What are the Goals of Emotional Wellness?
The goals of emotional wellness include those things that keep you mentally and emotionally healthy so you can live your life without being controlled by your emotions.
To get a better understanding of the goals of emotional wellness, let’s first examine what emotional wellness is. It’s a way of being with yourself and the world around you. It refers to being aware of all of the different human emotions and understanding how you feel, think, and behave when experiencing them. Beyond that, emotional wellness is the ability to separate yourself from your emotions, knowing that how you feel doesn’t accurately and thoroughly represent who you are.
Emotional wellness isn’t an either-or concept, something that someone either has or does not have. This wellness exists on a spectrum that ranges from poor insight and emotional regulation on one end to high emotional awareness and the ability to let emotions flow without getting stuck in them on the other end. People move around on the spectrum. No one is stuck in a certain place.
Therefore, the overall goal of emotional wellness is to have a healthy relationship with your emotions so you exist on the higher end of the spectrum. Here, you will still feel the range of emotions. Here, you will have good days and bad days. You’ll have positive interactions with others as well as negative ones. A goal of emotional wellness isn’t to live in a perfect world filled only with positive emotions. Instead, it’s to experience ups and downs and live well anyway, away from the control of your strong emotions.
6 Goals of Emotional Wellness
Striving to live with emotional wellness is a wonderful gift you can give yourself. The goals of emotional wellness are many, and together, they help you create your best (not perfect, for that doesn’t exist) self in a quality life. Your journey will include the goals of emotional wellness, such as:
- Life satisfaction
This is the ability to see the big picture rather than blowing bad experiences and emotions out of proportion. You know that a terrible day doesn’t mean a terrible life, or that an argument doesn’t mean a relationship is doomed ("What are Emotionally Healthy Relationships?").
- Being active with your emotions rather than a passive target for them
One of the goals of emotional wellness is to be able to shift your attention to something more positive and constructive than what you’re currently feeling. For example, when angry, you can choose to do something (leave the room, go for a walk, turn your attention to someone or something else) rather than allowing the anger to overtake you, freezing you in a state of rumination and hate. Even with strong emotional wellness, you’ll get angry sometimes. It’s what you do about it that is important.
- Emotional regulation
There are elements of emotional regulation among the other goals of emotional wellness. Emotional regulation is a skill that you can develop that involves pausing and thinking before impulsively reacting when emotional. Emotional regulation also involves intentionally choosing not to be defined by your feelings.
- Becoming a distant observer
A path to emotional regulation, being a distant observer involves letting your feelings and thoughts exist and just stepping away from them, observing them as if they were happening to someone else. Observing your feelings rather than remaining trapped in them gives you more control over your emotions because you become more objective and your feelings are muted.
- Being comfortable with discomfort
Negative emotions are uncomfortable, so to end the discomfort, we often act impulsively to release them. Have you ever been hurt by someone’s words and found yourself snapping back, saying things you later regret? Discomfort is often behind this and other emotional reactions. When we can pause, take a few slow deep breaths, and become that distant observer, we can learn to let those uncomfortable feelings just exist without immediately reacting to them.
- Making peace with what you can’t control
This is also known as acceptance. Much of our emotions, the negative ones that take a toll on our mental health and wellbeing, relate to struggles against things we wish we could change but can’t. Accepting the unexpected or those things out of our control won’t magically make the changes we want, but it will drastically increase your emotional wellness by freeing you and giving you control over that which you can affect: your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
All of these goals of emotional wellness help lead to the ultimate goal: to create a life we love and live it fully, enjoying the good and handling the bad with grace.
Peterson, T. (2018, May 11). What are the Goals of Emotional Wellness?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/self-help-information/what-are-goals-emotional-wellness