Emotional Well-Being: What It Is & How to Improve It

FEATURED
October 10, 2022

Nue Life

Nue Life
9 MIN READ

For many, health and wellness is something you do inside a gym or kitchen. And they’d be right. Exercise and nutrition are key pillars of any healthy life. But wellness goes beyond that. In our pursuit of wellness, we cannot neglect our emotional and mental health.

The focus of emotional health is inward. It encompasses a person’s ability to manage all the feelings and emotions that come with daily life — for better or worse. It is learning how to navigate the ups and downs, both the mountain top experiences and the dark valleys.

Emotional well-being starts with knowing you’re not alone. While your experiences are certainly unique to you, happiness, sadness, and feelings of pain are universal.

Here, we explore the ins and outs of emotional well-being, uncovering its benefits, some common roadblocks, and ways to improve it.

What Is Emotional Well-Being?

How well do you manage the emotions that come with the ebb and flow of everyday life?

This is a question of emotional wellness or emotional well-being. Life’s challenges can be hard to bear, even on our best days. But, being aware of how we manage life events is a critical step on the journey of emotional wellness and mental well-being.

Of course, this can be easier said than done.

Emotional well-being refers to how well we’re able to understand and cope with both the positive emotions and negative emotions we experience in our lives.

When our emotional well-being is in a healthy place, our quality of life is high. But, stressors in life can quickly turn things around. It’s easy to smile when you’re genuinely happy, but it’s hard to fake it when you’re drowning in a sea of negative emotions.

Negative emotions can include anger, frustration, fear, inadequacy, emptiness, hopelessness, and so much more. Difficulties coping with negative emotions can be detrimental to both your mental and physical well-being. If left untreated, it can contribute to mental health problems.

What Are the Benefits of Emotional Well-Being?

Why are regular exercise and a well-balanced diet always at the top of the list when it comes to physical health? These are proven lifestyle factors that come with a mountain of benefits. In short, healthy people feel better.

But what about emotional well-being? People who are emotionally healthy are in better control of their thoughts, feelings, and their behaviors. The trickle-down effect from this includes improved self-esteem, improved social connection, and better well-being overall.

Greater Self-Esteem

One of the most prominent benefits of emotional well-being is greater self-esteem. This describes a person’s subjective sense of their personal worth. When your self-esteem is on an even keel, your psychological well-being, motivation, and overall quality of life is high.

Improved Social Connection

Another benefit of emotional well-being is improved social connection. We live our entire lives amongst a network of people, some networks may be larger or smaller than others. The point is that social connection is part of life.

When we are able to manage our emotions and cope with them in a healthy way, we make more room for others. Plus, we get social support in return.

Making social connections with others may actually help protect health and lengthen life.

This can also involve building healthy relationships with friends, neighbors, family members, or other loved ones. So, emotional well-being is key to building a support network.

Support Your Well-Being

Emotional well-being can provide the spark that leads to a healthier life. There is a good reason why a healthy mind typically correlates to a healthy body.

A key component of well-being is life satisfaction. Some call this subjective well-being. Questions in this direction include: How happy am I? Am I satisfied with my life? The answers to these questions are subjective, based on each person’s personal feelings.

What Affects Emotional Well-Being?

Emotional well-being is important, but it can also be fragile. The flux of life can throw a healthy emotional state to the wind. Why? Well, because happiness in life, for better or worse, is circumstantial.

Changes in health conditions or relationships, the loss of a loved one, and issues at work or school can derail our emotional wellness.

Stress

The number one factor in dragging down emotional well-being has got to be stress. In fact, stress is a condition that affects both the mind and body. Stress occurs as a response to certain triggers. These could be real or imagined.

Stress affects nearly every system of the body, from the immune system to the cardiovascular system. If left to its own devices, stress can lead to some pretty serious conditions.

For example, consequences and symptoms of stress can include weight gain, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and mental illness. Over time, chronic stress can contribute to chronic issues like heart disease, and can take a toll on your mental wellness.

Poor Working Conditions

Most people understand the close connection between mental health and work productivity. Emotional well-being is closely tied to how we act and react in different situations. For many, work is one of the biggest stressors in life.

Simply put, if you’re not satisfied with your job, it can take a negative toll on how you handle your emotions. This can also create a negative feedback loop.

Poor working conditions create stress, depression, and negative emotional well-being. These can further affect job performance, productivity, and relationships with co-workers. This leads to greater stress and less emotional well-being, and the cycle can repeat itself.

Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits

Another feedback cycle involves the effect of unhealthy lifestyle habits on emotional health. In fact, there is no quicker way to destroy your emotional well-being than to get stuck in unhealthy habits.

One example of an unhealthy lifestyle habit is poor sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body and mind suffer. This includes your ability to cope and handle stressors and emotions. This is true for everyone, whether it be children, adolescents, adults, or the elderly.

Sleep is literally the cornerstone of physical and emotional resilience. It is not optional. Sadly, sleep disorders like insomnia are closely related to emotional and mental issues like depression, anxiety, and psychological stress.

Other unhealthy habits include things like poor diet, lack of physical activity, codependency, and negative self-esteem.

How Can You Improve Emotional Well-Being?

We go to the gym to get stronger and eat well to improve our health. Thankfully, there are also ways to help improve our emotional well-being too. Let’s explore some of those ways below.

Practicing Mindful Exercise

Mindfulness is being present — fully present.

Mindfulness is an awareness of the things we are actively engaged in, understanding where we are and what we are doing. It allows us to focus more on what is in front of us and less on the situations around us that we cannot control.

Mindfulness helps those struggling with depression by helping them stay focused and grounded on the present while not allowing past experiences and negative thoughts to toss them to and fro from moment to moment.

Mindfulness exercises and activities can also help stress management and restore emotional well-being. Some of these exercises include:

  • Walking meditation
  • Mindful gardening
  • Mindful eating
  • Single-tasking
  • Yoga meditation
  • Deep breathing exercises

Eating a Balanced Diet

Emotional well-being is also linked to the kitchen. As the old adage goes: You are what you eat. There is actually a lot of truth to that saying. Our diets can actually have quite a big impact on our emotional and mental health.

It is well established that highly processed foods are loaded with sugars and other artificial ingredients. These can contribute to inflammation in the body, weight gain, and more. Plus, when we are stressed, we tend to reach for the refrigerator, compounding the issue.

When we eat well, we feel good. To boost mental and emotional wellness, focus on brain foods like complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

One of the first steps to a balanced diet is practicing mindful eating, which means paying attention to what you eat and when you eat.

Making Time for Self-care

Caregiving starts with self-care. If you cannot make the time to take care of yourself, you won’t be able to serve others very well. The concept behind self-care is rather simple. It involves the practice of individuals looking after their health — including physical, mental, and emotional health.

It is a deliberate decision-making process that involves making the most out of the health information that is available to you. Self-care involves things like self-monitoring, like spotting signs of improvement (or deterioration) in your life.

Making healthy lifestyle choices, getting regular exercise, and practicing good hygiene are all part of self-care.

Spending Time With Friends

Building a healthy support group is the cornerstone of emotional well-being. We need a strong support system, like friends and family, to help lift us up when we’re feeling alone and defeated.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Spending time with friends and loved ones can involve something as simple as grabbing a coffee or training for a 5K. The point is clear: Emotional well-being requires healthy relationships with the ones we care about.

Ketamine for Emotional Well-Being

One emerging treatment to help improve mental health and, in turn, emotional well-being is ketamine. This therapeutic alternative treatment has shown promising results.

In fact, several studies have shown ketamine’s efficacy when it comes to reducing symptoms of depression (under controlled conditions).  When a person enters this form of treatment, they are closely monitored by licensed healthcare professionals.

At Nue Life, our holistic and personalized aftercare offers integrated support, including coaching sessions, weekly group integrations, consultations, and more. Our Nue Care aftercare program helps you continue your wellness journey even after your treatment program is complete.

Get started with your free evaluation today to begin your journey toward mental wellness.

The Bottom Line

We’re all a work in progress, and none of us have it all figured out. But, having help along the way is important. Emotional well-being involves a person’s ability to handle and manage the emotions of life. Thankfully, there are some effective ways to help those who are struggling to find their path back to emotional health and wellness.

Treatment at Nue Life

Nue Life believes in holistic treatment, which means that what happens before and after your ketamine experience is equally as important as the experience itself. We want to ensure you have meaningful takeaways from your experiences and help you establish positive new neural pathways.

That’s why we provide one-on-one health coaching and integration group sessions with each of our programs. We’re here to help map out the mind and body connections in your brain and help you discover the insights that lead to true healing.

Sources:

Emotion Regulation | Psychology Today

Social Wellness Toolkit | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

What Does Research Tell Us About Depression, Job Performance, and Work Productivity? | Academia.edu

Sleep Disorders | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Study Shows How Ketamine Reverses Depression—and How its Benefits Could Be Extended | Newsroom | Weill Cornell Medicine

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