The term “emotional health” means different things to different people. We all have a basic sense of what makes us happy and the road to a peaceful, satisfying life is unique for everyone. As a therapist who works with individuals and couples, I see people for a number of reasons related to their emotional and relationship health. I’ve been in a unique position to observe what brings people to therapy and the conditions that lead to feeling ready to leave therapy.
The following emotional health checklist is by no means the totality of happiness and well-being but can be used as a thought-provoking exercise. Read the following statements and consider whether you would answer “yes” or “no.” Perhaps some of them are “Hmmm…not sure about that,” – and that’s ok too. You may notice an overlap in questions related to your relationships but it’s my firm belief that emotional and relationship health go hand-in-hand.
Emotional Health Checklist
- I care about and have respect for myself.
- I know what self-care looks like for me and I make an effort to take care of myself when time permits.
- I have a good sense of how I’m feeling most of the time.
- I am not aware of any trauma or significant unmet emotional needs from my parents or primary caregivers as a child.
- I experienced trauma and/or unmet emotional needs but have done some work around this and/or are in the process of doing work around it.
- I generally don’t lose control of my emotions in a way that has habitually gotten me into trouble in some way.
- I react to difficult situations in an expected way and generally bounce back well.
- I have a sense of compassion for myself.
- I am pretty good at forgiving myself and others.
- I feel connected and in tune with my body.
- I generally believe I will do well in life even if I hit a few speed-bumps along the way.
- I generally believe people can be trusted and are well meaning.
- I generally don’t hold grudges against people.
- I do the best I can to take care of my physical health.
- I am aware of my emotional vulnerabilities and make an effort to practice self-compassion around my wounds.
- I look towards the future with hopefulness and a sense of enthusiasm for what’s to come.
There is no right or wrong with this checklist but can hopefully guide you either celebrate the great place you’re in or to consider further work around sensitive areas. There are a number of articles on this site around many of the topics above including family of origin work, trauma, resilience and healthy relationships. Think you might benefit from therapy? Find a local therapist to help guide you towards finding emotional health – whatever it looks like for you.2