Emotional health is one of the prerequisites of living a healthy, quality-filled life.
Being emotionally healthy can help you face life’s challenges and difficulties with confidence.
Most unhealthy, uncontrolled emotion-driven responses, including angry ones, have fear as an underlying driver. This fear can have many causes but usually resolves to a lack of trust, in others, or outcomes.
They may also fear their own irrational responses. These fears may have nothing to do with the current circumstances but have been formed by prior, unrelated experiences.
An emotionally healthy person has learned to trust themselves, to respond to situations as they choose or see fit. Having this trust in themselves to take rational action gives them greater discernment of others intent, which further adds to their stock of trust and confidence.
This report discusses what emotional health is, how it is formed, and how we can positively influence our own emotional health and maturity. The potential benefits from doing so can be life-changing and can turn a sad or average life into a joyful one.
Characteristics of An Emotionally Healthy Person
Emotional health is not always apparent. Sometimes, describing someone as an “emotionally healthy individual” can be difficult to do. This is because we cannot judge a person's level of emotional health just by looking at them.
What they display or what is happening around them doesn’t always give a true indication. Also, most people have the ability to present a persona, or façade, that presents them more aligned to how they wish to be perceived that is a true representation of how they are, most of the time.
You may think you are adept at covering up your emotions. However, no matter how hard you try to hide your feelings, those close to you can quite often sense if you’re emotionally happy and healthy or not. This is because an emotionally healthy person is someone that displays certain characteristics that are not only seen but also felt.
Emotional health can only be assessed over time. This is also how it is developed. It is not formed at birth, fixed and unchangeable. It is cultivated through the challenges that a person faces daily, and molded by their reactions to them.
Unconscious Emotional Development
Most people’s emotional state develops unconsciously. All too often, this is in response to physical, mental or emotional exposure to unpleasant, invasive, or dangerous situations or events, usually from other humans.
Everything we do, whether real or imagined, pleasant or unpleasant, creates an emotional response. Unfortunately, the emotional links between subsequent experiences and their responses are not always thought out or rational, they are…emotional.
That in itself is a protective device – the emotional response is much faster than the comparatively plodding rational thought processes. However, the results, both immediate and long-term, don’t always pan out to be in the best interests of those involved.
Here are some characteristics of an emotionally healthy person.
Kind and Considerate
Emotionally healthy individuals are compassionate. In the absence of valid and logical reasons to do otherwise, they treat other people with kindness and give them the benefit of the doubt.
They are sensitive to other people’s needs and feelings. If you value the importance of being able to help other people, then you possess one of the most important characteristics of being emotionally healthy.
Treating others well is a natural habit for an emotionally healthy person. They have kindness in their heart and don’t seek to hurt anyone. They are the type of person who can strike up a conversation with a stranger and are aware that their actions and words can either benefit or harm other people emotionally.
Emotionally healthy individuals try to do the ‘right thing’. Their conscious keeps them honest. They feel guilt and remorse whenever they do something that they feel is unethical or hurtful. To be dishonest would only bring them sadness, so being true to themselves and others is important.
Stay True To Themselves
When a person is emotionally healthy, they appreciate their strengths and recognize their weaknesses. The things they say and do are reflective of who they are. Their ‘outer’ self is consistent with their ‘inner’ self.
They may change your aspects of their outward attitude occasionally, especially in social gatherings, in order to ‘fit in’ with the crowd and not ruffle anyone’s beliefs. However, they don’t do it to the extent where they are making pretensions about their true self.
In other words, emotionally healthy people live their own life, by their own morals, and don’t just do what others would expect them to do.
Can Assess and Adjust To Any Situation At Hand
If a situation arises, they can quickly assess how it will affect not only themselves but also others. They don’t just react, they remain mindful. As an emotionally healthy individual, they know when to talk things through or when to keep quiet.
They also have the ability to assess when to be proactive and take control of a crisis situation, while also setting their own boundaries. However, they are emotionally mature enough to know when to follow someone else’s decisions without their ego being threatened.
Are Thankful and Gracious
Being emotionally healthy makes it easier to show gratitude towards other people and thankful for their life. It brings emotional contentment. They regularly count their blessings, don’t have unreal expectations of others or envy other’s possessions.
Shows Care In Their Relationships
Spouses, children, parents, and friends of emotionally healthy individuals are aware that they appreciate them. Being emotionally healthy does not mean they will always be perfect in their relationships with others.
There may be times when they have disagreements, but they feel and show regret and remorse almost immediately, especially if they realize they have erred.
Even if not, they will ‘agree to disagree’ and work to avoid developing or holding grudges. Despite the disagreement, they are still capable of showing affection and unconditional love for their family and loved ones.
Practice Physical and Emotional Control
Most of all, emotionally healthy individuals are almost always in control of their emotions. They practice control not just in their actions. They take ownership of their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. They practice control in everything they do, even if nobody is watching.
This does not require becoming robotic. In fact, being in control allows a person to more fully and mindfully live in the moment, and experience the full depth of emotion a situation offers.
