What Is Emotional Wellness?
Lately, emotional wellness is a topic of frequent discussion, especially regarding its significance in recovery. But what exactly is emotional wellness, and why does it play such an important role for individuals in recovery?
The common assumption is that emotional wellness means being in a great mood all the time, but that is not the case. Instead, emotional wellness is a deep and conscious awareness of one’s feelings and overall emotional state and the ability to react appropriately to regulate those emotions and feelings. Emotional regulation signifies acknowledging emotions and feelings as valid, natural traits of being human.
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Why Is Emotional Wellness Important?
Emotional wellness is important, especially for those in recovery, since it centers around accepting and understanding emotions, allowing individuals to cope with life more effectively. It carries the benefits of being able to hold a higher awareness of one’s feelings and discuss and express internal feelings to other trustworthy individuals or groups.
How Does Emotional Wellness Affect Your Life?
There are many different ways emotional wellness can affect your life, positively and negatively. It can directly affect personal relationships, professional and educational life, and ongoing mental health.
Improved emotional wellness can help people develop more trusting, stronger, and cooperative relationships. It can also create deeper empathic connections and promote higher self-esteem.
Increased awareness of natural emotional health and dealing with emotions healthily can improve job performance, engagement, professional relationships, and daily functioning. Emotional wellness can contribute to avoiding a cognitive performance decrease of up to 35%.1
Individuals who focus on their emotional well-being are more likely to enjoy higher academic standing and overall achievement and are more likely to graduate. Additionally, they are more likely to attend and graduate from college.2
Improving the emotional dimension of wellness can enhance overall mental health. This can look like a lower occurrence of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness and an increased level of self-esteem and trust.
How Do You Achieve Emotional Wellness?
The following includes guidance on how to achieve and maintain emotional wellness.3
Mindfulness is an ancient practice that simply means being aware of and fully present in the now. In other words, awareness of what is going on around you and inside you. This is the opposite of being on “autopilot” or “sleepwalking” throughout life.
Connect and Communicate With Others
Connecting with friends or family and strengthening social bonds is a great way to increase emotional health. There are many ways to do this, such as connecting with emotional partners, friends, and family or getting together with some neighbors. Being social is a huge part of being human.
We all experience times of stress, but learning how to manage that stress can do wonders for emotional well-being. Chronic stress can last for years if unaddressed, so learning healthy ways to deal with stress can make people more resilient.
Take Care of Your Physical Well-being
Increasing physical well-being directly impacts emotional wellness. For example, going out for a walk, hike, or even a little meditation out in the fresh air can do wonders for resilience. This helps people bounce back from challenges with more ease.
Set a Balanced Life
Taking the time to address different aspects of emotional, physical, and spiritual needs will allow people to lead a more balanced life, reducing stress and the risk of burnout.
Get Enough Sleep
When the going gets tough, sleep is one of the first things we cut to make room. Big day tomorrow? Get up early. Too much left to do today? Go to bed later. This leads to less and less quality sleep. Getting enough sleep at a consistent time each day can help build emotional wellness by ensuring the mind and body have plenty of recovery time.
We take on a lot, and sometimes one of the best things we can do to make space for ourselves is to set boundaries. For example, saying no to increased work is okay and can mean less build-up of stress and worry.
Emotional Wellness in Recovery
Emotional wellness is especially important for those in recovery because a significant part of the addiction cycle is escapism. Whether escaping uncomfortable feelings like pain or anger or escaping a life situation entirely, emotional wellness in recovery is crucial since it emphasizes living in the present and improving mental well-being.4
Exercise may help those who have a history of drug abuse, such as those recovering from cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, and marijuana.
Research shows that regular physical activity can boost abstinence days, which impacts wellness recovery. Regular exercise promotes oxygenation and nutrient flow to muscles as well. This increased nutrient intake makes the body stronger and better able to release energy across the day. Having more energy makes everyday duties simpler and helps resist the impulse to take drugs.4
Positive Impact of Emotional Wellness
The impact of poor emotional wellness can be intense, long-lived, and stressful, increasing the risk of relapsing or trying to cover the emotions with substance abuse. The ability to implement some emotional wellness tips can help those in recovery make positive choices in the event of negative emotions like guilt, shame, anger, and sadness. Additionally, it can help recovering individuals find the strength to forgive themselves.
Emotional Wellness Tips
If you feel like your emotional wellness isn’t where it should be, try some of these emotional wellness tips:
Find Help at Genesis Recovery
If you’ve tried to implement better emotional strategies but feel like you may need more help, it could be time to talk to a professional.
At Genesis Recovery, we offer you or your loved one supportive and compassionate care to improve your emotional wellness and overall well-being. You can discuss your emotional needs in confidence and begin making an impact on your life with our mental health professionals. The higher your emotional wellness is, the stronger your recovery will be.