We all know the markers for better physical health, right? Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting the right amount of sleep are all indicators that you are taking care of your body. So, what does it mean to take care of your emotional health? How do you know if you are emotionally healthy?
Emotional wellness is more than just the difficulties or struggles you have in your life in the same way your health is more than any one disease or current problem. We all have issues and things to work on, so that does not define our emotional health.
Instead, this aspect of wellness is about how you handle these and other difficulties in your life and how you choose to embrace the positive aspects of your life, as well. What does it look like, then, to be emotionally healthy? Here are a few indicators.
#1. You like yourself. Those with the most robust emotional health generally feel positive about who they are. While you may recognize that you have some room for improvement in a few areas, overall, you like who you are.
Emotional health also means that who you are to other people matches who you are on the inside. This type of congruency says you feel comfortable with yourself and want others to see the real you.
#2. You treat others with respect. Being kind and compassionate toward other people says a great deal about your well-being. Being sensitive to others’ needs happens when you are in touch with your own. The more self-awareness you have, the better your awareness for others’ feelings, too. Treating others well shows that you respect their emotional needs in the same way you recognize your own.
#3. You understand your own emotions. Being able to identify, accept, and process your feelings, including the intense and negative ones, is a sign of emotional wellness. Being emotionally healthy does not mean you never experience sadness, anger, or other negative feelings. Instead, it means you know how to express and manage these and other feelings in ways that are productive and beneficial. Only when you understand your emotions can you hope to learn from them and move forward productively.
#4. Your life has meaning. When you find a purpose for your life, it gives you passion and motivation, which drives your goals and actions. Emotionally healthy people have hope for the future, set loftier goals, and base their decisions based on their values. Leading a life of purpose means you are honoring what is important to you.
#5. You are grateful for the people in your life. When you feel comfortable showing gratitude to the people in your life for how they help and support you, that is a good indication that you are emotionally healthy. Gratitude is a sign that you reflect on your life regularly, you focus on what is positive, and you value the social connections that are important for a well-lived life. And when you show appreciation to others, you are more likely to have stronger relationships, which can strengthen your own emotional health, as well.
#6. You enjoy experiences more than objects. Wellness and emotional health are about continuing to grow and learn, which happen when we experience new things and learn. Rather than valuing possessions, which are a symbol of wealth, status, or success, valuing experiences means you think that growth and learning are essential parts of your life. Experiences are also a way to connect you to other people, which is an indication of your emotional health, too.