It’s Time for Another Check Up From the Neck Up!
October is Emotional Wellness Month. We check up on our physical health once a year, we should be doing the same with our mental health. As life slowly begins to return to normal, now is the perfect time to reexamine our emotional wellness.
What is Emotional Wellness?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines emotional wellness as “the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times.” Emotional wellness doesn’t mean a person is always happy. Instead, they have the ability to recognize negative emotions, accept them and cope in healthy ways; they don’t act impulsively in response to emotions.
Why is Emotional Wellness Important?
Emotional distress harms physical health. When a person is under stress, the body produces the stress hormone, cortisol. Chronically high levels of cortisol lead to inflammation in the body. Stress also decreases the number of white blood cells in the body, which weakens the immune system and makes a person more susceptible to illness and infection. If a person is under high levels of stress for a prolonged period of time, they are at higher risk for physical illnesses such as heart disease, ulcers, diabetes, and even cancer.