Emotional wellness: Our ability to process feelings in a healthy, positive way and manage the stress of everyday life.

Our hectic schedules and buzzing devices have made it more crucial than ever to maintain a sense of calm and balance. The more we have going on in our lives, the more we tend to suppress our feelings and neglect ourselves.

October is Emotional Wellness Month. This month, I encourage you to disconnect from distractions and consciously quiet the noise in your life so you can check in with yourself.

Your emotional wellness has powerful effects on your overall health. When you are emotionally well, you can make healthier choices, foster better relationships, and achieve more of your goals.

Here are five facts about emotional wellness:

  1. Emotions start in the brain

Our feelings are controlled by the release of certain chemicals and electrochemical signals that flow through our bodies in response to outside stimuli.

  1. Emotions help us survive

Feelings like panic, fear, or joy helped early humans understand external threats and rewards, and still guide the way we react to outside actions.

  1. We feel in our entire bodies

Emotions manifest and store themselves in our bodies through physical reactions like increased or decreased heart rate, sweat, temperature change, pain, masses or numbness.

  1. Emotions are contagious

Studies show that humans unconsciously mimic the expressions of others around them – a smile really can be infectious!

  1. Negative feelings are important

Though unpleasant, experiencing and processing these feelings are important parts of maintaining balance and strong mental health.

The more you know about your body, the more empowered you will feel to take control of your health and wellness. So, start today!

Looking to find more emotional wellness resources? Explore the National Institutes of Health’s Emotional Wellness Toolkit for free resources and advice on reducing stress, improving sleep, practicing mindfulness, and more.