Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

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Are you a practical person or are you an emotional one?

A practical person is one who takes decisions based on what is an appropriate response to the information acquired. While an emotional person is someone who gives more importance to her/his feelings and responds according to them.

What is the difference? Is one better than the other?

No, an emotional person is not better than the other or vice versa. It is just the emotional health overpowering the mental health.

WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?

Mental health is a broad category comprised of cognitive, emotional and social well-being. It is about appropriately responding to a stimuli and about acquiring information from the environment to use it to solve daily life problems.

Mental health processes include-
– Attention
– Memory
– Perception
– Decision making
– Problem solving

Even activities as simple as watching TV, reading a book, listening to your friend etc. uses cognitive functions and are part of mental health.

Mental health therefore refers to one’s ability to attend, process and respond to the information from the environment.The proper functioning of all psychological processes is what makes an individual mentally healthy.

WHAT IS EMOTIONAL HEALTH?

People often use the terms mental and emotional health interchangeably, but they are not the same. Emotional well being as the name suggests is the ability to decipher and express one’s emotions constructively. An emotionally healthy person is able to differentiate between her/his emotions and is not afraid to embrace them.

One very important part of being emotionally healthy is developing resilience. It is one’s elasticity or the ability to expand and adjust in different life situations, both good and bad. It is also the ability to bounce back like an elastic from whatever negativities life throws at you and coming back without any damage to the psyche/mind.

But since emotional health is a part of mental health, is there a connection between the two?

INTERDEPENDENCY OF MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH

While both are different from each other, mental and emotional health are interdependent. When one is affected, the other automatically changes too.

Example- When choosing a major in college, your parents choice may differ from yours. They may present some valid arguements to sway you in favour of their choice. Now in this case you also will give your reasons to choose a particular major and this process involves a number of mental processes like problem solving, decision making, logical reasoning, attention etc.

However, if the conversation or the decision being made is not in your favour, you may experience stress, anxiousness, sadness. Or you may react by shouting and screaming, which means that reasoning is involved in maintaining control over your emotions and when overwhelmed, the emotions overpower your reasoning and the ability to respond appropriately.

Another example of interdependence is having adjustment issues and mood swings that may be a cause of mental illness and can result in antisocial feelings, apathy, depression, anxiety etc.
Also, concentration and memory problems usually referred to as zoning out can result in an emotional disconnect from the social world.

It is important to note that a psychologically healthy person responds instead of reacting.

Mental health and emotional health while separate,work together cohesively to solve problems and make decisions. The choices we make are widely based on thoughts and feelings. Thoughts are the mental health and feelings are the emotional health. These two compliment each other in such a way so as to help us interact, communicate and respond effectively. Taking care to maintain both mental and emotional health is what makes an individual truly happy, developing a sense of contentment and zest for life.

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