emotional People who have good emotional health are aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They have learned healthy ways to cope with the stress and problems that are a normal part of life. They feel good about themselves and have healthy relationships.

However, many things that happen in your life can disrupt your emotional health and lead to strong feelings of sadness, stress or anxiety. “Good” changes can be just as stressful as “bad” changes. Your body responds to the way you think, feel and act. This is often called “mind/body connection.”

Poor emotional health can weaken your body’s immune system, making you more likely to get colds and other infections during emotionally difficult times. Also, when you are feeling stressed, anxious or upset, you may not take care of your health as well as you should. You may not feel like exercising, eating nutritious foods or taking medicine that your doctor prescribes. Abuse of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs may also be a sign of poor emotional health.

Try to recognize your emotions and understand why you are having them. Sorting out the causes of sadness, stress and anxiety in your life can help you manage your emotional health. Tell your doctor how you feel.

Take care of yourself. To have good emotional health, it’s important to take care of your body by having a regular routine for eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep and exercising to relieve pent-up tension. Avoid overeating and don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. Using drugs or alcohol just causes other problems, such as family and health problems.

As a mental health professional, I talk with a lot of people who have started eating healthier and exercising more to help them foster their emotional health. You, too, can do the same thing. Start today. I wish you good mental/emotional health.

If you are experiencing depression or any other mental health issue and need help, please call Aspire Hospital at 936.647.3500.

Carol Gooch, MS, LPC-S, LCDC, LMFT, is a columnist for the Montgomery County Healthy Living Alliance www.healthylivingmc.com and she is the Director of Business Development for Aspire Hospital at 2006 South Loop 336 West, Suite 500, Conroe, TX 77304.  www.aspirehospital.comShe is also the Founder & Executive Director of the Montgomery County Association of Business Women. www.mcabw.org