Nurture Your Emotional Health

middle aged Hispanic couple walk for exercise in park

Taking care of your physical health by eating right and exercising is important. So is taking care of your emotional health and having a sense of happiness and well-being. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines well-being as judging life positively and feeling good.

According to the CDC, higher levels of well-being are linked to:

  • A lower risk of disease, illness, and injury – and speedier recovery
  • A better-functioning immune system
  • Longer life
  • More productivity at work

In other words, staying positive and happy can go a long way toward protecting your overall health. There are things you can do to achieve a greater sense of well-being, including these tips from the Mental Health America website:

  • Spend time with family and friends, and look for ways to meet new people.
  • Focus on the positive experiences in your life.
  • Get regular physical activity, and eat a healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables and fruits.
  • Do something nice for someone else.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Laugh more. Do things you like.
  • Focus on your spiritual side, whether that means participating in organized religion, communing with nature, meditating, creating art, or whatever speaks to you.

If you feel like you aren’t able to get or stay happy, you may benefit from professional help, and should make an appointment to see a doctor. Treatment, including medicines, counseling, or a combination, can reduce suffering and improve quality of life.

Coping with cancer

Illness can affect your emotional health, too. Learn about healthy ways to deal with the types of feelings often experienced by people during and after treatment for cancer or another serious illness.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

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