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What is Emotional WellBeing: 5 Things You Should Know

If WellBeing is a Body, then Emotional WellBeing is the Heart. If WellBeing is a Vehicle, then Emotional WellBeing is the interior design.
Either way, it’s essential for a delightful life. WellBeing Toolkits

If WellBeing is a Body, then Emotional WellBeing is the Heart.

If WellBeing is a Vehicle, then Emotional WellBeing is the Interior design.

Either way, it’s essential for a delightful Life

WellBeing Toolkits

Emotional WellBeing is one of the topics that I’m interested about knowing, learning and teaching. It’s one of the essential wellbeing toolkits that you must have if you’re interested in living a delightful and happier life.

As you are reading these lines, your emotional wellbeing is already in control by one or more emotions depending on what you were doing just before clicking this article. These emotions could be for example; happiness, sadness, frustration, anger, or joy

Today, I’m going to help you understand the basics about Emotional WellBeing by focusing on 5 points, and after reading this article, you’ll have a strong foundation on the topic to build on as we progress through the upcoming articles regarding emotional wellbeing.

Emotional WellBeing Definition

Emotional WellBeing is a state of feeling balanced with the ability to restore that balance once disturbed by life events. It’s about mastering the art of dealing with emotions generated from within and those from others.

Keywords to remember

A State

It’s a state so emotional wellbeing isn’t a tangible thing to  have, rather it’s something to be felt. This means that its assessment is mainly subjective based on your evaluation to your feelings in a given day or week

Feeling Balanced

There’s no such thing as Happily ever after. I’m sure Snow white had a fight with prince charming about being busy ruling the country with not enough time for her.

Just like electricity, where you have to have 2 nodes to generate a current that powers up a house, emotions also have pairs of opposite feelings that lead to a dynamic rhythm of life

Being happy all the time is a disease and so as being sad all the time. You have to mix it up.

The trick is to have a net result of feeling balanced as Zero or higher, so if we can put it in an equation I would say:

Happiness – Sadness = 0

Or

Happiness – Sadness = >0

The question now is, when should this balance be? Is it by the end of the day/week/month/year…?

In my opinion, I would say will be unique to each and everyone of us and also depending on the cause of the emotion

Let me explain…

Depending on the person: One may need to take a day to get the negative feeling out of him, another one may need 2 days, a third one may need a week to shake things off, and so on.

Same with the positive feelings. One may return to normal in a day, or 2, etc.

Depending on the cause: Losing someone will have longer effect on a person compared to losing a key. Having the dream job or meeting “THE ONE” is totally different and will have longer effect compared to winning 5 dollars in a small competition.

From within and others

Mastering Emotional WellBeing is like driving. A good driver is actually driving 5 cars: his car, one on the left, one on the right, one in front, and the one behind.

That’s why Emotional WellBeing is not only about managing the emotions and feeling that you have, but also the ones originating from others.

Now pay attention! You’re responsible for formulating, controlling and managing the emotions coming from within you, but you’re only responsible for dealing with the emotion’s others have. It’s not your responsibility to formulate the emotion, just managing or dealing with it

Emotional Wellbeing or Emotional Wellness or Emotional Health

I use emotional wellbeing more often and it means the same for me as emotional wellness, so sometimes I use them interchangeably.

I find that Emotional Health on the other side is a lower level than Emotional WellBeing. It is the absence of emotional illness (positive or negative). Fear of a spider is acceptable (Emotional Health), but irrational fear isn’t (Emotional Illness). Laughing to a joke is acceptable (Emotional Health), but laughing to a business presentation is questionable (Emotional Illness)

Let’s remember the WellBeing Spectrum

The WellBeing spectrum for the Emotional WellBeing levels

The Wellbeing Spectrum

There are 4 different levels to your life in terms “Being” which are illbeing, Abnormal, Normal, and wellbeing

Normal: Health

Let’s start with Normal to better understand this. Normal here translates to having good emotional health. This is you having normal emotional functions like laughing to a joke, crying when losing someone, or fearing a spider

Abnormal: Illness

This is when you have an emotional malfunction either due to a disease or lack of a skill. This is you having emotional dysfunctions like irrational fears, laughing, crying, etc. It usually translates into or are  being manifested as mental disorders like phobia, or anxiety or depression

Illbeing (Lowest)

This is the worsening of your abnormal stage. This is where your emotional or mental disorder affects your life and result in losing jobs, or ending marriages, etc.

Wellbeing (Best)

This is the upgrade of the normal stage. This is where you have higher Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Who is Emotional WellBeing for?

Emotional WellBeing improvement is for children, adults, parents, employees, and everyone else. After all, we all share one world and we’re depending on dealing with one another to survive.

What if you have to choose? What if you have parents, children, and friends, who do you choose to focus on first?

I would answer that the focus should be on improving yourself first, then your children, then everyone else starting with ones that have children.

The reason for that order is that you won’t be able to fix others unless you fix yourself first. You need to master the art of dealing with your anger, frustration, sadness, and have the tools that make you happy, confident, joyful.

When that is done, you’ll be able to teach it to your children and improve their emotional wellbeing and emotional intelligence (EQ). They are more important to me than other adults, because children are more fragile than adults so strengthening them at early stages is mandatory for long term practice and stable life.

