Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today


What Is Emotional Wellness?

Studies have shown that emotional wellness leads to happiness. Here's how.

Source: Shaharirir_Pixaby

October is Emotional Wellness Month and emotional wellness is critical to our well-being and health. Mental health is one of today’s major health challenges, as approximately one in five individuals suffers from a mental health episode each year.

Emotional wellness is a term often used in spiritual circles, and it can often serve to fend off mental challenges, but what is it, and what does it really mean to be emotionally well?

According to the National Center for Emotional Wellness, the term refers to an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of your emotions, and your ability to manage effectively through challenges and change. When you’re tuned into your feelings, then you can more easily become aware of your bodily sensations. The more you act on your feelings and emotions, the more reliable they become. Remaining in the present moment and adhering to a sense of mindfulness, without looking back too much into the past or the future, is also very important for your emotional well-being.

Being emotionally well encourages you to slow down and fosters the practice of mindfulness. Being emotionally well doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re happy all the time, but rather, that you’re self-aware and able to shift as a way to feel better. Being emotionally well leads to a happier and more blissful life, and also allows you the opportunity to attain your full potential.

For the most part, being human means having challenges and problems; however, it’s all about how you deal or cope with those issues that determines your emotional wellness. It’s also about embracing all the goodness in your life and looking at your glass as half-full rather than half-empty.

Here are some questions to help you ascertain if you’re maintaining a sense of emotional wellness:

  1. How do you treat others in your life, both personally and professionally? Those who are emotionally well tend to be more sensitive and compassionate about the needs of others, and in general, are more spiritually generous.
  2. Are you grateful? Emotionally healthy people feel gratitude for their lives and for all the goodness they experience. They’re appreciative of what they do have rather than bemoaning what they do not have. They usually count all their life’s blessings, and this does not always pertain to money or material objects, but rather, relates to more spiritual aspects of their lives.
  3. Are you happy with the person you are? Those who are emotionally healthy are usually content with themselves. They might feel as if they’re living the lives they’ve always wanted to live. They also take care of themselves physically and psychologically by doing what is beneficial for them. And, they’re rarely complainers, but instead, might be seekers who are often trying to become better people and help those around them do the same. They might also engage in positive self-talk.
  4. Are you open-minded and flexible? This means that you’re self-aware and listen to the thoughts and musings of yourself and others. Also, you do not feel attached to any particular dogma or philosophy but are willing to hear the viewpoints and musings of others.
  5. Do you have a life purpose? Those who do generally have a well-developed sense of well-being because they have a reason to wake up in the morning. They also have a tendency to see life’s bigger picture. They tend to know their core values, what’s most important to them, and how to focus on those values. Their purpose gives life meaning, whether it’s professional, family oriented, or community oriented.
  6. Do you have ways to manage your stress? Those who are emotionally stable have their own ways of navigating the stressors in their lives, whether it’s meditation, exercise, talk therapy, or creative pursuits such as art, music, or writing. They’re able to maintain a balance between work and play.

In general, maintaining a sense of well-being in our everyday lives can relate to both the positive and negative activities in our daily routines (Garling, Gamble, Fors, Hjerm, 2014). Positive well-being leads to happiness, whereas negative well-being tends to lead to depression and mental challenges. If we all try to maintain a good sense of emotional wellness, then this world will definitely be a better place, but it takes a group effort, and there’s no time like the present to begin!


Fiorcco, A, and S. Mallya. (2014). “The Importance of Cultivating Mindfulness for Cognitive and Emotional Well-Being in Late Life.” Journal of Evidence-Based Internal Medicine.

Garling, G., Gamble, A, Fl Fors & M. Hjerm. (2014). “Emotional Well-Being Related to Time Pressure, Impediment to Goal Progress and Stress-Related Symptoms. Journal of Happiness Studies. 7(15), pp. 2789–1799.

Lerner, M. (2019). The Center for Emotional Wellness, Inc.

Vaughan, F. (1998). Mental, Emotional and Body-Based Intuition. In Inner Knowing by H. Palmer, Ed. New York, NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher, pp. 185–194.

More from Diana Raab Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today