By Juanne Osigweh, MD
Only 14% of the people living in the United States report being ‘very happy.’ With consistent financial worries, that percentage has dropped down from a mere 17% a couple of years prior.
“Why are people so unhappy?” you might ask.
Well, many people cited issues like financial trouble, emotional turmoil, family problems, and work stress. Beyond these, there are many different factors that have been affecting the American people.
Unfortunately, because of the constant stress and worry, many people living in the United States of America have poor emotional health. Odds are that you have poor emotional health, too.
The great news is that this doesn’t have to be the case. You can improve your emotional wellness and master your emotional wellbeing so that you don’t have to be so upset all the time.
To learn about emotional health and how to tap into yours, keep reading. We have everything you need to know to start feeling better today.
What Is Emotional Health?
Emotional health isn’t easy to define. However, to put it simply, emotional health refers to someone’s ability to manage their emotions through different scenarios.
Those who are in poor emotional health refuse their emotions or completely ignore them. In response to both good and bad situations, these individuals tend to overreact or underreact.
The trend here is that individuals in poor emotional health tend to show too much or too little emotion.
The problem with these defining terms is that they make emotional health difficult to define. In fact, emotional health may look different for each individual.
Your state of emotional health will not look the same as your friend’s state of emotional health. When evaluating your emotional health, this may make it difficult to know where to draw the line between stable and unstable.
If you’re wondering whether or not you’d classify as an emotionally stable or an emotionally unstable individual, keep reading.
Also, before we continue, we should note that emotional health is constantly fluctuating. Some days, your emotional health will be worse than others.
This is why you need days for relaxation and pause sometimes. Your emotional health can’t constantly be good.
That being said, having poor emotional health right now does not doom you to that fate for life. You can still evolve, grow, and learn.
What Are Traits of Emotionally Stable People?
To become more emotionally stable, you need to understand what it means to be emotionally stable. To do this, you need to look at the habits of people who are emotionally stable.
As we said, emotional stability fluctuates. However, there are some daily practices that you can do to keep yourself more emotionally stable overall. Plus, you can also use these techniques to get control of your emotions if you do lose control of them (which inevitably happens to everyone every once in a while).
To accept and control your emotions, you need to be aware of them. Without emotional awareness, you won’t be able to understand where your emotions are coming from and how to keep them under control.
On this note, we should explain what we mean by “controlling” your feelings. This does not mean to hide all of your feelings. In fact, that is extremely unhealthy.
Rather, we mean that you should be keeping your feelings in check. To do this, you should be able to express repressed feelings and hold back overt ones. There’s a healthy balance.
And, as we said before, the balance is different for everyone. You have to find the balance that’s right for you.
Calling Out Self-Judgments
Judging yourself will only hurt you more. Nothing good comes from calling yourself a “loser” or other negative words. You have to use uplifting language if you want to be uplifted.
If you were coaching someone calling them a “loser,” I’m sure they’d give up, too.
Just as you’d help a child or a friend, use gentle language. Be understanding when things don’t go the way that you want them to go.
Say things like “whoops” and “uh oh.” It may come off as childish, but that’s better than locking yourself in a bathroom or banging your head against the wall.
Call out yourself whenever you use negative language. Once you begin to recognize it, you can control it. Once you begin to control it, you can improve your emotional health.
Curiosity about ourselves is healthy. Exploring why we do some things and don’t do others is healthy.
A healthy sense of curiosity about our emotions can help us control them. You may ask yourself why you react a certain way when something happens or why you choose not to react at all in other situations.
Whatever you want to know, you should remain curious. Keep learning about yourself and your triggers.
Better yet, learn why you do things and how to change those habits. Maybe you can’t handle pressure because you were bullied in school. Maybe you don’t like being called ‘stupid’ because you failed out of college.
Whatever your triggers are, find the roots. Understand the root of why you behave the way you do.
With this understanding, you can control your emotions more than ever. Plus, you can heal from past experiences that may have been traumatizing.
Why Is Emotional Health Important?
As we cover emotional health and what it means to be emotionally healthy, you may be wondering why emotional health is even important. Obviously, any kind of improved health is good, but why should you spend your time on your emotions?
Well, it’s simple. We guess that you’re reading this post because you want to improve your emotional health. There’s somewhere inside of you that’s screaming for help.
It’s natural for anyone and everyone to want to improve their emotional health, even if they are already emotionally healthy overall. We are all always looking for places to improve.
