Updated: Aug 23, 2022
I grew up in a patriarchal society where men are privileged over women. My grandmother lived with us and was upfront partial toward my brother, and she expected me to eat after him and give him a priority in other things as well. My parents were not that partial, as my mother made my brother wash the utensils whenever our helper was on leave. Chores were equally distributed. No gender inequality here. I witnessed inequality when it came to our emotional health. I used crying as my venting-out mechanism while the men of the family weren't encouraged to do that. "Don't cry like a girl" and "Men don't cry" were commonly heard. I hardly saw my father crying or expressing his emotions. He piled up and vented out in anger.
Emotional health is not a new concept. We have always been emotional. People who cry a lot are considered emotional. People who get angry often are also emotional. Anger, frustration, happiness, sadness and crying all are our emotions. We can interpret these emotions in different ways. I consider crying as someone's strength because it's the safest and most effective venting mechanism, but you can interpret it differently.
Emotional health is about how we think and feel. It's the ability to acknowledge our emotions and those of others. It's the ability to handle our emotions in our favour. Parents are often worried about their children’s behaviours. But unable to do much to change that. I believe we can help our future generation to be emotionally healthy only if we are. Emotional health awareness can help reduce burnout & it can create better capabilities in us to handle unhealthy emotions.
We aren't immune to any emotion. Feeling stressed, angry, frustrated, sad or curious is normal and knowing how to manage these emotions and restore our peace of mind is a skill.
We don't talk about emotional health as often as physical health, though our emotions play a vital role in our well-being. While treating patients, doctors ask them to avoid stress. The issue is not facing all the emotions but our inability to manage them.
Being able to share your emotional concerns with someone, having a solid support network, feeling content with the way you are, having healthy boundaries and being able to relax are a few signs of emotional wellness.
You can check in with your emotional health:
Are you able to ask for help when you need it?
Are you aware of your triggers when you get angry or stressed?
What do you do each day to strengthen your emotional health?