With more and more research connecting our emotional and physical health, it comes as no surprise just how important it is to take care of our emotional well-being. If you are like me and grew up in a household that put very little emphasis on this, it can be hard to understand what emotional health actually is, let alone how to start improving it.
Emotional health can be defined in a few ways: having high self-esteem, a solid sense of self, and being in control of yourself despite how you’re feeling.
Being able to acknowledge and then constructively express a wide range of emotions to others not only helps you handle life’s challenges better but will aid in building strong relationships. In the process of releasing unhealthy habits and beliefs, I came across these 15 habits that emotionally healthy people do:
1. They continue to grow their self-awareness
The first step in moving towards becoming emotionally healthy is self-awareness. When you practice self-awareness, you are able to see what habits and beliefs serve you and which do not. You can do so by engaging in self-reflection and self-analysis on a regular basis.
2. They know their boundaries
Emotionally healthy people know their boundaries and aren’t afraid to stick to them. They know by doing so they are not only keeping themselves emotionally safe and happy, they will be of better service to others… even if that means saying no.
3. They forgive and repair damaged relationships, if possible
Emotionally healthy people forgive. It may take time, but they allow themselves to grieve and work through any and all emotions that come up after being hurt. If possible, they repair damaged relationships, but they also know when it’s best to end a relationship for good.
4. They exercise and eat well
The mind, body, and soul are all connected. Healthy people understand how important each is in regard to the others. That means not only expanding your mind, i.e. reading, learning something new, meditating, but also moving your body and fueling it properly. You will be able to focus, perform, and sleep better.
5. They nurture their self-esteem
Healthy people understand their self-esteem will naturally go through highs and lows as the “seasons change.” They do not hold onto judgments about these changes but rather accept and nurture them.
6. They practice flexibility
No, I’m not talking about yoga (although I’m sure yoga definitely helps with being emotionally healthy!) What I am talking about is being flexible with what life throws at you. Emotionally healthy people are adaptable. They can assess a new situation, how they’re feeling, and other reactions to it. They can then decide what is the best way to respond.
7. They place a high value on personal development
Healthy people understand the value of personal development. They grow and learn from mentors and people they admire. They spend a lot of time reading or listening to information about personal development so they can grow (kinda like you’re doing right now!)
8. They stay positive
You will rarely see an emotionally healthy person complaining about their life. Instead, you’ll see someone who can accept the current hand they’ve been dealt with positivity. They are problem solvers. They create opportunities to grow and do so willingly.
9. They practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude is a healthy way to attract more of the things you want in your life. If you want more love, be grateful for the love you already have. If you want more money, same thing. Healthy people understand and honor the law of attraction by practicing gratitude. They also understand by giving thanks you are shifting your thoughts onto the positive rather than the negative.
10. If they are angry, they allow themselves to be angry
I know this appears to contradict the last two traits but listen, healthy people acknowledge, accept, and express exactly how they feel. They don’t hold it in or let it fester for long. If they’re mad, they allow themselves to feel mad. Same with being hurt, jealous, disappointed, frustrated or the like. The difference between emotionally healthy people and emotionally unhealthy people is they recognize that they feel a particular emotion and allow themselves time to process it. Once that happens, they tend to feel better!
11. They stay active and productive
Healthy people are always trying something new – volunteering at an animal shelter, building a new shed, learning how to ski or something that keeps their minds and bodies challenged. They know the beauty of life happens when you go out and live!
12. They know when to ask for help
Emotionally healthy people aren’t afraid to ask for help, or rather, they ask despite feeling afraid. They recognize it’s OK to get assistance at some point or another, whether it’s to help with emotional issues, relationship advice, or they’re in need of a dog sitter. When they need to, they will ask.
13. They take care of themselves
Self-care is vital in being emotionally healthy. These kind of people know when you need to refuel your bodies & minds and aren’t afraid to do so. They are also aware of their limits, their triggers and how to get back in balance.
14. They follow their passions
Passions don’t live within us to be ignored. Emotionally healthy people work towards living a fulfilled life, and a major part of that is by following their passions. They understand if they don’t, they will always be longing for something and that is fertile ground for falling into unhealthy ways. Find your passion and follow it! It will lead you to love, I promise.
15. They love animals
You don’t have to own and love a cat, dog, rabbit, iguana, snake, or horse to be emotionally healthy. However, I bet there’s a lot of emotionally healthy people out there who are big animal lovers and have a beloved fur, or fur-less, baby that they consider family!