Plus, for those of us who have extremely toxic emotions, improving our emotional health can help us mend friendships and come out of the darkness that we feel we’re being trapped in.
Improved emotional health will give you more energy. Happy people are naturally more energized.
Having a positive outlook on life and its circumstances makes everything seem a little less gloomy.
Improving your emotional health can also help you focus and think more clearly. You won’t be as distracted by depressing thoughts or anxious tendencies.
If you struggle with depression, you likely struggle with sleeping too much. This is because gloom and sadness make our bodies tired. Once we’re cozied up and in a safe place, we could sleep the day away.
It makes sense that the opposite would energize you. If you’re excited about the day, it’s no wonder why you’d hop right out of bed.
For those of you who struggle with low self-esteem, consider working on your emotional health. That’s right. Improving your emotional health improves your self-esteem.
Having a more positive outlook on the world can help you have a more positive outlook on yourself. You tend to be gentler with yourself when you’re happier overall.
This is not to mention that your thoughts, feelings, and experiences all influence the way that you think about yourself. If you’re having bad thoughts, feelings, and experiences, you’re likely to have bad things to say about yourself. On the other end, if you’re having good thoughts, feelings, and experiences, you’re likely to have good things to say about yourself.
Having balanced emotional health can help you find the good in yourself even on bad days.
Having more balanced emotions can help you deal with stress in a healthier way. One of the defining points of emotional health speaks to the fact that having good emotional health comes with being able to share emotions in the worst of times.
This means that you’ll be able to control your emotions in even the most stressful of times.
In addition to this, good emotional health can help you avoid physical illness. In fact, researchers have shown that emotional distress can harm your immune system. This can make you more susceptible to getting sick.
Better emotional health also helps by allowing you to form better relationships. Notice how we phrased that. Read it again.
Having better emotional health allows you to form better relationships. You’re not going to magically have better relationships just because you’re thinking more positively than you did yesterday.
You have to work at forming better relationships using everything that you’ve learned about good emotional health and better emotional control. Having these skills will help you pick better friends and assist you in keeping the good ones that you have.
You’ll be able to handle disagreements better, process unpleasant information kinder, and respond to snarky comments in a nicer fashion. It’ll be a win-win for both sides.
How Can I Improve My Emotional Health?
Next, we want to cover how you can improve your emotional health. We’ll look at the different habits that you should adopt if you’re looking to improve your emotional health and wellbeing.
Just keep reading.
Make a Few Friends
Friends are great as long as they aren’t toxic, mean, or spiteful. Look for friends that will support and love you on your journey.
Feel free to cut ties with current friends who aren’t as loving or supportive.
Learning is good for everyone. It doesn’t have to be like school.
Rekindle your relationship with your favorite subject or find a documentary to watch on television. Unlock your potential with the power of knowledge.
Everyone needs movement consistently throughout their week. Plus, exercising improves mood.
Think about picking up a dance class or finding a YouTube video to follow. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you enjoy.
Find Your Passion
Find something to be passionate about. Whether you like music or reading or drawing or writing, there’s something you can do with your free time.
If you’re looking to make this passion a part of your life, consider starting a business.
How Can I Stay Emotionally Stable?
One of the most popular questions asks how to stay emotionally stable once you’ve finally reached emotional stability. As we’ve emphasized throughout this piece, this is going to be different depending on who you are and what you want out of life.
Although – for everyone – staying emotionally stable is the key to fully controlling your emotions. Riding the emotional wave up and down isn’t healthy for anyone. Once you’re emotionally stable, it would be nice to stay that way.
(Although, we all have our days.)
The key to staying emotionally stable is bouncing back from things that put us down. Let’s talk about how to do this.
Keep Working After Failures
Failure is one of the most intense things that can happen to a person. In fact, failure is one of the worst fears that someone can have. 31% of participants in this study said that they feared failure more than things like ghosts and spiders.
It’s crazy how our emotional fears can be more powerful than physical fears.
Failure can be humiliating, disappointing, angering, and depressing. It’s a culmination of every bad emotion sewn together and presented to us in front of everyone.
But, as you’ve probably heard all of the great businessmen and women say, failure is good. Failure tells you what you need to work on and how you need to respond in certain situations.
For example, if you fail at completing a task at work, you need to get to the root of why. Why was that task so difficult for you to complete? What fell through?
Most of all, was that thing your fault? Could you prevent this from failing?
The bottom line is that you should keep working after failures. Never give up, and always keep trying.
