“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth…” (3 Jn. 2).
Last week, we began an introductory discussion about social wellness. This week, we will be taking the discussion a little further by beginning to focus on the second dimension of wellness: emotional wellness.
Emotional wellness is “one’s ability to understand themselves and cope with life’s challenges.” This refers to how well we understand our emotions and how they are impacted by daily life. It means being able to focus our attention on how we feel, what we think and how we behave in response to those thoughts and feelings.
“Emotional Wellness implies the ability to be aware of and accept our feelings, rather than deny them, have an optimistic approach to life, and enjoy life despite its occasional disappointments and frustrations…”
An example of this from can be found in the story of King David at Ziklag in 1 Samuel 30:1-7:
“…And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God...” (v.6).
Imagine being in a situation wherein you were separated from your loved ones, and your social circle is seeking take your life…leaving you to cope with the world falling down around you. How much more stressful can life be than this? Think of the range of emotions David must have experienced. If we are completely honest, each one of us has been faced with a highly distressing situation with no idea of how to respond.
To many, life just happens, but they lack the emotional capacity to work through those issues alone. The process of attaining emotional wellness sometimes requires us to seek for answers externally from a professional counselor or from someone within our immediate social circle. If the individual is a person of faith, they may also seek additional counsel from a leader within the spiritual setting in which they are a member. This is a demonstration of the interconnectivity of the dimensions of wellness with one another.
Furthermore, the path to emotional wellness can only be successful upon the acknowledgement of the fact that a problem does exist. UCR further explains that a person engaged in this process must be willing and able to:
- Arrive at personal choices and decisions based upon the synthesis of feelings, thoughts, philosophies, and behavior,
- Live and work independently while realizing the importance of seeking and appreciating the support and assistance of others,
- Form interdependent relationships with others based upon a foundation of mutual commitment, trust and respect,
- Take on challenges, take risks, and recognize conflict as being potentially healthy, and
- Manage your life in personally rewarding ways, and taking responsibility for your actions.
In other words, we must remember the old saying, “No man is an island unto himself…” Sometimes to attain our personal goals, we must ascertain what solution best fits our problem..even if it means asking for help. Emotional wellness is of paramount importance because of its propensity to lead to other areas of concern (i.e., psychological, physical, and social). There is no shame in asking for assistance if resolving the issue is beyond our scope of abilities. Seeking assistance can lead to growth and development to the point of a level of independence in this area.
Ask yourself, “How is my emotional wellness? Where do I find myself in relation to the above discussion?” Next week, we will begin a discussion of environmental wellness. Next week’s discussion will be followed up with continued discussions on healthy lifestyle choices based on our understanding of each dimension of wellness. I would appreciate any feedback from anyone as this is a community effort to living our best life in honor of the One Who has given us this life to live. Love God…love others….love yourself!
Sean Mungin, author of “The Thorn In The Flesh”