Your emotional health is the epicenter of your overall well-being and outlook on life. It is intricately tied to your physical health, your relationships, and how you navigate through life’s ups and downs. You likely have met someone who seems genuinely happy most days, is able to cope with changes gracefully and is a positive force to be around. What’s their secret? Can anyone find balance and be an emotionally healthy person?

Why is good emotional health important?

Good emotional health is important in your everyday life because it encompasses how you think, feel, and interact with others. It can also determine how you handle difficult situations. When you don’t take care of your mind, things can spiral out of control, causing problems in all aspects of your life.

If you have no outlet for constant physical and/or emotional stress, several conditions may result, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Behavioral problems
  • Substance abuse

Finding healthy ways to keep your spirits up and stay positive can have a huge impact on your overall well-being.

5 habits you should practice to stay emotionally fit

Below are 5 of the most effective habits for building emotional fitness and becoming a more resilient, mentally tough, and emotionally fit version of yourself. These are habits I practice myself and are recommended by many psychologists.

1. Get enough sleep

Sleep is important because it allows your body to rest and your mind to reset. Sleep also has the ability to affect your mood. If you aren’t allowing yourself to get plenty of rest at night, you can easily become irritable, and your physical health may deteriorate along with your mental wellbeing.

“Early to be and early rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

– Benjamin Franklin

“Early to be and early rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

– Benjamin Franklin

2. Eating healthy and exercising

Eating properly is important for many reasons, but did you know it can really impact you mentally? By eating healthy foods that are full of vital nutrients, you increase your overall wellbeing and decrease anxiety and stress. Exercise goes hand-in-hand with eating healthy, as it can also improve your overall mood and fight anxiety and depression by releasing the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine.

“Motivation often comes after starting, not before. Action produces momentum.”

— James Clear

3. Practicing more empathy

Social interaction is a very big part of being human. It allows you to connect with people of all kinds on many different levels. Forming connections with others, whether it’s family or friends, can help you combat the stressors that creep up on you daily. You can even stretch outside of your normal circle and get involved in the community or volunteer to help boost your mood.

“Not being you is risky way of becoming.”

― Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

4. Relaxation techniques

Over time, stress can build in your body and wreak havoc on your mind. One of the best ways to fight this is by training your mind actively to relax. This decreases stress levels, lowers blood pressure, and reduces muscle tension. There are several different relaxation techniques that our doctors may recommend, including:

  • Progressive relaxation
  • Guided imagery
  • Biofeedback
  • Self-hypnosis
  • Deep breathing

Another great relaxation technique is meditation. Meditation takes practice, but it’s a very powerful tool in combating difficult or trying times in your life.

“Just when you feel you have no time to relax, know that this is the moment you most need to make time to relax.”

― Matt Haig

“Just when you feel you have no time to relax, know that this is the moment you most need to make time to relax.”

― Matt Haig

5. Practice gratitude and stay positive

Remembering that you have things to be thankful for in your life is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Gratitude is an amazing way to have a positive mindset when life is getting you down. Set some time aside each day to think about the positives in your life, and write them down so you can refer back to them. Having a positive outlook on life, even in your darkest moments, can help your mental health immensely.

“To think too much is a disease.”n― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Words matter. And the words that matter most are the ones you say to yourself.”

― David Taylor-Klaus

By following these tips, you’re a huge step ahead of the stress that can try to bog you down every day. However, if you ever find yourself struggling through life and are feeling depressed, seek help immediately. Asking for help is not only a means to avoid depression or self-harm, but it’s also a positive because it means there’s someone there to take your hand and lead you to the light.