Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What is Emotional Health?

It all started the day my brother didn't come home.

Our eyes were on the driveway, watching and waiting. He and a friend had ridden their motorcycles to the local gravel pit for a swim before assuming duties on the farm during our family's absence. The camper was packed and the sun getting low in the sky. If we didn't leave soon, we wouldn't make the campground before dark.

We didn't go.

When the pickup entered the driveway, we knew something was wrong. My dad met the driver on the porch and they slowly walked out to the pickup. Words were exchanged, and then the pickup drove away. Dad walked to the house with his head bowed. 

The next few days were a blur.

Seeing my brother's body lying there in the funeral home was surreal. I kept waiting for him to come waltzing in to tell us that it was all a joke. He was 16 years old, strong, athletic, and tan with the sun. I was only 15. He was my brother. He was my friend.  

Life was never the same again.

Our emotional health is determined by the way we respond to life's challenges

At the time, I didn't understand what was happening to our family. I only knew the numbness I felt. Things were not going well at home. Other unfortunate events used what little resources we had. I left home for college, and my father eventually sold the farm.

In order to cope, I started studying families.

I wanted to know what made families work, why some were successful and others were not. I made some decisions as to how I wanted my own family to be. It kept me from falling into the potholes of despair and discouragement that kept coming my way.

Life got better.

I started my own family, rejoiced in the newness of life, and the opportunity to be a part of the wonder of creation. Each new spirit that joined ours brought additional closeness and an outpouring of love.

Emotional health is like a rotating wheel

Our thoughts, feelings, desires, and actions, revolve around our belief system. How we complete the sentence "I am...." is the basis of our self worth. It determines how we think, and feelings that result from our thoughts, the things we desire, and finally, our actions.

It does not stop there. The results of our actions either affirm our beliefs, or change them. In turn, our thoughts, feelings, desires, and actions evolve and change as well.

Link within
I Am Circle by Denise W. Anderson

As we grow in our understanding of emotional health, we can change what happens in our lives. After my brother's death, my family was hurting. I didn't understand and could not help them heal from the tragic event that occurred.

It was not until years later, as I grieved for another close member of the family, that I realized that I had to work through my grief, and make some type of remembrance of him. As I did so, and gave it to my family, I helped some of them with their feeling. At the same time, I resolved my own.

We can change our emotional health

Emotional health is the glue that holds our lives together. It affects all aspects of our lives. Just like the hub of a wheel, it holds the spokes in place as they turn the axle of the wagon. When the center hub is broken, the wheel ceases to turn.

Our emotional health is the basis of our physical, mental, spiritual, and intellectual health. Without emotional health, there is no health. We suffer excruciating pain and heartache. With our emotional health, we can handle anything that life has to offer, and are able to give unconditional love to others.

Join me in the journey, for your emotional health!

©2014 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved.


  1. I firmly believe in what you said, Denise, that we can change our emotional health. The choice is ours and ours alone. Today, I choose to be happy and love life. It was not always like that, but today it is because I want it to be. :) Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

  2. That is good to know, Bill, that there was a time where you struggled with these things. You have come a long way, and are now able to help others. Our lives change for the better when we learn the vital principles that lead to happiness. You are a great example of that. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!