As I sit at my desk, looking out at the grass that is finally turning green, at branches that are erupting into bud and at horses that are shedding their winter coats, I find myself reflecting. It has been a season of change and growth. At times it has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I choose to reframe this amusement-park-thrill-ride as simply a short and exhilarating trip that served to transport me to the other end of park. In other words, I have kept my head about me.

This ability to reframe and stay sane has been the culmination of years of study and practice. There were times in this journey of life where I questioned myself. ‘I am doing the right thing? Is this rational? Does this make sense?’ The self-doubt was pretty intense at moments.

Today I support others as they regain their equilibrium, rebuild their internal resources and recognize their emotional gains. I see quite regularly the interplay of mental and emotional health and well-being and felt that mental and emotional health might be a good subject to discuss on this blog page.

The first order of affairs is to distinguish between mental and emotional health. It is true that mental illness often runs in families. However, having a genetic predisposition does not mean that we have to struggle with mental health issues. Choosing our environment and how we opt to participate in it, goes a long way towards keeping us healthy.

Those who have good mental health tend to think clearly and make good decisions. They also cope well with stress and can keep their emotions in check.

Our emotional health, on the other hand, depends entirely on environmental factors.  Specifically, how well we manage the traumatic or negative life events that crop up for each of us. As our sympathetic system engages, our fight and flight responses emerge. This is perfectly normal and yet, to be healthy we may need to find the motivation to rewrite this script and engage in an action that is less adrenaline-fuelled and more supportive of our bodily systems.

Emotional health is that ability to cope with and manage emotions. This relates to our internal emotions as well as how we present in our external environment. Emotional health is the foundation of our ability to maintain positive relationships.

The science does tend to indicate that our emotions precede thought. Essentially our sympathetic system surges into action long before we have been able to cognitively review and think about what’s happening in front of us. This is ok as long as our system is healthy. We all know that person who startles at every little movement or loud noise. This happens when a system is on overdrive, and emotions are running on high. This continuous acceleration actually changes the way our brains function by diminishing our cognitive abilities, decision-making powers, and even our interpersonal skills.

Understanding and managing our emotions (and the emotions of others) helps us to be more successful in both our personal and professional lives. Would you like to hear more about how to boost your mental and emotional health, so that you can improve your performance, your sense of well-being, and the quality of your relationships? If you would like to learn how to eliminate old outdated internal patterns  so that you can live a life of your choosing, please call or use the link below to book a 30 minute phone call with Simone Usselman-Tod, Stress Management and Mindset Breakthrough Coach, Certified NeuroChange and NLP Master Practitioner and Coach.