When you finish the children stage, or to be more accurate, when it’s under cruise control, you can start educating other adults around you, starting with ones who have children like yourself for the same reasons.

Transitioning between each phase doesn’t have to happen when the previous one is finished totally, cause managing emotional wellbeing is a lifelong journey. Instead you can transition once you feel the current stage is moving automatically without too much effort from your side.

What are emotional wellbeing challenges?

Let’s us know the 6 factors affecting the improvement of your emotional wellbeing:

1- Family

This is the first factor that comes into play when shaping and forming your emotional wellbeing, your family.

In my opinion this happens through 2 acts:

1- Rank in family

First child usually is calmer, the middle child(s) is more active and sometimes feel neglected, and the last child, is usually happier cause he or she gets cuddled the most since they are the last in the chain, unless they join the middle child category if mom and dad are still producing.

2- Type of family

Being raised in a family that is aware of emotional wellbeing and practice it, is different from being raised in a harsh, tough love family.

“Stop crying for god’s sake. Your dad is dead and there’s nothing you can do”

“Complaining to the teacher is weakness. You get teased, you smack that kid down”

“When I tell you to do a thing, you do it right away, no questions asked, boy!!”

Those and others are examples of emotional reactions we hear, or say, in our houses to our own partners and children. And it would be very unlikely that these families will produce well emotional functioning individuals who will sabotage their own generations as well and so on.

2- Environment

This is another factor that show up early as well.

Different places affect your emotional wellbeing differently. I remember the different phases or changes I had throughout my education journey. In primary and preparatory school, I was a calm person then in high school I was stressed and anxious most of the times because of the importance of these future shaping years

Then I was able to join the medical college as per my planning and I can say that I was mostly happy throughout the university phase.

Different countries also play a role in shaping your emotions. Being in France has a different impact than being I Russia. Being in Saudi Arabia is different than being in America.

3- Knowledge

In my opinion, this is the third factor in order to affect your emotional wellbeing.

You were blessed with an emotional effective family and let’s say that you were adaptive to your environment then and passed schooling grades with fine colors.

The next factor is the amount of knowledge and practice you have about emotional wellbeing yourself and how effective it is.

The more you know about emotional wellbeing, the better you can handle your emotions and live a happier life, and the better you’ll be in avoiding the 9 common mistakes about Emotional WellBeing.

Having this could be installed by family or teachers while in school, or it can be achieved by reading couple of books that I recommend, and I’ll be speaking about them later.

What is also important, if not more important, is to apply what you have learnt about emotional wellbeing. You’ll still need to practice what you know on a daily basis till it becomes a second nature to you.

I always emphasize more about applying or doing because it saves the information longer and is the primary cause of transformation.

4- Money

An interesting study in 2010 found out that income plays a role in shaping your emotional wellbeing. The researchers discovered that having more and more money doesn’t affect your emotional wellbeing is one might think. Although it adds to an increased overall life satisfaction.

So, it is right then, Money can’t buy happiness, it can buy satisfaction.

The researchers also found that an annual income lower than $75000 was associated with both lower life satisfaction and lower emotional wellbeing because this now means poor handling to diseases, or difficult situations, and more insecurity and fear from the future.

5- Job

Having one job may add to the positive side of emotional wellbeing, while others may add to the negative side of it. Being an entertainer certainly carries loads of happiness, joy, and laughter, while being a caregiver to someone with a chronic condition or is a terminal case carries loads of sadness, and frustration

6- Diseases

As mentioned above, having a chronic condition or having a terminal medical condition is a factor affecting emotional wellbeing negatively.

Assessing emotional wellbeing

As I mentioned in the definition, the overall emotional wellbeing can be assessed subjectively by you using the simple following question from time to time:

On a scale from 0-10, 0 being low, and 10 being highest, how would you rank your emotional wellbeing today?

Then you do the following:

  1. Identify your current level
  2. Choose a target level or number to aim for
  3. Come up with corrective actions, implement them
  4. Track in a week or a month by answering the same question again.
  5. Redo steps 1-4.

Conclusion

  • Emotional WellBeing is a state of feeling balanced with the ability to restore that balance once disturbed by life events. It’s about mastering the art of dealing with emotions generated from within and those from others.
  • There’s no such thing as Happily ever after. Just like electricity, where you have to have 2 nodes to generate a current that powers up a house, emotions also have pairs of opposite feelings that lead to a dynamic rhythm of life
  • You’re responsible for formulating, controlling and managing the emotions coming from within you, but you’re only responsible for dealing with the emotions others have. It’s not your responsibility to formulate the emotion, just managing or dealing with it
  • Just like Mental and Physical WellBeing, Emotional WellBeing has 4 stages in the WellBeing spectrum, starting with WellBeing at the top then downgrading to Health, Illness, then finally to Illbeing at the bottom
  • Emotional WellBeing is for everyone starting with oneself, then children (if any), then other adults
  • There are 6 factors that play in shaping our emotional wellbeing: family, environment, knowledge, money, job, disease
  • Assessing your emotional wellbeing can be done subjectively, simply by asking, on a scale from 0-10, 0 being low, and 10 being highest, how would you rank your emotional wellbeing today?

References

High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being, Daniel Kahneman, Angus Deaton, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sep 2010, 107 (38) 16489-16493; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1011492107

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