Emotional Wellness Month – October 2020

October

Did you know your emotional well-being has powerful effects on your overall health? Mental and emotional stress can translate into negative physical reactions, a weakened immune system, and poor health.

“Emotional wellness” refers to our ability to process feelings in a healthy, positive way and manage the stress of everyday life. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, try a soothing activity like meditation or yoga to slow down and clear your mind.

Use Emotional Wellness Month as an opportunity to take charge of your emotional wellness, find the soothing activities that work for you, and, most of all, breathe!

History of Emotional Wellness Month

With our hectic schedules, devices pinging us from every direction, and modern life becoming increasingly uncertain, it’s more crucial than ever to maintain a sense of calm and balance. Emotional Wellness Month, observed all October, reminds us to disconnect and take a time out for our brain.

Maintaining a healthy emotional balance helps us make healthy choices, have good relationships, and achieve our goals. Emotional wellness gives us a toolkit for handling life’s stresses, navigating relationships, and keeping ourselves motivated. Mindfulness, a simple but powerful concept inspired by Eastern meditation traditions, is a useful way to practice engaging in the present, accepting events and feelings without judgment, and moving through life with calm and ease.

Did you know good sleep and a healthy diet can have powerful effects on your emotions? If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, make sure you’re getting proper rest and eating nutritious food. Consider your relationship to yourself and your loved ones. Do you feel confident and optimistic about your future? Do you have good communication with those you care about? Are you able to express your feelings and process difficult times in a healthy way?

High levels of stress can lead to physical complications like high blood pressure, headaches, and even chronic conditions like diabetes. If you’re having a hard time enjoying life or experiencing the physical symptoms of high stress, talk to your doctor or a therapist who can guide you toward activities and treatment options that can help you feel like yourself again.

Emotional Wellness Month timeline

2011

A Harvard Study Showed Mindfulness Works

According to the study, meditation and mindfulness can help create new grey matter in the brain, which improves memory, learning abilities, compassion, and self-awareness.

1990

Americans With Disabilities Act Passes

The ADA includes protections from discrimination for mentally and physically disabled Americans. These protections extend to employment, public transportation, accommodations, and government agencies.

1963

Congress Funds Mental Health Centers

Congress authorizes funding and construction grants for community mental health centers. The legislation is signed and enacted by President Kennedy.

1946

National Institute of Mental Health Established

The National Mental Health Act creates the National Institute of Mental Health to promote emotional wellbeing on a national level.

1883

Birth of Psychiatry

German psychiatrist Emil Kräpelin becomes the first to publish a comprehensive system of psychological disorders centering around a pattern of symptoms and potential underlying physiological cause.

Emotional Wellness Month FAQs

What is emotional wellness?

Emotional wellness is the active progress towards stress reduction, self-care, and maintaining inner strength.

How does emotional wellness affect health?

High levels of stress and emotional trauma can lead to physical problems like high blood pressure, ulcers, diabetes, and weakened immune responses.

Where can I find emotional wellness resources?

A good start is the National Institutes of Health’s Emotional Wellness Toolkit, a free resource full of advice on reducing stress, improving sleep, practicing mindfulness, and more.

How to celebrate Emotional Wellness Month

  1. Indulge yourself with a massage

    Treat yourself to a day of relaxation, whatever that means for you. Turn off your phone, don’t check your emails, and get a massage, schedule a spa day, or go to the beach.

  2. Check in with a friend

    Research shows that connecting with loved ones is beneficial to our health. During Emotional Wellness Month, schedule some quality time with friends. You’ll both benefit from some extra emotional support and love.

  3. Learn a new coping skill

    Do you have some go-to coping skills for when you feel overwhelmed or anxious? Take some time to develop a list of simple activities like breathing exercises, yoga, and drawing that help you calm down and self-soothe in difficult emotional times.

5 Fascinating 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.

  2. 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.

  3. We feel in our entire bodies

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

  4. Emotions are contagious

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

  5. Negative feelings are important

    Though unpleasant, experiencing and processing bad feelings is an important part of maintaining balance and strong mental health.

Why Emotional Wellness Month is important

  1. We’re reminded to slow down

    We often forget to pause our busy lives to reset and reflect. Emotional Wellness Month reminds us to prioritize our mental health and personal well-being.

  2. It reminds us to check in with our emotions

    It’s easy to suppress our feelings when there’s so much else going on in our lives. With distractions coming at us from every direction, it’s important to consciously quiet the noise and check in with ourselves.

  3. It gives us an opportunity to connect with loved ones

    Reach out to a relative or friend who you haven’t heard from in a while. You never know when people might need your support without knowing how to ask for it.

Emotional Wellness Month dates

YearDateDay
2020October 1Thursday
2021October 1Friday
2022October 1Saturday
2023October 1Sunday
2024October 1Tuesday