When thinking about our health, many times we believe ailments are either physical or mental. However, a third realm of our well-being exists. Emotional health, while it may sound less important, deserves just as much attention as our mental health. Mental health and emotional health might seem very similar, when in fact they are not the same at all. A healthy state for all individuals is to find a balance between the intellectual and emotional side.
There are some areas of mental and emotional health that overlap. Processing and reasoning are two essential parts of our personality that also carry over into mental health. A strong sense of reasoning is required to make sure we aren’t losing control of our emotions or becoming unstable. Our decisions on how to react to various scenarios must also be processed very carefully to avoid anxiety or stress. Lacking a balance between processing and reasoning puts our health in an unstable state, and we may experience disorientation and have difficulty functioning efficiently.
To help distinguish between mental and emotional health, it may help to define each.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health involves cognitive thinking and harnessing one’s attention to stay focused, which includes processing information, storing it in memory, and understanding this new information. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Like stated above, mental health also includes appropriately exercising reason and processing any learned information.
Some individuals at some point in their life may experience mental health issues, which can affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. Research shows that 1 in 5 U.S. adults suffer a mental illness each year. There are many different mental illnesses, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, each with different symptoms. Common symptoms of mental illness include:
- Abusing drugs or alcohol
- Suicidal or harmful thoughts
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Inability to perform daily tasks
Mental illness can be treated. At Pasadena Villa, we use individualized treatment plans customized to meet each client’s specific needs. Our treatment environment is firmly rooted in Pasadena Villa’s Social Integration ModelTM, which teaches coping skills in a combination of group and individual therapy and practiced through on-site and off-site activities. Our clinicians continuously interact and observe clients to provide coaching and encouragement in real time during relevant life strategies.
What is Emotional Health?
On the other hand, emotional health is the state of positive psychological functioning and involves expressing one’s emotions appropriately for one’s age. Emotional health includes our thoughts, feelings, and behavior internally and externally. It requires managing emotional actions and gauging the appropriate reactions to situations, preventing unnecessary and unhealthy stress, which if severe enough can lead to depression. Maintaining positive emotional health is an active process. Some tips for creating and living emotional health include:
- Identifying and building personal strengths
- Realistically seeing the positive in all situations – good or bad
- Developing the resiliency to learn and overcome challenging situations
- Seeing the good in yourself
- Creating coping skills to help with mental health issues and stress
- Living your life with a sense of purpose
Mental and emotional health, while separate in their ways, are both necessary and work together cohesively. Effectively managing both our mental health and emotional health can help us to eliminate stress, fear, anxiety, anger, depression, and worry. As human beings with hundreds of thoughts and emotions running through us continuously, we make many choices based on feelings. Many of which are created through cognitive reasoning and processing the situation at hand. These two separate, yet complimentary realms of health work together to ensure our overall health is up to par and we effectively communicate and interact with others.