Emotional well-being: What is it, causes, how to improve – Medical News Today


Emotional well-being refers to the awareness and understanding a person has about their emotions and how well they are able to manage through different life events.
Emotional well-being, or emotional health or wellness, refers to how well people are able to accept and manage their emotions and cope with challenges throughout life.
Emotional well-being can affect how well someone can function day to day or how they are able to deal with change or uncertainty.
Difficulties in emotional well-being may have a negative effect on a person’s mental and physical health.
This article looks at emotional well-being, what factors can affect it, signs someone may be experiencing difficulties with emotional well-being, and tips to improve it.
The National Center for Emotional Wellness (NCEW) describes emotional wellness or well-being as an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of feelings and an ability to manage effectively through times of change or challenge.
Uncomfortable or painful emotions and overwhelming thoughts can affect how well individuals function and may make people feel they are losing control of their lives.
By gaining awareness of the emotions each person feels and how to process them, the NCEW says people can regain a feeling of control, minimize difficulties, and continue to function healthily.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), emotional well-being is important because it can affect how people function and carry out everyday tasks.
It can also affect how well individuals are able to handle stressful situations and challenges, how they adapt to change, and how they respond to difficult life events.
Emotional well-being can affect relationships, work, and overall mental and physical health.
Issues with emotional well-being can also affect physical health and may lead to higher blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and increased illness.
Factors that can influence emotional well-being may include:
A child’s emotional well-being is equally as important as their physical health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that being mentally healthy can help children to:
Emotional well-being issues in children can lead to problems in school, at home, and in their ability to form relationships.
At home, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) recommends that parents and caregivers:
If a parent or caregiver has concerns about a child’s emotional well-being, they may find it beneficial to speak with their teacher, pediatrician, or other healthcare professional.
A person can also find help through:
According to the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), getting older does not directly influence quality of life, but emotional health difficulties can reduce it.
The changes with getting older may affect health, social relationships, or sense of purpose, which may all affect emotional well-being. In turn, this may have a negative effect on physical health. For example, a 2015 review states that older adults with coronary heart disease, chronic lung disease, and arthritis had high levels of depression.
Signs that people are experiencing difficulties may include:
Parents and caregivers can look for the following signs:
The NIH offers the following strategies for improving emotional health and well-being:
Staying in the present moment may help people become more aware of everything going on internally and in their surroundings and release thoughts or worries. To practice mindfulness, individuals can:
Some stress can be helpful when carrying out tasks, and it is typical to feel it now and then, but long-term stress can be unhealthy. People can help lower stress by:
Holding onto positive emotions for longer, noticing and appreciating the good things in life, and quickly bouncing back from challenges are all signs of emotional resilience. People may be able to build this by:
Healthy social connections may help improve emotional, physical, and mental well-being. To create a positive support system, people can try:
Losing a loved one can have a huge impact on emotional well-being and may feel overwhelming. To help cope, people may try:
The NCEW recommends the following tips for improving and taking care of emotional health and well-being:
A person can find more support for their emotional well-being using the following:
Learn more about available mental health resources.
Emotional well-being is how well people are able to process their emotions and cope with life challenges.
Managing stress, fostering positive social connections, and taking care of physical and mental health may all help individuals maintain good emotional well-being.
Last medically reviewed on April 26, 2022
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