Even if you fail a million times, it’ll be worth it in the end once you’ve finally succeeded.
While we’re on this topic, we also ask you to look at what was actually you’re fault and why. Many failures we have aren’t actually our fault. Rather, some other outside factor had a say.
Find the Meaning in Depressing Events
Depressing events are – well – depressing. No one likes going through the downs of life, and it’s hard to get back up once you’re down like that.
However, finding the meaning in depressing events that happen in your life can help you find the positive attributes in even the gloomiest of situations. This means that you can find a reason for the madness going on around you.
A lot of people who deal with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety take issue with the things that they can’t control. If you can find some kind of rhyme or reason as to why things are happening like they are, this could help you improve your mental wellness and begin improving that as well.
If someone close to you has died, they might now be pain-free. If you lost a job, you may have another one waiting around the corner. If the love of your life broke up with you, you may have a greater love to meet in the future.
Every closed door makes it easier to find the right path. Don’t think about these depressing events in a depressing way. Rather, think about the good that comes from them.
As we discuss this, we think it important to point out that it’s completely normal to have a healthy grieving period. However, we find that many people take this too far. They are so overwhelmed by sadness and anger that they put their own lives on hold and can’t seem to move on.
We understand that grieving is completely normal, and you should take the time to process and move on from whatever is upsetting you.
Distract Yourself From the Anger
Anger can end in scream matches, punching fights, and more. Of course, none of these are good.
You need to take the time to process your anger if you can. However, some people can’t process anything when they’re angry. In fact, the best thing for these individuals to do is ignore their anger.
Distract yourself from the anger.
Find a puzzle to do or a show to watch. Pick up a new hobby or get the dishes done.
Occupy your time with something other than building your rage. You’ll be amazed at how your anger can turn into productivity when you give yourself the chance to put that negative emotion into positive work.
Plus, you’ll have probably tired yourself out so much at the end of it that you won’t be angry anymore.
This is a great way for people who often find themselves angry to help themselves out of a rut. Whenever you’re feeling a little steamed, put the energy into getting things done. You’ll thank yourself later.
Focus on Your Self-Esteem
Put yourself first every once in a while.
We find that people are so focused on pleasing others and doing what others want. Sometimes you just have to forget that and do what you want just because you want to do it.
Focus on your self-esteem and what will make you feel good. Don’t depend on others’ opinions.
Take the time at least once a week to shut everything else out and make time for yourself. We highly recommend that everyone have time with themselves at the end of each day, but we know that this isn’t possible for everyone.
Take a bath. Learn a language. Do something that will make you feel more confident in yourself.
Put Your Confidence Before Rejections
Speaking of confidence, you have got to work on it and flaunt it.
Put your confidence before any rejections you might receive from anybody else. If people rejecting you, you need to brush it aside.
As long as you’re being authentically you, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
You should be happy with yourself first. Everyone else comes second.
Avoid Self-Defeating Behaviors
As we said earlier, you need to work on identifying self-defeating and self-deprecating behaviors. By doing this, you can allow yourself to be free of any negativity.
Now that you’ve identified them, you need to work on avoiding them altogether. Stop calling yourself names and putting yourself down. It hasn’t gotten you anywhere.
If anything, it’s only hurting you.
Avoid self-defeating behaviors and work on loving yourself.
Repair Broken Relationships
Once you’ve come to start loving yourself, you can start repairing any broken or lost relationships that you have. Whether it’s a long-lost friend or a broken family relationship, you have now equipped yourself with the emotional control necessary to handle a long-term, healthy relationship.
Take the time to sift through your old and existing relationships. It’s likely that you won’t want to befriend everyone, but you should look for those people that are best suited for you and your personality.
Choose friends that will help you grow. Don’t settle for toxicity or jealousy. You don’t deserve that.
Your friend should treat you how you want to be treated. Don’t take anything less.
Where Can I Learn More About Emotional Health?
Wow! Congratulations! You have learned so much about emotional health already.
We’re sure that you’re excited to start getting your emotional health under control so that you can start living a more fulfilled life. It’s easy to get started. In fact, you could start right now.
However, as you start on your journey to emotional wellness, we ask you to make sure that you’re not going to overwhelm yourself. A lot of individuals try to make all of these changes at once.
To be successful, you need to take everything one step at a time.
That being said, we completely understand if you need more guidance to get started or just want to read more about emotional wellbeing. To work with a team of women improving their emotional mastery, get started here. We can’t wait to see where this journey takes you.