Even though you’re physically healthy, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re emotionally or mentally stable. And, in the same way, someone in a perfectly normal state of mind may not have the best physical health. Let’s begin by making sure you understand exactly what physical, mental and emotional well-being constitutes.
Being physically healthy means having your body work as it should be. For example, the purpose of your lungs is to allow oxygen to be taken to your body and get rid of carbon dioxide. If for whatever reason, it is not able to function in a proper manner, then this constitutes poor physical health. The same goes for all parts of your body.
You won’t always be in full control of your physical health. Some traits which impact upon physical health are often inherited from your parents (like resistance to some diseases), and the quality of health care where you live is also an important factor. However, there are many lifestyle measures you can adopt to boost your physical well-being. The most common methods include not smoking and regular exercise.
Mental and Emotional Health
Mental health, on the other hand, is about being in a state of mind that allows you to rationally make decisions and interact in a normal fashion with others in society. Common features of mental health include memory, the ability to process information and deductive reasoning skills.
Emotional well-being is close linked to mental health, as they’re both affected primarily by the human mind. The difference is, whilst mental health is more to do with rational decision making, emotional health is more to do your mood and behavior, for example, your self-esteem and self-confidence.
Your mental and emotional well-being are often more difficult to diagnose, and as such can be more difficult to improve, unlike physical well-being.
Physical, Emotional and Mental Stress
Now that you understand the key features of physical, mental and emotional well-being, you’re in a better position to identify the differences between physical, emotional and mental stress.
As you may have guessed, physical stress is actions or factors which impact upon your body’s ability to function correctly. Some can have positive effects, like heavy exercise. And others can be dangerous, like a lack of food or water.
Mental stress affects your ability to think rationally. Fear is a common concern. Declining cognitive strength and memory due to mental diseases or an aging mind is another.
Lastly, emotional stress affects your mood and behavior. Low confidence and a lack of social skills caused by prolonged periods of isolation is a common problem for many. Keep in mind that the boundary between mental and emotional stress is blurry. For example, someone with low self-esteem is likely to have problems with rational decision making, especially in social situations.
As a final note, it’s important to remember that although there are key differences between physical, mental and emotional well-being, at the end of the day, they are fundamentally linked. Physical stress can lead to mental issues and vice versa. The same goes for emotional well-being. Correctly managing all three states is the key to ensuring a happy lifestyle.