How you’re feeling can impact more than just your daily activities. Your emotions pay an integral role in your mental and even physical health. If your emotional health is out of balance, you may experience high blood pressure, ulcers, chest pain, or a host of other physical symptoms. But when you’re feeling pretty good about yourself, it’s much easier to cope with life’s ups and downs. Before you can learn to manage emotions effectively, its important to understand what emotional wellness is.

What is emotional wellness?

Emotional wellness is a little more complex than trying to be happy all the time. It’s also not the complete absence of negative emotions. It’s about proper management of emotions and working through them in a healthy manner. One of the best definitions I’ve come across is this:

Emotionally healthy people are those who can control their emotions and behavior, who show resilience in troubling situations and can build strong, lasting relationships.

Before we discuss some ways to boost your emotional wellness, let’s address the big misconception. It’s not about faking positive emotions and suppressing all negatives ones. Allowing yourself to experience negative emotions is okay and necessary. As well as taking joy when the positive ones come along.

This is one of the first things you can do to help your emotional wellness; recognize them. For example, when you acknowledge that you’re angry you can manage it better and not lash out in negative manner. Here are some additional ways to boost your emotional wellness.

Grow your social connections

Technology today can connect people across the world, but rewarding connection requires some face-to-face time. A lot of communication is non-verbal. Humans are social creatures with an emotional needs for connections and relationships. This is why forming and fostering social connections is probably the most important thing you can do for emotional health.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to current friends and families. Most people are honored if you trust them enough to confide in them. If you’re finding it difficult within your current social connections there are some healthy ways to grow your circle.

Try volunteering. Not only will you be helping your community, you’ll meet other compassionate people. You could also take a class to learn something new or join a group focused on a favorite hobby. You’ll find companions who enjoy that same things you do.

Eat healthier and exercise

There are many physical benefits for eating right and staying active, but they also benefit your emotions. Exercise can be a positive outlet for relieving stress or negative emotions like anger. Eating right not only improves overall wellness, but it can help you lose weight. And losing weight can be a major boost to your self-confidence.

Meditation

Along with exercise, meditation is also great for stress relief. It also has an additional benefit of obtaining a healthier mindset. Meditation can help you clear your mind of overwhelming emotions and focus on the present. If you don’t want to dive all the way into meditation, try exploring the concept of mindfulness. It can be as simple as calming your breathing from time to time or taking a walk outside to enjoy the moment.

Putting it into practice

Remember that emotional wellness is not just the absence of (or suppressing) negative emotions. It’s about managing them in a healthy manner. Don’t expect to be perfect from the start, or ever. Emotions can come along at any time. It’s what you do with them that’s important. It’s always okay to talk with your doctor or a mental health professional about improving your emotional wellness.