In my previous post, we spoke about Self-Care for your Emotional Health. I’ve had a few of you message me asking what is the difference between emotional health and mental health. First, let’s get into the definition of both.
The World Health Organisation defines Mental Health as:
“Mental health is not just the absence of mental disorder. It is defined as a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”
Now there’s probably so much I can delve into with this quote and many questions we can ask ourselves such as,
What are the normal stresses of life?
What kind of contribution should we be making in our community?
Which type of abilities do we need to realise?
Most of us associate mental health with mental disorders, but there are so many different sections think of Mental Health is like a tree with so many branches.
Family Doctor defines Emotional Health as:
”Emotional health is an important part of overall health. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. They are able to cope with life’s challenges. They can keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks. They feel good about themselves and have good relationships.”
Again Emotional Health is another broad subject, but if you want to know more in-depth of how you can care for your emotional health make sure to check out my previous post here.
To me Emotional Health isn’t about being happy all the time, it’s about being kind to yourself. But, don’t treat yourself like a victim either. So the quote said, good emotional health means you are able to cope with life’s challenges. This also means facing up to any form of negativity and bounce back even if you’re in the wrong.
Although you are probably thinking ‘ Kels, isn’t emotional health one of mental healths branches?’ You’re correct. It is, but if you just focus purely on the concept of mental health, you will be focusing too much on action than controlling and accepting emotion. Here’s an example:
Mental Health is your ability to process information.
Emotional Health if how you express your feelings.
So, Mary from down the road has just dropped you off a slice of her famous Victoria Sponge.
The first thing your brain will do is analyse the situation, account the stress level of the situation, and also analyse Mary. This happens in a matter of seconds or less.
This is your mental health analysing the situation for a reaction. Then we welcome your emotional health (reaction). Of course, the stress levels to this situation is very low, so you would respond with positive emotion, smile and give gratitude.
Of course, I must mention, some situations such as Mary dropping off a slice of victory sponge can be seen as a stressful situation for someone with social anxiety. Thus, creating a negative emotion of fear and uncomfortableness. Social Anxiety is a mental illness, which means the analytical part of your brain isn’t functioning properly. Your brain will trigger you to think the situation is more stressful. It would obviously be different if Mary came to your door with a bat. That would set off alarms for anyone’s Mental Health.
So, as you can see the Mental Health and Emotional Health are completely different but both work in harmony.
Mental Health absorbs the information and emotional health gives the reaction.
I hope you all have a great week next week and I’ll see you all on Wednesday for an exciting post all about how to declutter a busy mind!