What Is Emotional Wellness?

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What Is Emotional Wellness?

Emotional wellness, which is also known as emotional health or emotional wellbeing, is a person's ability to handle their emotions and the varied experiences they encounter in life. The National Center For Emotional Wellness defines emotional wellness as "an awareness, understanding and acceptance of our feelings, and our ability to manage effectively through challenges and change."

The History of Emotional Wellness

The concept of wellness at large came into the foreground of public consciousness in the 1950s, according to the Global Wellness Institute. Ancient forms of wellness, such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, have been around for thousands of years, but Western cultures didn't think as proactively about wellness until more modern times.

No one person is credited with having come up with the idea of emotional wellness. The understanding that it's impossible to have a healthy and fulfilling life if one isn't feeling well emotionally has grown over recent decades, and it's now a focal point of the overall wellness movement. October is Emotional Wellness Month, which denotes how important this concept is now considered to many.

How Emotional Wellness Affects Your Life

You might not realize how many different areas of life your emotional wellness, or lack thereof, is involved in. Let's look at how your ability to handle, understand, and manage your emotions impacts your life.


When we interact with others, it's important that we understand our own perspectives about different issues. Sometimes we disagree with other people, and to keep relationships happy and healthy, we need to be able to have disagreements in a calm and appropriate manner.

If you aren't able to deal with your emotions well, it's difficult to deal with those of others. The state of emotional wellness impacts our relationships whether they are personal or professional. In order to best connect with and relate to others, the more emotionally healthy we are, the more support and care we can offer those we love and respect.

Work and School

Whether you're decades into your chosen career or still deciding what you want to do in your life, your ability to handle situations as they arise is vital to your success. Knowing how you feel, dealing with your emotions, and being able to move forward from challenges with a positive mindset all lead to better outcomes in your scholastic and professional life.

Mental Health

This may seem obvious, but your emotional health is a big part of your overall mental health and wellness. While that fact is true for everyone, for those who face mental health challenges and conditions it can be even more impactful. As you learn about how to deal with your own mental health challenges, you'll be most successful in navigating them if you are in touch with, and able to deal with, your feelings and emotions.

The Impact of Poor Emotional Wellness

There are many ways that not being able to work through life in a positive emotional state can lead to worse outcomes, particularly because a negative emotional state is a stressful one. Here are some examples:

  • Lower immunity: stress weakens the immune system.
  • Hypertension: long-term stress worsens blood pressure.
  • Increased illness: stress worsens everything from heart issues to psychiatric problems.
  • Relationship issues
  • Difficulties at work
  • Trouble concentrating

Benefits of Strong Emotional Wellness

As much as poor emotional health can make for major problems in your life, having strong emotional wellness can help you thrive. These are some of the many benefits of having good emotional wellbeing:

  • Your relationships with others can be at their best.
  • Reducing stress reduces illness and increases immunity.
  • Positivity promotes productivity, helping you accomplish more in life.

How to Optimize Your Emotional Wellness

Now that you understand how important emotional wellness is to a healthy life, you're probably wondering if there is anything specific you can do so that your own emotional health is at its best. Luckily, there is no shortage of activities that can promote emotional wellbeing. Read on to learn how you can enhance and improve your state of mind.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about being present in the moment. Rather than living on autopilot, mindfulness encourages us to really take part in our lives, and it can improve both physical and emotional wellbeing. You can practice mindfulness doing everything from running to eating.

Connect and Communicate With Others

There's no need to go through this journey alone! Emotional wellness is about being connected to and able to deal with your own emotions, but so much of our emotional lives are lived with those we know and love.

Make a point of intentionally talking about your feelings with others, which can lead to you understanding them. Ask others about their feelings, so that you have the opportunity to experience different perspectives.

Try connecting with people outside your own demographics so that you have a better sense of life experiences besides your own. There are countless benefits to connecting and communicating with others, with increased emotional health being just one.

Manage Stress

Managing stress is key to staying emotionally and physically healthy. When starting a stress management practice, try different activities to see which fit you best and make you feel happier. You can do a simple meditation with the help of a YouTube video or an app, go for a walk, take a bath, or practice deep breathing.

Take Care of Your Physical Wellbeing

We often think of our physical and emotional selves separately, but as you have seen here, the two are highly connected. By improving your physical wellness, you'll see benefits emotionally, too.

Performing activities that increase your endorphins, which are one of the feel-good chemicals our bodies produce, is an easy way to increase your emotional wellness. Endorphins can be increased through everything from dancing to laughing.

Work Towards a Balanced Life

Work-life balance is something we talk about a lot as a society. That's because people started noticing that when they worked too much, they didn't have time for personal relationships, relaxation, or fun.

In order to be at your best emotionally, you'll want to cultivate a balance between work and play. Setting aside designated time to do recreational activities and creating firm boundaries around work hours are two simple ways to help improve this balance.

Invest in Sleep

Your sleep habits and behaviors are known as sleep hygiene. The better you sleep, the better your chances of feeling good when you're awake. Improve your sleep hygiene through practices such as a designated bedtime, limiting caffeine later in the day, and not overeating before bed.

A Word From Verywell

Each of these changes may seem like an insignificant step alone, but when put all together you may find yourself noticing big improvements. Emotional wellness is important to a healthy life, and using one or more of these easy tools can set you on a path to improving yours.

4 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Ariane Resnick, CNC
Ariane Resnick, CNC is a mental health writer, certified nutritionist, and wellness author who advocates for accessibility and inclusivity.