Emotional Health vs Mental Health: What’s the Difference?

Maybe you’ve heard the terms “mental health” and “emotional health” used interchangeably or even synonymously. However, a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being are all distinct from one another.

As they both deal with intangible aspects of human health, most people mistakenly believe that mental and emotional health are interchangeable. In reality, though, they entail various aspects of a person’s mind and senses. As a result, it’s critical for someone in recovery to manage and take care of both their mental and emotional health.

Many people with co-occurring disorders experience poor or deteriorating mental and emotional health. Recognizing mental vs emotional health and comprehending what sets them apart is essential to a full recovery.

At Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center in St. Louis, Missouri, we help individuals suffering from addiction and mental illness manage their conditions for optimal recovery outcomes. 

Defining Mental Health

Every day, the term “mental health” is utilized, whether as a topic for news articles or in informal conversations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is defined as an individual’s subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational reliance, and self-actualization of intellectual and emotional potential. 

In other words, your ideas and behaviors are influenced by your mental health, which encompasses three primary categories of well-being:

  • Social
  • Psychological
  • Emotional

As opposed to emotional health, mental health involves more aspects because it also deals with controlling one’s thoughts and behavior. 

Your mental health plays a significant role in your overall wellness and has an impact on many aspects of your daily life, from your ability to manage stress to how well you maintain your relationships with others. Your psychological, emotional, and social needs are influenced by your mental health and have an impact on your ideas and behaviors. If any of these elements become unbalanced, it can lead to a variety of issues, including:

  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • A lack of drive or enthusiasm
  • Inability to perform daily tasks
  • Increased drug use or alcohol use
  • Pulling away from usual activities and people
  • Overeating and/or undereating
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Having low or no energy

While some of these components may appear to work well together for the typical person, each one is essential for everyday activities. The psychological requirements of an individual include how they perceive their relatedness, autonomy, and competence, which are all critical components of healthy functioning. 

​​The stability of both pleasant and negative feelings, as well as avoiding either one in excess, are related to a person’s emotional needs. Substance abuse can impair a person’s aptitude, social skills, and self-control by interfering with each of these demands. Other negative consequences of poor mental health caused by addictive behaviors include mood swings, loss of energy, and insomnia. In other words, mental health affects emotional health, but they’re still different. 

Defining Emotional Health

You would assume that after defining mental health, emotional health is simply the same. However, emotional health includes more than just your emotional state. Instead, emotional health refers to your capacity to control and express your emotions responsibly and maturely. It encompasses a person’s psychological well-being, including perceptions of ourselves, the nature of our relationships, and our capacity for self-regulation and problem-solving. 

Mental vs Emotional Health: The Differences

Although mental and emotional health has different definitions, several characteristics set them apart. For starters, your mind and behavior are processed differently by mental and emotional health.

While emotional health is mainly concerned with expressing sentiments like anger, happiness, etc., mental health is largely tied to cognitive functions like perception and decision-making.

There is a strong correlation between mental health and conditions like schizophrenia and mood disorders. On the other hand, less severe issues like stress are frequently the cause of emotional health.

Level of Medical Care

Since mental health is more closely linked to illnesses than physical health, it necessitates more medical services, such as clinical psychiatry or psychology services. People with emotional health issues, however, are more likely to visit a counselor or life coach.

Although they may be distinct in some respects, emotional and mental health are equally vital and complement one another well. Eliminating fear, stress, anxiety, worry, despair, and rage can help us if we manage our mental and emotional health equally.

Recognizing what we feel and comprehending why we feel it is the first step. Understanding the reasons behind our melancholy or anger is crucial for later properly controlling what affects our mood. Some other differences that separate mental health from emotional health include: 

Processing Information Versus Expressing Emotion

How well your mind processes and comprehends information and experiences is a component of mental wellness. On the other hand, emotional health refers to your capacity to control and express the emotions that result from your knowledge and life experiences.

You can experience mental health concerns while maintaining strong emotional health and vice versa, which is a significant contrast between mental and emotional health. For instance, even if you are dealing with a mental health issue such as not having enough energy to do daily tasks, you can still show emotional wellness by managing your lack of energy efficiently.

One Can Thrive While the Other Struggles

How well your mind processes information and experiences is reflected in your mental health. On the other hand, how you express your emotions in response to those situations determines how emotionally healthy you are. In a sense, mental and emotional health deal with different aspects of your mind. 

You might be surprised by the significance of each one for your day-to-day functionality. Even though maintaining both in good shape is crucial for a healthy life overall, one may survive without the other. Even when suffering from sadness or anxiety, a person can still effectively express their emotions. The same is true for those who have healthy mental functioning but have trouble expressing their emotions.

Many people are curious about how to better care for their overall well-being, and some may want to know more about behavioral health problems and treatment choices. It becomes crucial to distinguish between mental and emotional wellness as we try to learn more.

In contrast, emotional health places a greater emphasis on a person’s unique experiences, feelings, and coping mechanisms. In the end, preserving excellent emotional and mental health is essential to leading a healthy life. In addition to pursuing general better health, balancing both can help avoid the vices of addiction.

Mental vs Emotional Health: The Connection

Without treating mental health issues, people’s emotions can spiral out of control, even though we’ve just talked about how mental and emotional health are two distinct but related concepts. On the other hand, concentrating just on emotional wellness can lead to serious mental confusion that makes it challenging to carry out daily activities.

As a result, treating both mental and emotional health is crucial for assisting those undergoing rehabilitation. It’s important to seek assistance, as leaving any mental or behavioral conditions untreated can lead to serious health consequences.

Tips for Managing Emotional Health vs Mental Health for Overall Well-being

People with mental illness and emotional disorders can benefit tremendously from support groups, medications, and counseling. At Sana Lake BWC, our facility and highly-trained medical and mental health professionals will assist you, educate you, and provide you with resources and techniques that will help strengthen your emotional and mental health, personal and social skills, and promote your personal growth. Our tips for managing emotional health vs mental health include the following: 

Managing Emotional Health

Learning how to effectively manage your emotions will allow a person to be able to handle difficult situations better and, as a result, realize their full potential and consider their life to be highly satisfying. The following specific actions are advised to achieve this:

  • Discover and develop your strengths.
  • When things are bad, try to see the bright side.
  • Set aside time that is devoted to rest and recreation.
  • Connect with your loved ones, family, and friends.
  • Improve your spiritual life by praying, meditating, etc.

Managing Mental Health

Mental health primarily relates to cognitive functions, including attention, alertness, memory, critical thinking, and reasoning. The Latin word “mentalis,” which means “mind,” is the root of the word. A person with a sound mind makes wise decisions, gets along well with other people, and works efficiently.

The most common types of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. The following tips are recommended for maintaining good mental health: 

  • Maintain sincere, durable, and supportive connections.
  • Practice optimism by making compliments that are kind and grateful to you and others.
  • Exercise frequently, consume nutritious foods, and get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Do good deeds because assisting others increases one’s sense of purpose and self-worth.
  • Ask a doctor for assistance if necessary.

Sana Lake BWC Can Help You Manage Your Emotional Health vs Mental Health

For us to feel subjectively well, mental and emotional wellness is crucial. For us to remain healthy, our cognitive functions and affective states must coexist in harmony. 

To learn more about the difference between mental and emotional health and how we can help you or a loved one, contact us today.