negative thoughts with more positive thoughts and teach you how to relax your mind and body. When you are ready to commit to your mental and emotional health with the same vigor you have committed to your physical fitness, Brooklyn Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC offers professional counseling and life coaching services designed to help guide you down the path towards a stronger mentality. Don’t wait another minute. Contact us today!