Mental and Emotional Health


For us Americans, retirement signals a new beginning. In order to enjoy the golden years of our lives to the fullest, we need to ensure that we maintain physical as well as mental and emotional health. Our body functions are affected by our moods, which are conditioned by our thoughts and feelings. Many physical conditions are actually triggered by a state of mind, or by a past record of stress that has not been corrected. Since our personal relationships and our work abilities may be largely affected not only by our physical health but by our mental health too, the importance of maintaining sound mental and emotional health cannot be overemphasized.

What is mental and emotional health?

Emotional health may be described as a mental condition that enables us to control our feelings, thoughts and behavior. An emotionally healthy person feels good about himself and his interaction with people. He may undergo moments of stress and encounter problems but is able to understand the cause of the problem and can handle it appropriately either by himself or in consultation with a friend or a doctor.

However, the absence of mental problems is not the same as good mental health. An emotionally healthy person is likely to exhibit the following characteristics:

  • An adequate feeling of security and status within society
  • Self-confidence and high self-esteem
  • An overall sense of contentment with life
  • A zest for life and a wide range of emotional responses, both positive as well as negative
  • Eagerness to participate in meaningful activities and develop positive relationships
  • An ability to laugh, to socialize and to have fun
  • Flexibility of mind to adapt to changes in life’s circumstances
  • Resilience in dealing with stresses or adverse situations
  • Efficient contact with reality and a sense of balance in all areas of life: in work and play, in rest and exercise, and in private life and social life
  • An ability to care for own self and for others
  • An ability to fantasize, enabling hope and creativity to flourish

It is important to note that some people may be genetically predisposed to mental health problems like schizophrenia, major forms of depression or bipolar disorder. These could also run in families because of specific family interaction styles. However, the good news is that with timely professional intervention, a large number of those who encounter mental health problems can actually overcome them or learn to live with them.

Common mental and emotional health problems:

The most common mental and emotional health problems:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Stress

However, most of these mental and emotional disorders at old age can be tackled and treated by following certain health guidelines and bringing some subtle yet significant changes in your lifestyles. All you need to know are the reasons behind the onset of these disorders, their symptoms and ways to treat them. The related links will give you detailed information on each of these diseases and ways to cure them.