What Is the Difference Between Mental and Emotional Health?

Emotional health and mental health are quite similar while at the same time, totally different. A healthy state for everyone is to find a perfect balance between their intellectual and emotional side. As they are closely related, certain factors may overlap. In trying to learn more, it becomes important to differentiate mental health from emotional health.

What Is Mental Health?

mental health treatment

Mental health is a state of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral equilibrium that allows the individual to function responsibly in their family, social, and work environment, as well as to enjoy well-being and quality of life. So, mental health largely refers to cognitive processes such as attention, alertness, memory, critical thinking, and reasoning. A person with sound mental condition functions productively, makes appropriate decisions, and relates well with others.

The following are recommended in maintaining good mental health:

● Exercise regularly, eat balanced meals, and sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours a day
● Practice optimism by saying positive and grateful comments about yourself and others
● Maintain genuine, supportive, and enduring relationships
● Perform acts of kindness as helping someone boosts self-esteem and sense of purpose
● Seek medical professional help if needed

In fact, mental health is important at all ages – from childhood to adulthood. Students' mental health should be paid more attention to. Most of us face mental health problems at least once in our life. These will affect our mood, thinking and behaviour. Furthermore, biological factors like genetics and life experiences like trauma or abuse are the main contributing factors for mental health problems.

The Value of Healthy Mental Function

The term “mental health” can denote the absence of mental illness. It is typically meant to define a healthy mental function.

Among other things, such health enables you to:

● Be more productive at work, school, or life in general4
● Maintain healthy relationships
● Set goals and reach your potential
● Handle the inevitable challenges life throws at you
● Be a contributing member of your community and society
● Adapt to change
● Succeed at tasks

Caring for your mental health is essential. Mental disorders are increasingly common. When not in a positive mental health state, you will almost certainly display this imbalance's signs and symptoms. These may include disturbances related to your eating or sleeping habits, low energy, or a sense of being detached.

What is Emotional Health?

Emotional health - comforting children with depressed emotions

Emotional health basically means our ability to manage our feelings and emotions, especially in times when we feel agitated or stirred up. Emotionally healthy people can accurately monitor one's feelings and express their emotions and control their behavior during pleasant as well as unpleasant life events. It does not equate lack of emotions, just like mental health does not equate lack of mental illnesses. For example, a person who suppresses his emotions is not as healthy as someone who expresses their emotions. Moreover, suppressing emotions that make you uncomfortable won't help you to be emotionally healthy.

The following are recommended in maintaining good emotional health:

● Identify and hone your strengths
● Set aside quality time for rest and recreation
● Look for the positive side in unfavorable situations
● Connect with friends, family, and loved ones
● Enrich your spiritual life by praying, meditating, etc

Emotionally healthy people assertively control their feelings and feel good about themselves, have good personal relationships, and have learned ways to cope with stresses and problems in everyday life.

The Value of Healthy Emotional Function

According to the Mental Health Foundation, emotional health is "a positive state of wellbeing, which enables an individual to be able to function in society and meet the demands of everyday life."

As an extension of your mental health, optimal emotional health enables you to:

● Have a functioning "inner" world
● Express your emotions
● Manage your emotions
● Enjoy a general sense of wellness
● Appreciate abstract concepts like art, beauty, joy, and love

Emotional wellness is tied to physical health. People who experience great amounts of stress and negative emotions will sometimes develop other health problems. These problems are not caused directly by the negative feelings, but by behaviors that negative emotions can influence due to a lack of emotional regulation.

What Is the Difference Between Mental and Emotional Health?

The difference between mental health and emotional health

Mental health and emotional health are both parts of our overall well-being. Mental health is primarily related to cognitive processes, such as perceiving and deciding, while emotional health is more focused on expressing feelings such as anger, happiness, etc.

1. Processing Information Versus Expressing Emotion

Part of mental health is how well your mind processes and understands information and experiences. In contrast, emotional health involves your ability to manage and express the emotions that arise from what you have learned and experienced.

2. Focus of Mental and Emotional Health

Mental health is largely concerned with cognitive processes such as perceiving and deciding while emotional health is more focused on expressing feelings like anger, happiness, etc.

3. Scope

Furthermore, mental health involves a wider scope than emotional health, as mental health involves emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

4. Pathology involved in Mental and Emotional Health

Mental health is usually associated with illnesses such as schizophrenia and mood disorders. On the other hand, emotional health often deals with less pathological concerns such as dealing with stress.

5. Medical Assistance

Since mental health is more often connected with disorders, it is likewise more involved with medical assistance such as psychiatric or clinical psychological services. In contrast, people who are having emotional health issues are more likely to consult counselors or life coaches.

The Emotional and Mental Health Connection

While it's true that emotional health and mental health are two different things, they're still intertwined. Without mental health treatment, people's emotions can run wild. Focusing purely on emotional health causes mental disorientation that makes it hard to function normally. Both emotional and mental health treatments have roles in helping people during rehab.

Can Your Mental Health Change Over Time?

Yes, it's important to remember that a person's mental health can change over time, depending on many factors.  When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. For example, if someone is working long hours, caring for a relative, or experiencing economic hardship, they may experience poor mental health.


Emotional and mental health might be separate in their ways, but both are extremely important and work together cohesively. Mental health is the way you think about something internally. Emotional health is the way you express your thoughts to others. Finally, maintaining both good mental health and emotional health are crucial to a healthy life. If we manage our mental health and emotional health equally, it can be helpful for us in eliminating fear, stress, anxiety, worry, depression, and anger.