Emotional wellbeing is not the absence of emotions but it is your ability to understand your emotions and to use them to move your life forward in positive directions.
A useful definition of emotional wellbeing is offered by the Mental Health Foundation: ‘A positive sense of wellbeing which enables an individual to be able to function in society and meet the demands of everyday life; people in good mental health have the ability to recover effectively from illness, change or misfortune.’
Many factors may have a negative impact on your emotional wellbeing. These can include poor housing, relationships, poverty, serious illness, bullying, abuse or bereavement. Any of these factors can have a profound impact on your self-esteem and their ability to learn.
Everyday emotional wellbeing involves identifying, building upon and operating from your strengths rather than focusing on fixing problems or weaknesses. The better you are able to master your emotions, the greater your capacity to enjoy life, cope with stress, and focus on important personal priorities.
Five steps to improving your emotional wellbeing
Below are five things that can really help to boost our emotional wellbeing:
- Connect– connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.
- Be active – you don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.
- Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike.
- Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.
- Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
The benefit of improved emotional wellbeing is knowing that your needs are important and that you deserve to have a life where you feel happy and secure. As you achieve emotional balance, you are able to identify your heart’s desires, take positive action, and make changes in your life.
For more information and support on mental health and wellbeing click on this link to Young Minds the National Young Persons mental health charity.