When it comes to your health, you are probably more likely to consider things like your fitness level, your digestion and how you physically feel on a regular basis. What you may not realize, however, is that your mental and emotional state plays a role in your health as well. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between your emotional and mental health.
Understanding Mental Health
Mental health involves aspects of cognitive thinking including keeping your attention to focus on a certain task. This requires your brain to process certain information, to store it in memory and to comprehend and understand it.
Deductive reasoning and processing new information are also two components of mental health. Your brain takes in everything you see, hear and touch and turns it into information, processing it as needed. Forming opinions, making decisions and using logic are all components of mental health.
What is Emotional Health?
Whereas mental health involves cognitive thinking and processing of information, emotional health involves being is able to express your emotions in an appropriate way. Emotional health can be difficult to determine because your emotional range and control varies by age and other factors.
For example, it is normal for a toddler to swap between emotions in a short span of time while an adult would be expected to have more control over his or her emotions. Good emotional health is typically defined as having positive management and expression of emotions while not having reactions of unhealthy stress or depression.
Difference Between the Two
After reading the definitions above, you may have a better understanding of mental versus emotional health. It took me a little time to completely grasp the difference between the two but it helped me to remember this: mental health is your ability to properly think and process information while emotional health is your ability to appropriately express feelings. While the two are very different, you can’t have one without the other. The choices you make on a daily basis involve both mental and emotional processing – your cognitive reasoning may be influenced by the way you feel about a certain situation.
Once you understand the difference between mental and emotional health, you can begin to manage it. People who have trouble managing their mental and emotional health are prone to develop a number of problems including the following:
• Depression and anxiety
• Fearful or angry reactions
• High levels of stress
• Excessive worrying
As humans, we have a constant stream of information running through our heads at all times. If you are not able to properly filter and process that information, it can become quite stressful. Being unable to properly express or control your emotions can also become quite problematic.
Fortunately, both of these situations are manageable – engaging in behavioral and talk therapy can help you to work out your difficulties with mental and emotional health. In some cases, it may even be an issue of a mental health condition that must be managed with medication.
If you have difficulty managing your mental or emotional health, do not jump to the worst conclusion. Life is stressful and everyone handles it differently. Some people may be able to quickly process new information and make a decision while others take their time to assess the situation and decide. The key is to learn how your body works and to become in-tune with your own mental and emotional health.