Whenever we talk about a healthy person, the image immediately comes to mind as a physically healthy person. We devote a lot of time to things like exercising, dieting, and maintaining our physical appearance. However, it is important to recognize that health involves more than physical well-being or appearance. Mental health and emotional health are equally important as our physical health. A truly healthy person not only takes care of their physical body but also prioritizes their mental and emotional well-being. A healthy mindset doesn't come naturally to everyone, and it requires conscious effort, self-care, and going through emotional healing. It involves processing emotions and thoughts correctly, managing stress effectively, working on healing traumas and understanding ourselves, and seeking help when needed. Taking time for self-reflection, healing, engaging in activities that bring joy, and building strong relationships are all crucial components of maintaining a healthy mindset. A whole-person approach to health considers both physical and emotional health, which lets people live full and balanced lives.
Let's look at some benefits of healthy emotional and physical health.
Better Coping Abilities
A person who is emotionally healthy can better cope with stressful situations in ways that do not harm their health. They are able to think and make clear decisions, rather than being overwhelmed by negative emotions. They are also less likely to engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse or emotional eating. This allows them to navigate through challenging times with resilience and adaptability.
Enhanced Mental Clarity
Maintaining emotional and physical health promotes improved mental clarity. When the mind is free from stress and anxiety, individuals are able to think more clearly, problem-solve effectively, and make rational decisions. This mental clarity improves cognitive functioning, memory retention, and overall productivity in daily activities.
Cultivates Stronger Relationships
Healthy emotions and physical well-being contribute to the formation and nurturing of strong relationships. When individuals take care of their emotional health, they are better equipped to express themselves, empathize with, and understand their close friends and family members.
Nevertheless, at some point in our lives, each of us will experience something painful, and as a result, we will sustain wounds, which can have a detrimental effect on our mental and emotional health and that can affect our relationships and shatter our trust in people. It may be challenging for us to maintain emotional stability and handle stress effectively because of these wounds, whether they are the result of trauma, heartbreak, or loss. It becomes crucial to actively work towards healing these emotional wounds through therapy, self-reflection, prayer, and seeking support from loved ones in order to regain our emotional health and have meaningful relationships. Ignoring emotional wounds can lead to long-term negative consequences, such as chronic stress, depression, and strained relationships.
When we do not process and deal with unhealthy emotions like hate, envy, sadness, and unforgiveness, they tend to surface every time we go through stressful events or traumas. Whatever is inside of us is amplified during traumatic events. If you regularly struggle with your past, it is time to take care of your emotions. Your history can show up in your present and affect your relationships and decision-making in a very negative way.
Emotional Health Aids in Dating
When we are not emotionally healthy, we often attract emotionally unhealthy people into our lives. Our insecurities can drive us to choose the wrong relationship, resulting in despair and heartache. Many young men and women wonder why their relationships go sour and why they keep ending up with partners who mistreat them or are unable to provide the stability and support they need. The truth is, when we lack emotional stability, we often settle for less than we deserve, accepting toxic behaviors or neglecting our own needs. On the other hand, when we prioritize our emotional well-being and work on ourselves, we become better equipped to recognize red flags, set boundaries, and establish healthier relationships that contribute to our overall happiness and fulfillment.
Emotional Health Can Increase Productivity
Emotional health plays a significant role in our overall well-being and can greatly impact our productivity levels. When we take the time to process and deal with our wounds and traumas, we get rid of the heavy baggage and free up mental and emotional space to focus on the tasks at hand. We feel lighter and freer to address, resolve, and communicate in ways that people can understand us, and we can accomplish more at work and in business. We become less defensive, emotionally balanced, and have more patience because the triggers of our wounds and traumas no longer control our reactions.
Our productivity can also increase when we prioritize our physical health. When we take care of our bodies by engaging in regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep, we have more energy and stamina to tackle our daily tasks.
One day I received a call from a woman who told me that she was looking for a job, and no matter where she applied, she was unsuccessful. She expressed her frustration and disappointment, which had been building up for months. As we spoke further, it became clear that she had been suppressing her emotions and was struggling with extreme fatigue after the loss of a significant loved one. She was depressed and still grieving. I suggested that she take some time to acknowledge and explore her feelings of grief, encouraging her to seek therapy to process and release her emotions. She couldn't understand why her feelings of grief could affect her job search. I explained how she couldn't properly process her emotions of grief, how that could affect her posture and body language, how people could feel that deep sadness in her, and why she was extremely tired all the time. It made a lot of sense to her, and we started working together to address these issues. Together, we navigated the complexities of grief while also empowering her to heal and improving her mental state and overall well-being. As a result, her newfound emotional stability positively impacted her job search efforts, allowing her to confidently present herself during interviews and ultimately secure a stable and fulfilling position for herself and her child.
I have witnessed numerous individuals transform their lives by addressing their emotional and mental health. By healing from past wounds and developing healthy coping mechanisms, they were able to overcome obstacles that were previously holding them back. It is incredible to see the positive impact that emotional well-being can have on one's personal, professional, and academic growth.
Increased Emotional and Physical Endurance
Physically fit and healthy people have more physical endurance and can endure longer periods of physical activity without experiencing exhaustion or fatigue. This increased endurance allows them to engage in various physical activities, such as sports or outdoor adventures, and enjoy them to the fullest. They can also make a speedy recovery after being sick. The same is true of emotionally healthy people. They have more endurance, are resilient when facing stressful situations, and quickly bounce back from trauma.
This concept reminds me of a perfectly balanced scale.
To balance the scale, we place equal weight on each side. Physical health on one side and emotional health on the other. To maintain balance in their lives, when the physical suffers, the emotional health aids in recovery. When a person goes through emotional turmoil, their physical health helps them get back up.
The connection between our physical and emotional health is very real and has a significant impact on our overall well-being. When we neglect our emotional health, it can manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, muscle pain, fatigue, and chronic pain for which there is no known medical cause.
Also, harboring negative emotions can lead to increased stress levels, which can weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to illnesses. Therefore, it is vital to prioritize our emotional well-being and seek healthy ways to process and release these emotions for a healthier and happier life. Caring for our emotional health is as vital as caring for our physical health, and bringing balance in both directions can increase our quality of life.
Your physical health is also connected to your emotional health. 20–30% of what we eat nurtures our brain. What you eat can affect your brain’s function, either negatively or positively. The physical body needs food and rest. Food is for energy; rest is for re-energizing. Our brain needs rest and downtime. You cannot deprive yourself of rest or food and expect your body to function like a clock. We are humans; we all have ups and downs. Healthy people recognize those moments and adjust their day accordingly.
Now, what practical steps can you take? Try to answer these questions.
How is my emotional health? What kind of negative emotions am I struggling with, and what can I do about them?
Write them down and think of where the negative is coming from.
When was the first time you started thinking about them? You can pray about them.
Write down or think about what you are eating. Are you eating regularly and eating healthily?
Make some adjustments in your schedule to rest and have downtime.
Always keep in mind the importance of maintaining harmony in your thoughts, emotions, and physical self. You must make a conscious effort to work on them and make progress.
Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of emotional and physical well-being, put into practice what you have learned and see how your life can change.
Author: Sona Jamgotchian/Biblical Counselor