Strong emotional health is the cornerstone of a fulfilling life, but it’s not something we’re born with. Rather, it’s cultivated through habits and practices. What sets emotionally healthy individuals apart, and how can we adopt their habits to lead happier and more balanced lives?
That’s a question we’ll explore in this article.
What is an Emotionally Healthy Person?
You’ve probably heard the term “emotionally healthy” before, but what does it actually mean? There are certainly multiple definitions, but the National Institutes of Health (NIH) does a pretty decent job of summarizing it.
“How you feel can affect your ability to carry out everyday activities, your relationships, and your overall mental health. How you react to your experiences and feelings can change over time,” NIH explains. “Emotional wellness is the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times.”
Emotionally healthy people are stable, reliable, and dependable. They’re usually the “rock” of their family, office, or neighborhood. When things go sideways or something unpredictable happens, they’re the type of person who steps in and provides shade for others.
4 Habits of Emotionally Healthy People
Becoming emotionally healthy doesn’t just happen. Just like building muscle, losing weight, or learning to ride a bike, becoming emotionally healthy takes practice and effort. Here are some of the habits that they typically cultivate in order to strengthen their health in this area.
Self-awareness is probably the foundational habit of most emotionally healthy individuals. It involves the ability to look inward and understand your own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors without being clouded by your own natural biases and blind spots.
Becoming self-aware doesn’t just happen. It requires a focused effort. Some people are naturally more self-aware than others, but everyone has to work at it. Here are some tactics you can leverage:
- Mindfulness Meditation. This is the practice of meditating with a purpose of tuning into your feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
- Journaling. This is where you write down your thoughts – a practice that forces you to verbalize what you’re feeling and provide context to your emotions.
- Seeking Feedback. When you proactively seek out feedback from trusted people in your life, it gives you a glimpse into how other people view you. This can help cut through some of the internal noise you have going on inside your brain.
At its core, self-compassion is the ability to embrace your imperfections without being harshly critical. And, while most people don’t know this, it’s actually a habit. It’s something that requires regular work.
Self-compassion is vital for emotional health as it helps individuals to overcome self-doubt, reduce feelings of inadequacy, and enhance overall well-being. Practicing self-compassion creates a nurturing environment within one’s own mind, which, in turn, fosters emotional resilience.
To achieve self-compassion, you’ll need to do a good job of practicing positive self-talk, engaging in self-compassion meditation, forgiving yourself when you mess up, and seeking support from others.
3. Getting Help
Speaking of getting support from others, there’s power in working with a local therapist to help instill and strengthen some of the habits we’re discussing in this article.
When you meet with a local therapist, you’re able to build a relationship with that person. Over time, they start to understand our motivations, strengths, weaknesses, goals, and shortcomings. This allows them to give you specialized advice and therapy to bring your emotional health back into alignment.
Finding a good local therapist is as simple as using TherapyTribe, which filters qualified therapists based on location. For example, if you’re in the South Florida area, you can search and find a local therapist in the Miami area.
4. Embracing Resilience
Resilience is another core habit of emotionally healthy individuals that empowers them to bounce back from adversity, adapt to challenges, and grow through life’s inevitable ups and downs. You could sum it up as the capacity to face setbacks, stressors, and hardships with a sense of inner strength and determination.
Resilience is cultivated in many of the same ways that you practice self-compassion. It starts with a positive mindset and willingness to do hard, uncomfortable things for the promise of some future reward.
Putting it All Together
While most people are concerned with their exterior appearance and how people perceive them, the reality is that what’s inside matters a whole lot more. In fact, it would be safe to say that nothing is more powerful in life than being emotionally healthy. The good news is that emotional health is accessible to nearly everyone, if you put in the work and take proactive steps toward achieving the right balance. Let this article serve as a starting point – a launching pad, if you will – toward a more powerful and stable life.