You may have heard the terms mental health and emotional health used interchangeably. You may have even used them as synonyms yourself. However, mental and emotional health have very different meanings.
Many people become interested in how to take better care of your general well-being, and others may want to learn more about mental health issues and behavioral health treatment options. In trying to learn more, it becomes important to differentiate mental health from emotional health.
What Is Mental Health?
The phrase “mental health” is used every day, from being the subject of news reports to coming up in casual conversation. However, do you know what mental health actually means?
Mental health influences your thoughts and actions, and it covers three main types of well-being:
The status of your mental health can affect many different areas of your life, from your ability to manage stress to how well you maintain your relationships with others. There are a wide range of symptoms associated with mental health problems, including severe changes in mood, feeling a lack of energy, overeating or under-eating, insomnia, excessive sleeping, and increased use of drugs and alcohol.
What Is Emotional Health?
Like mental health, the phrase emotional health can easily be used in conversation, even if no one is quite sure about the term’s meaning. Emotional health is having both an awareness of your emotions and the ability to manage and express those feelings in an age-appropriate manner.
There are no instant fixes for bettering your emotional health; however, there are many steps you can take to improve it. For instance, try to identify the positive in situations and work on developing your strengths instead of focusing on any perceived weaknesses.
While mental and emotional health are similar in some respects, it is important to remember that these terms are ultimately very different. Some differences that separate mental health from emotional include:
Difference #1: Processing Information Versus Expressing Emotion
Part of mental health is how well your mind processes and understands information and experiences. In contrast, emotional health involves your ability to manage and express the emotions that arise from what you have learned and experienced.
Difference #2: One Can Thrive While the Other Struggles
An important distinction between mental and emotional health is that you can experience mental health issues while maintaining good emotional health, and vice versa. For example, while struggling with a
mental health problem like having little energy for daily tasks, you can still exhibit emotional health by finding effective ways to manage that lack of energy.
Difference #3: The Scope of the Two Terms
Mental health is not only about how well you understand and process what you experience. It also includes your ability to carefully reason through decisions and maintain a steady, focused attention span. The wide scope of mental health puts it in sharp contrast to emotional health, which has the more focused definition of actively understanding and managing your emotions.
Find Help with Behavioral Health Treatment
If you are struggling with your mental health, consider reaching out to the Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare Assessment Center. We are here to provide behavioral health assessments and evaluations and will work with you to develop a unique treatment plan that best meets your needs.