Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
Mental Health: Keeping Your
What is good emotional health?
People with good emotional health are in control
of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They feel good about themselves and
have good relationships. They can keep problems in perspective.
It's important to remember that people with good
emotional health sometimes have emotional problems or mental illness. Mental
illness often has a physical cause such as a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Stress and problems with family, work or school can sometimes trigger
mental illness or make it worse. However, people with good emotional health have
learned ways to cope with stress and problems. They know when they need to seek
help from their doctor or a counselor.
What about anger?
People are sometimes not aware of what causes
their anger, how much anger they are holding inside or how to
express anger. Certain events or actions by other people can make you angry.
Also, many little things can build up to make you feel that life is treating you
If you find yourself becoming increasingly
irritable or taking unhealthy risks (like drinking too much or abusing drugs),
it may be because you have a problem dealing with anger. It's very
important to talk with your doctor or a counselor about getting help.
Tips on dealing with your emotions
- Learn to express your feelings in appropriate
ways. Keeping feelings of sadness or anger inside takes extra energy and can
cause problems in your relationships and at work or school. It's important to
let people close to you know when something is bothering you.
- Think before you act. Emotions can be
powerful. But before you get carried away by your emotions and say or do
something you might regret, consider the possible positive and negative
- Strive for balance in your life. Don't
obsess about problems at work, at school or at home. Focus on positive
things in your life. Make time for things you enjoy.
- Take care of your physical health.
Physical and mental health are 2 sides of the same coin. Take care of your body
by exercising regularly, eating healthy meals and getting enough sleep. Don't
abuse drugs or alcohol.
What can I do to avoid problems?
First, try to recognize your emotions and
understand why you are having them. Learning how to sort out the causes of
sadness, frustration and anger in your life can help you better manage your
emotional health. The box to the right gives some other helpful tips.
How does stress affect my emotions?
Stress can come from situations such as having
personal or work problems, having too much to do or too many responsibilities,
working too hard and being exhausted.
Your body responds to stress by making stress
hormones. These hormones help your body respond to situations of extreme need.
But when your body makes too many of these hormones for a long period
of time, the hormones wear down your body - and your emotions. People
under stress are often emotional, anxious, irritable and even depressed.
If possible, try to change the situation that is
causing your stress. Relaxation methods, such as deep breathing and meditation,
and exercise are useful ways to cope with stress.
Can emotional problems be treated?
Yes. Counseling, support groups and medicines
can help people who have emotional problems or mental illness. If you have
an ongoing emotional problem, talk to your family doctor. He or she can help you
find the right type of treatment.