Emotional Health and The Physical Benefits
When people think of improving their health, physical health appears to be a major focus for most people. Someone somewhere is wanting to know how to lose weight, how to get a six-pack set of abs or look like the latest, gorgeous super-model. This focus on physical health may be actually causing many people a lot of anguish and emotional health problems.
To make matters worse, many of these people are wanting to ‘change’ just to look good in front of others, especially on social media. Could it be that this focus on physical health is the reason why so many people are being diagnosed with anxiety, depression and self-esteem problems?
Focus on Emotional Health First
Most people tend to view the relationship between their emotional and physical health as a one-way street. That is, if they could have or achieve the physical state they want, they will be happy and therefore emotionally healthy.
Not all of us possess perfectly sculpted bodies, and the attainment of them may be unrealistic, which is quite possibly why emotional health issues are on the rise and becoming more prevalent daily.
A person who is emotionally healthy can make rational judgments regarding expectations and projected outcomes. This does not mean blithe acceptance of current circumstances.
It does mean that the actions taken will be more directed and sustained, and happiness and joy can be part of the journey, instead of being focused on the outcome.
You Can Do This!
If your life seems filled with regret, it is important to work on your emotional health as much or more than your physical health, for the betterment of both. Being emotionally healthy comes with a host of health benefits, including physical health and even longevity.
Here are a few traits and the benefits attached to having healthy emotions.
You Are Aware of Your Emotions
Being emotionally healthy does not necessarily mean you’re happy all the time, however, you are more aware of your own emotions and you know how to deal with them. A negative emotion is viewed as feedback and prompts you to find ways to overcome it.
If you’re emotionally healthy, you know how to better manage your feelings of stress, loneliness, sadness or anger. An emotionally healthy person is able to tell if they can’t handle a certain and seek help if necessary.
You Are Not Discouraged By Failure
Failures can cause a person to become discouraged. This is only natural. When goals seem to be continually out of reach, especially if compared to abilities, a person may give up because of their perceived shortcomings and continued failures. Their self-esteem may also suffer. However, if you’re emotionally healthy, you are less likely to lose your motivation to achieve your goals.
You will believe that anything is possible! You’ll find ways to overcome any setbacks. Instead of focusing on what you aren’t capable of, you’ll pay more attention to planning and preparation.
You’ll feel better knowing that you can correct any loopholes that have blocked your success, and more strongly develop the belief that you will have other and better chances of achieving your goals.
You Control Your Emotions From Bad Experiences
Even if you are emotionally healthy, you will still grieve after experiencing a loss. You may also feel negative when faced with a traumatic situation. However, emotionally healthy people allow themselves to move on with life.
Instead of looking at a bad experience with anger or resentment, they find meaning to it, accepting that, unavoidably, life has some lemons.
You can look at things positively, and if necessary learn from any bad experience. This is why emotionally healthy people become stronger mentally after going through a very difficult situation.
If there is a bad situation that couldn’t be resolved as desired, they don’t focus too long on what was lost. Instead, they focus on what they gained from the experience and use it to plan for the future.
You Avoid Negative Thoughts From Controlling Your Thoughts
It is perfectly normal to replay the scene of a negative event, over and over in your mind. However, emotionally healthy people know when and how to turn off these negative replays.
An emotionally healthy person will find ways to overcome their need to rehash negative scenes in their mind. They know they can’t change the event, so why to waste brain space trying.
They actively work to prevent letting themselves be defeated by their own negative thoughts. They find ways to distract their mind so they can focus more on the positive not the negative, by living more mindfully in the moment.
You Take Care of You – Your Self-Esteem Matters
Any person’s self-esteem can be adversely affected on occasion. However, emotionally healthy people have learned how to remedy it, so they don’t lack self-confidence when they need it.
They reassure themselves as they would a friend whose self-esteem has been affected. They talk to their inner-self with love and self-care. This is because they are aware that a dampened self-esteem can affect them in many, if not all, areas of their life.
You Remain Calm
Emotionally healthy people often show signs of being calm and in a peaceful state of control. They are not aggressive or dominant in their attitude or behavior. They do not aim to gain power over someone, and they never do or say things that will only cause angst among the people around them. They certainly do delight in other’s misfortunes.
This is repaid on many levels. Firstly, there is simply knowing that you have done good for another and that your actions were noble and caring. Secondly, in a very practical sense, good will come back to you from your good works.
Whether it is karma, or simply human reciprocation, your life will be enhanced by those you come in contact with. It may not happen in every exchange or event, but keeping score is not part of emotional maturity anyway. In the long-term, the rewards will add to your life’s happiness and fulfillment.
Remember that your emotions have the power to build you up or tear you down. Either way, when they do they also affect your mental and physical health.
Emotional health, or emotional intelligence, or emotional maturity is not something we are gifted with at birth.
It is something that develops as a result of our responses to whatever life puts in front of us, in combination with those things we have actively chosen.
These are life skills, and to a very large degree our quality of life, our ability to enjoy living, or otherwise, will be determined by how emotionally healthy we are.
Left to develop unconsciously, our emotional health may never develop to its best. Mindful action, including emulating those who exhibit positive emotional maturity, will always pay dividends in happiness and success as defined by self.
It is never too late to focus on improving your own emotional health or to experience the payoff.