What does "Emotional Health" look like to you?
That was the question that the reporter from our local paper, the Reading Eagle, asked me today as part of an interview on the relationship between heart health and mental health.
What an important question for a therapist to be clear on! Here's my very basic, undecorated take on it...You probably have your own definitions, but if not, it's not a bad idea to ponder what it looks like to you, especially if you are in therapy. It's good to know what you're working towards!
1. You have a realistic assessment and acceptance of yourself
You know your strengths and weaknesses, and love and accept all parts of yourself. You feel your feelings
and allow them to rise and fall without judging yourself.
2. You are basically resilient
You are flexible and can bounce back to a homeostasic balance reasonably quickly after setbacks. You are
resourced, know how to practice self-care, and are willing to ask for support when needed.
3. You have the capacity for present moment focus
You are here. You are not preoccupied with worries of the future and ruminations on the past. You can look
at life without filters, and you see things as they are.
4. You meet your physical needs are met with balance
You are not hijacked by addictions, compulsions or emotional gaps. You eat your fill, sleep regularly,
exercise in ways that are supportive to your health, and are conscious with your sexuality.
5. Meaningful connections to yourself other people and to purposeful work
You have a wide variety of warm, open relationships with others, and spend your time on worthy pursuits
that are satisfying to you and fill a need in our aching world. You show up, and you contribute.
6. You are creative.
Nothing more needs to be said about this. To be a fully healthy human is to create.