Mental or emotional health refers to your overall psychological well-being. It includes the way you feel about yourself, the quality of your relationships, and your ability to manage your feelings and deal with difficulties.
Good mental health isn't just the absence of mental health problems. Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. Rather than the absence of mental illness, mental and emotional health refers to the presence of positive characteristics. Similarly, not feeling bad is not the same as feeling good. While some people may not have negative feelings, they still need to do things that make them feel positive in order to achieve mental and emotional health.
People who are mentally and emotionally healthy have:
A sense of contentment.
A zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun.
The ability to deal with stress and bounce back from adversity.
A sense of meaning and purpose, in both their activities and their relationships.
The flexibility to learn new things and adapt to change.
A balance between work and play, rest and activity, etc.
The ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships.
Self-confidence and high self-esteem.
These positive characteristics of mental and emotional health allow you to participate in life to the fullest extent possible through productive, meaningful activities and strong relationships. These positive characteristics also help you cope when faced with life's challenges and stresses.
The role of resilience in mental and emotional health
Being emotionally and mentally healthy doesn’t mean never going through bad times or experiencing emotional problems. We all go through disappointments, loss, and change. While these are normal parts of life, they can still cause sadness, anxiety, and stress.
The difference is that people with good emotional health have an ability to bounce back from adversity, trauma, and stress. This ability is called resilience. People who are emotionally and mentally healthy have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook. They remain focused, flexible, and creative in bad times as well as good.
One of the key factors in resilience is the ability to balance stress and your emotions. The capacity to recognize your emotions and express them appropriately helps you avoid getting stuck in depression, anxiety, or other negative and potentially destructive moods. Another key factor is having a strong support network. Having trusted people you can turn to for encouragement and support will boost your resilience in tough times.