Are you finding being productive challenging or having difficulties managing relationships with family, friends, and colleagues? Perhaps you’re no longer satisfied with the quality of your life and don’t find pleasure in activities you once enjoyed. If any of this is the case, it could be an indication of poor mental and emotional health. Fortunately, there is a way out. In this guide, you’ll find the best tips & tricks to nurse your overall mental well-being back to health.
What is mental health?
Mental health is a state that characterises how you feel, think, act, and cope with the stress of life at any point in time. Suppose you often find yourself so overwhelmed at almost every turn, from managing emotions to thinking and navigating daily tasks, that it affects your productivity. In that case, you may have poor mental health. This may be especially true if it affects your happiness and overall quality of life.
Good mental health allows you to think creatively, make good decisions, solve problems quickly and effectively, manage relationships, and be productive. If you don’t have it yet, don’t worry; you’re not alone. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about 1 in 5 adults suffer from mental health issues every year. The good thing is that there are numerous proven ways to boost mental health.
What is emotional health?
Emotional health is an aspect of mental health. It is characterised by an individual’s ability to manage their thoughts and feelings, positive and negative, expressing them appropriately. Emotional health and physical health go hand in hand. In other words, poor emotions often lead to poor physical health if left unchecked. While poor emotions don’t do that directly, they often fuel bad habits that then lead to physical health problems.
For example, some people have a habit of consuming food in excess whenever they’re stressed, facing a challenging situation, or experiencing some form of emotional discomfort. This habit can lead to excessive weight gain and ultimately put them at a higher risk of obesity, which could further cause physical health complications, including cardiovascular diseases.
Having a good emotional foundation can help you become more self-aware and able to navigate the complexities life throws at you.
Difference between mental and emotional health
People often wonder if there is any difference between emotional health and mental health. The simple answer is that they are closely related but not quite the same.
Mental health is simply what’s going on in a person’s head. It is the overall well-being of their mind and is characterised by how their brain works and how they think and handle things mentally. On the other hand, emotional health is simply how a person feels inside. It is how they handle and express their emotions – sad, happy, or anything in between.
To put things in perspective, if your mind were a computer, mental health would represent its overall performance, specifically how fast it processes information and solves problems. Emotional health would be likened to the software running on the computer, handling different programmes (emotions).
On a more general note, mental health is about your mind’s general soundness, while emotional health is about how you deal with your feelings. Both of them are necessary for leading a happy life.
The connection and importance of emotional and mental health in adults
Emotional health and mental health have a symbiotic relationship of some sort. The former influences the cognitive function of an individual and shapes their thoughts and how they respond to varying situations, while the latter provides the framework that makes it possible to process and interpret thoughts. The connection they both share affects different aspects of adult life, ranging from work to relationships and personal satisfaction. Without good mental health, a person may find it challenging to keep their emotions in check.
To achieve a happy and healthy life even in the presence of stressors, balance must be struck between both. Being able to keep both mental and emotional health in check will help boost your problem-solving skills and enable you to cope with challenges. This balanced approach leads to an improvement in communication skills, increased self-awareness, and better interpersonal relationships.
Understanding the connection between both aspects will enable you to take the right steps to ensure your overall well-being.
Top tips and proven ways to boost mental and emotional health
Now that you know the similarities and differences between these aspects and the connection they share, it’s time to learn about proven ways you can take care of both. Here are some of the actionable tips you can use to achieve that.
- Get enough sleep. Ensuring consistent, quality sleep every day is crucial for improving mental and emotional health. To optimise your sleep quality, go to bed at the same time every night and aim to sleep for 7–9 hours in a comfortable environment. Additionally, create a calming bedtime routine, limit screen time before sleep, and ensure your sleep environment is conducive to relaxation. These practices contribute to more restful sleep, promoting overall well-being.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. Building a solid support base will take you a long way on the journey to improving your overall well-being. Locate and surround yourself with understanding individuals who share positive energy and vibes. Spending time among such people, whether at work or in school, can help speed up your recovery.
- Meditation. Gaining mental clarity is an important step to take on the journey to improving emotional and mental health. One of the best ways to achieve that is to engage in mindful meditation for a few minutes every day. Just shut your eyes, quiet your mind, and aim to gain a sense of inner calm. Additionally, meditation reduces stress, improves sleep quality, and promotes mental clarity, all of which contribute to an improved state of mind.
- Set realistic goal. Dreaming big feels great, providing almost the same feeling of accomplishing the actual task. But what happens if you set goals and constantly fall short of reaching them? This could erode your confidence, diminish your self-esteem, and subsequently affect your emotional and mental health. This is why it is important to set realistic goals. Break down larger objectives into smaller tasks that are easier to manage. As you achieve each one you set, you will feel more confident and motivated, contributing to an overall healthier state of mind.
- Reduce stress. Stress can have a direct and negative impact on your emotional health. What’s more, it disrupts sleep quality, which, in turn, can affect cognitive function and overall mental well-being. As you encounter mental blocks and experience a sharp decline in productivity, your emotional health may suffer, setting off a harmful cycle. Identify stressors in your life and take proactive steps to either eliminate or effectively manage them. This approach aims to minimise their impact on your emotional and mental health. Practices such as deep breathing, relaxing, and engaging in hobbies can help reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being.
- Find purpose and meaning. Wondering about how to maintain emotional health? One effective strategy is uncovering purpose and meaning in your life. Having a meaningful reason to rise each day reduces stress and pressure, which may lead to an overall improved sense of well-being. But how can you find purpose and meaning in your life? Well, while there is no one-size-fits-all answer, some good ways to go about that include exploring your passions, connecting with others, volunteering, setting meaningful goals, and reflecting on the little things that bring you joy and fulfilment.
- Be physically active. Exercise releases endorphins, elevating mood and contributing to an overall sense of well-being. It also improves sleep, enhances cognitive function, and promotes holistic health. You don’t need to hit the gym to be physically active; taking regular walks around your neighbourhood, jogging, or participating in a favorite sport will take you a long way.
- Use supplements and vitamins to boost mental health. Vitamins and supplements, especially those that contain nootropic ingredients, can help improve your mood, enhance your cognitive abilities, and enable you to stay mentally sharp, boosting your productivity. While the body produces most of the vitamins it needs to ensure optimal mental and overall well-being, sometimes it may benefit from additional sources, such as a well-balanced diet and supplements to address potential deficiencies. Modafinil, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins are some good substances that have proven to work effectively. If you decide to start taking any of them, be sure to source it from a trustworthy online pharmacy like buygenerics.com so you won’t end up with counterfeit tabs. Remember to consult your doctor before taking any supplement or medication.
If you’ve been wondering how to maintain good mental health, this guide has provided a comprehensive roadmap to help you achieve that within the shortest possible time. By implementing the top tips outlined in it, including prioritising quality sleep, setting realistic goals, and finding purpose, you will begin to notice a remarkable improvement in both your mental and emotional health.
Whether you work in a sedentary job or live an active lifestyle, it is possible to cultivate and maintain positive mental health habits that contribute to your overall well-being. Many individuals have successfully overcome mental health challenges and gone on to lead fulfilling lives, and you too can. You just need to start.
Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.