Caring for our mental and emotional health is not a suggestion: it’s a necessity.
If you needed any reason to focus on nurturing your mental health, by now you should have plenty. Globally, we’ve witnessed and experienced various situations that have the potential to threaten our mental (thinking) and emotional (feeling) health. From the pandemic, persistent racial inequality & injustices, and a distasteful political season. 2020 taught us many things and one crucial lesson we can draw from those experiences is that caring for our mental and emotional health is not a suggestion: it’s a necessity.
Emotional health, also known as mental health, refers to the quality of psychological functioning. Simply put, emotional health involves the condition of our thinking, feeling, and behaving. The beginning of a new year notably inspires reflection and new commitments for self-improvement. Whether you’ve made new year resolutions, set intentions for 2021, or recommitted to existing goals, I strongly encourage that you make it a regular practice of caring for your mental and emotional health. While you’re on the journey to self-improvement, take inventory and examine the current state of your psychological health.
Here are 7 Signs of An Emotionally Healthy Person
(I chose 7 because well… who doesn’t like 7?)
- You’re able and willing to label your emotions. A person who is emotionally healthy is aware of their emotions and are not afraid to express what they feel. If you find yourself denying or hiding the way you feel, I encourage you to take off the mask and be honest about your emotions. Keep in mind that feelings are not facts, however, your feelings do matter.
- You are confident in being yourself without the need to conform or please others. Being sure of your beliefs in a convicting, nondogmatic way, an emotionally healthy person is secure in one’s identity and not affected by the opinions of others.
- You allow others the space to have differing views without trying to change or control them. An emotionally healthy person understands and appreciates that not everyone will have the same views, same values, or same goals and therefore they’re able to be in relationship with others who oppose their interests.
- You understand your own needs and know what to do to make sure your needs are met. If you need attention or need alone time, you’re able to assertively communicate what you need without passivity or aggression. If you need rest, you take it without succumbing to guilt.
- You recognize the need for boundaries and have no trouble enforcing and reinforcing your limits. A person who is healthy emotionally sets and maintains healthy boundaries. Understand that boundaries are limits that define where something ends and something else begins. If you have a hard time defining and/or respecting your own boundaries, you likely need to explore why that it is.
- You can relinquish control without being overcome by panic, worry, or fear. Emphasis on overcome. It’s common, maybe even acceptable to have a small grade of worry about an outcome, especially when you’re not directly in control. If this worry becomes overwhelming to where you always try to be in control, something is wrong. An emotionally healthy person can accept the fact that there are things outside of their control. Learn to embrace the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
- You’re able to handle failure and rejection. No one, absolutely no one in the universe enjoys failure or likes to feel rejected. However, an emotionally healthy person understands that it’s ok to fail, to be denied, to be rejected, and that those things do not determine your identity. Failing at something doesn’t make you a failure. Being rejected doesn’t mean you are not good enough. And your successes (or failures) do not determine your worth. The fact that you are a created being, fashioned after the Creator of the universe and everything within it, you are inherently enough. Period.
This list of 7 habits of an emotionally healthy person is not comprehensive – meaning there are plenty more. Stay tuned to learn additional emotionally healthy habits. If you need help developing or improving these habits, contact me to schedule an appointment.