How to link emotional and mental health, will help us understand these aspects of health in our lives. The How To Of Proactive Health notes that of the five aspects of health, only ONE is PERTAINING TO THE BODY and the other four are mind-soul related.
The five aspects of health do not include mental health. This is because emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual health make up the elements of mental health.
MENTAL HEALTH DEFINED
The definition of mental health in Oxford Languages states “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.” Note also, the concept of mental health defined by Medical News Today as “Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave.”
There you have it, THE LINK! Clearly, emotional well-being is part of mental health.
LET’S BE LESS TECHNICAL
Emotions are thoughts, with feelings. Emotional health is how we cope with and manage our emotions. Thoughts cannot be erased and once we think a thought it is automatically linked to an emotion. Try this little emotional-linking exercise.
Think about ….
- Your pet. Emotionally you feel? Love? Warmth? Friendship? Loyalty?
- Think about your grand kids. Emotionally you feel? Happiness? Pride? Love? Adoration?
- Think about your car. Emotionally you feel? Indifferent? Accomplished? Worried?
- Think about you and/or someone you love being bullied. Emotionally you feel? Fear? Hopeless? Bad about yourself?
- Think about your most recent argument? Emotionally you feel? Sad? Upset? Confused? Vindicated?
Consider that two people can experience exactly the same event and produce different thoughts and feelings about it! This is PERCEPTION and we all can have different perceptions in regard to the VERY SAME EVENT. PERCEPTION IS WHAT LINKS OUR THOUGHT TO OUR EMOTION.
For a long while after my husband’s suicide, all I could feel was anger. I absolutely still felt love for him, but mostly I was ANGRY. EMDR therapy (My EMDR Experience – It’s Amazing) changed my perspective completely and now I can focus on compassion. There are people left behind after suicide capable of compassion right away. The difference is perception and the important thing to know about all of this is that events/situations/happening in our lives ALL HAVE MORE THAN ONE POSSIBLE PERSPECTIVE.
Thus the linking pathway is …
- There is an event/person/happening in your life.
- The thoughts about that event/person/object/happening get linked with an emotion.
- If the emotion is negative, your mental health will suffer.
- Work to find positive perspective (Is The Glass Half Full?) and your psychological and emotional well-being will improve(this is where proactivity comes in).
Somehow, I was born knowing (beyond doubt) that life is ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE. It is a very difficult task to find the positive perspective at times, but once you do, once you link an event/person/happening, to a more positive emotion, you will AFFECT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN A POSITIVE WAY!
This is the ENTIRE GOAL of psychotherapy, to help you move your perspective in a generally more positive, helpful direction! This is NOT AN EASY TASK and I do not mean to make this process sound simple. I know personally that it is not! Psychology Compass suggests 7 Tactics for Overcoming Anxiety that talk about perspective changes.
The very first time I began to understand that I could link emotional and mental health and change the course of my illness, was an AHA moment of EPIC proportion. I was many months into group therapy in Toronto that I attended every Saturday for 2.5 years. I listened, I talked, I argued and I cried. The listening was important and I listened perhaps more than I ever had in my life. I listened carefully because listening gave me THEIR PERSPECTIVE.
What was different, of course, was how our mental illnesses came to be. Perceptions, differences in thought brought on by events, emotions attached to events, different thoughts that had the ability to MAKE OR BREAK us. On that day, as I was driving to Georgetown to visit my daughter and grandson, IT HIT ME. SUDDENLY, I UNDERSTOOD THAT I DID HAVE SOME CONTROL over my mental health, I could change the course of my depression, anxiety and fear!
THE PROACTIVE LINK
The proactive link, in how to link emotional and mental health, is about the pathway that happens in our brain, without notice!! You can be proactive with your mental health by stopping and taking notice of the process and working to perceive things differently. Associate thoughts and happenings, people etc., with different emotions and you will affect your mental health. This process is difficult and not easily done, which is why many psychotherapy professionals are out there to help! Though I suggest professional help, you can be proactive and practice this pathway on your own.
Proactive mental health, perspective changing thought, WILL lead to improved mental wellness!