How Do Your Emotions Affect Your Mental Health

For your overall well being, good mental health is extremely important. Mental health is how you respond to events in life and can vary from person to person. People with good mental or emotional health are aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Hence, they can cope better with stress.

To understand how mental health gets affected by emotions, you first need to know basics like what are emotions.

mental health and emotions

What Are Different Types of Emotions?

Emotions are complex mental responses and play a central role in human lives. The various emotions influence how you engage with others and also affect the decisions you make. Human beings experience a varied range of emotions in response to changing situations. These emotions also influence people’s overall health and wellbeing.

Six basic emotions exist in the human mind, and they include happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, surprise, and anger. These positive and negative emotions are important as they are behaviors shown in response to an event and heavily affect your attitudes, behavior, mental wellbeing, physical health, and more. People who have good mental health have a positive outlook and can deal with negative emotions effectively.

How Positive Emotions Affect Your Mental Health

People who show positive emotions in their everyday lives tend to lead happier lives and get along well with others. Positive emotions affect your mental health in a way that helps increase awareness, attention, and memory.

Positive emotions also help decrease stress, leading to improvements in work, personal life, and mental health. They can also undo the lingering effects associated with negative emotions. By maintaining positive emotions, a person can build resilience which will help in overcoming challenging situations.

How Some Emotions Affect Your Mental Health

Some emotions like anger, grief, sadness, or jealousy can harm your mental health. Though these feelings are completely natural, long-lasting bouts of these emotions can stop you from enjoying life. They can prevent you from thinking clearly during the situation and cause unnecessary stress.

Such emotions can increase the levels of cortisol and adrenaline, which are stress hormones. Chronic stress, in turn, may lead to depression, anxiety, and irritability in people. Suppressing emotions is also not good for your mental health as they can cause mental illness.

emotions affect mental health

Long-Term Effect of Negative Emotions

Persistent negative emotions can greatly affect a person and cause them to behave differently. This includes:

    • Withdrawing from people
    • Being indecisive or inflexible
    • Experiencing problems getting sleep or staying asleep

It is essential to manage negative emotions, which are referred to as emotion regulation. There are two emotion regulation strategies – cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression. By using these strategies, a person can decrease the effects of negative emotions while increasing the benefits of positive emotions and enhancing their overall wellbeing.

How you handle your emotions is one of the many ways to take control of your mental health. Finding a perfect balance between positive and negative emotions, practicing gratitude, taking care of your physical health, and meditation can greatly help you improve your mental health.

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