09/14/2011 11:42 am ET | Updated Nov 12, 2011

Are You Emotionally Healthy?

There is more to humans than recognized before. We are becoming more and more aware of the fact that what we see is just the tip of the iceberg, and the majority of who we are is hidden from the naked eye. Therefore, it takes a lot of willpower and awareness to be able to dig in and learn about our hidden aspects, but it is worth it, since the majority of the time they are running our lives.

Humans are not one-dimensional. They are a sum of emotional, cognitive, behavioral and spiritual layers, each having its own set of levels. Therefore, it is important to make sure all these aspects are in a state of healthy functioning and are interacting with each other to maintain an internal state of equilibrium and stability.

When it comes to emotional health, being emotionally healthy is not just about not having psychological disorders but about having positive emotions and experiences. It is important to do a self evaluation to see if you are emotionally where you need to be. The following list includes some of the characteristics you may want to look at when you want to self monitor to check your emotional stability. Emotionally healthy individuals:

1. Are content with themselves and their lives. Individuals who are emotionally healthy have this sense of knowing that they are where they need to be. In other words, there is a balance between putting an effort into moving forward with life and being content with where they are at the time. The behavior may be focused on the future, but the feeling is content with the present. This positive outlook will give these individuals more energy to focus on their goals and achieving them while having reasonable expectations with life and the place it is at.

2. Let their playful side play. People who have high emotional intelligence are enthusiastic and passionate about life. They can laugh and have fun and feel comfortable with themselves. They find excitement in a variety of healthy activities, from simple to complex.

3. Have a sense of meaning and purpose. People who are emotionally healthy have a sense of meaning in their lives. They see things from a depth rather than the tip of the iceberg and are more openminded when they are dealing with situations.

4. Train their mind to be curious. People who are emotionally healthy are flexible with the process of learning and have a curious mind.

5. Are adaptable. Emotionally-healthy people take reasonable steps to change what does not seem healthy for them, but at the same time can adapt to the things they cannot change. They also seem to be more aware of the difference between the two.

6. Have a balanced life. Emotionally-healthy individuals have a full life that has a variety of things but not too much of anything, and they can prioritize accordingly.

7. Can build and maintain healthy relationships. Emotionally-healthy individuals have deep relationships based more on quality than quantity. They connect to a wide variety of people but are selective when they want to attach to individuals on a profound level. For example, they don't get attached to energy vampires. Or, if a relationship is not fostering, they can detach from it. They are open and authentic; therefore, it is easy to know where one is standing when dealing with them. For all these reasons, they have the ability to build and maintain relationships that are healthy, positive and nurturing.

8. Are self-confident. Emotionally-healthy individuals function from an internal place where they know who they are, what they need and have clear boundaries for themselves and respect that of others. They have this internal knowing that they are the way they are supposed to be, but at the same time they are open to changing and growing on a continuous basis for reaching their maximum efficiency.

9. Are resilient. People who are emotionally healthy are resilient to challenges that life throws at them. They do not avoid or deny the necessary challenges but go through them with full awareness and observe them objectively rather than being emotionally engulfed in them. When faced with the bumps in the road, they find healthy ways to bounce back.

10. Can balance their emotions. Individuals who are emotionally healthy can recognize and express their emotions appropriately. They have more feelings and feel intensely, but at the same time, they have the skills to go through emotional modifications when needed.

11. Do not get stuck in something that is counterproductive. People with healthy emotional intelligence can move out of what is counterproductive for their self's growth, whether a relationship or a job or something else. They do not stay in a position where they feel stuck.

Emotional intelligence is a skill that most all of us can acquire through cognitive and behavior modification and self reflection. People who are emotionally healthy are more authentic, positive and determined. They are usually more productive and function more fully because they learn to use their emotions to work in their benefit. They are more focused on the present, pay attention to the effects of the past and have clear but modifiable goals for the future. In addition, they have self monitoring habits.

Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD
Self Knowledge Base & Foundation
A non-profit dedicated to public education

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