What is the Difference between Mental Health and Emotional Health?

Is there a difference between mental health and emotional health? (Image via Pexels/ Lucas Pezeta)
There's a difference between mental health and emotional health. (Image via Pexels/Lucas Pezeta)

While emotional and mental health are often perceived to be similar, there are clear differences between the two. Mental health is an overarching umbrella, and other types of health such as emotional, physical, social, psychological, sexual, and occupational come under it.

Knowing the distinction between emotional and mental health isn't as crucial as finding treatment. However, for those overcoming mental well-being concerns, both mental and emotional health are crucial.

The ability to deal with and manage emotions is referred to as emotional health. The capacity to form wholesome relationships is also part of it. The ability to reason clearly and make wise decisions is a sign of mental well-being. It also includes the ability to handle stress and control one's emotions.


Differences between Mental Health and Emotional Health

A mental health professional can help you distinguish between mental and emotional health. (Image via Freepik/ Freepik)
A mental health professional can help you distinguish between mental and emotional health. (Image via Freepik/ Freepik)

Our subjective well-being depends on both mental and emotional health. For us to remain healthy, our cognitive functions and affective states must coexist in harmony.

Some factors may overlap because they are so closely related. The way we process information is heavily influenced by our current emotional state, and vice versa. So, it's essential to understand how they differ and independently contribute to our mental well-being:

1) Definition

There may be differences, but they are interlinked. (Image via Freepik/Freepik)
There may be differences, but they are interlinked. (Image via Freepik/Freepik)

Mental well-being plays a significant role in overall welfare and has an impact on many aspects of daily life. Psychological, emotional, and social needs are influenced by mental health, and these needs have an impact on ideas and behaviors.

While some of these components may appear to work well together for a typical person, each component is essential for everyday activities. The psychological requirements of an individual include how they perceive their relatedness, autonomy, and competence — all critical components of healthy functioning. The focus of social needs is on a person's sense of connection and need to form bonds with other people.

Emotional health refers to the ability to control and express your emotions in a responsible and mature way. For instance, if you frequently react forcefully and furiously, your emotional stability may be in doubt.

Although you cannot change these behaviors overnight, you can attempt to improve them over time. You can alternatively concentrate on a more upbeat outlook if your general outlook is more pessimistic.


2) Different Parts of the Brain

Both types of health contribute to overall well-being. (Image via Freepik/Freepik)
Both types of health contribute to overall well-being. (Image via Freepik/Freepik)

For starters, thoughts and behavior are processed differently depending on mental and emotional health. How well the mind processes information and experiences is reflected in mental health.

Meanwhile, how you express your emotions in response to those situations determines how emotionally healthy you are. In a way, mental and emotional health takes care of various regions of the mind.


3) Treatment Modality

Our well-being constitutes of many factors. (Image via Freepik/Freepik)
Our well-being constitutes of many factors. (Image via Freepik/Freepik)

Mental health is more closely linked to illnesses than physical health, so it also involves more medical services like clinical psychiatry and psychologist services. People with emotional health issues, though, are more likely to visit a counselor or life coach.

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


4) Processing

In therapy, these aspects are viewed and helped differently. (Image via Freepik/Freepik)
In therapy, these aspects are viewed and helped differently. (Image via Freepik/Freepik)

The ability to control and express emotions is the primary difference between emotional and mental health. Mental well-being involves the ability to process information, store it in memory, and analyze it.

Mental well-being is more frequently explained by one's biological foundations, such as neurological elements, as opposed to emotional health. Examples include the possibility of chemical imbalances in the brain of schizophrenia patients and destruction of brain cells in Alzheimer's patients.


Although emotional and mental well-being are two distinct concepts, they're linked. Without mental health care, people's emotions may get out of control.

Purely concentrating on emotional well-being throws the mind off balance, making it challenging to carry out daily tasks. Treatments for mental and emotional wellness can benefit.


Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.


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Edited by Bhargav