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Comparing Emotional Health vs. Mental Health

Comparing Emotional Health vs. Mental Health

People often question whether mental and emotional health are the same thing, but are they? While they might seem like twins, these two categories are merely related rather than mirror images of each other. Understanding the difference between emotional health vs. mental health can help people with finding mental health treatment and develop healthy coping mechanisms. So today we're comparing emotional and mental health to determine their differences and similarities.

What Is Emotional Health?

If you envision mental health as the ocean, emotional health would be the waves. With that analogy in mind, let’s get a better understanding of what emotional health means.

Emotional health refers to how we think and feel. It’s about our sense of well-being, our ability to cope with everyday events, and how we read and understand our emotions and the emotions of others.

When a person is considered emotionally healthy, they are believed to be emotionally intelligent. Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your emotions in positive ways to alleviate stress, effectively communicate, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and resolve conflict.

Emotional intelligence, or being emotionally healthy, helps people build stronger relationships, do well at school and work, and achieve their personal and professional career goals. Of course, emotional health also enables people to understand their feelings and make informed and healthy decisions.

Emotional intelligence is defined by four attributes:

  • Self-management: You have emotional maturity. You can control your feelings and express them in appropriate settings. You’re also goal-oriented and take the initiative to work on your goals. You’re transparent about how you feel and can adapt to change course whenever necessary. You're also optimistic and have a positive outlook on life.
  • Self-awareness: You can know yourself and understand your feelings. You understand your strengths, weaknesses, and how they can affect others. You have faith in yourself and are willing to put your best foot forward.
  • Social awareness: You’re empathetic and can form connections with others, understanding and acknowledging their emotions. You’re service-oriented, helpful, and a contributor, and you display good listening skills. You’re also organized and can explain yourself well, and have an awareness of how you’re understood by others.
  • Relationship management: You’re an inspiring leader and like being a good role model, mentor, and authority figure. You’re influential, articulating points in persuasive and clear ways that motivate others. You also recognize and support the need for change, build others’ skills, and effectively work with others.

Overall, emotional health is a blend of emotional intelligence and emotional regulation, creating a balance of recognizing, understanding, and appropriately managing emotions.

What Is Mental Health?

To offer another analogy, mental health is Google while emotional health is a Google extension. Mental health encompasses emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It influences the way we think, how we perceive, and our behavior. It also determines how an individual manages stress and interpersonal relationships and makes decisions.

Certain factors can positively or negatively impact our mental health, including biological factors, life experiences, and family history of mental health problems.

Some characteristics of good mental include the ability to:

  • Learn
  • Feel, express, and manage a range of positive and negative emotions
  • Form and maintain good relationships with others
  • Cope with and manage change and uncertainty
  • Feel optimistic
  • Feel confident when faced with new situations or people
  • Feel good about yourself
  • Have good self-esteem
  • Set goals

What Is the Difference Between Mental and Emotional Health?

The main difference between mental vs. emotional health is that emotional health is just one piece of the whole. As we mentioned earlier, mental health encompasses various factors, including emotional well-being. This allows the term “mental health disorder” to encompass a wide variety of disorders, including thought, mood, anxiety, schizophrenia, psychotic, and trauma disorders.

Each of these impacts not only a person's emotional health but also their cognition and behavior. Together, these aspects all make up mental health.  

Supporting Your Emotional and Mental Health

While knowing the difference between emotional health vs. mental health isn’t as important as finding treatment, both emotional and mental health are essential for leading a happy and healthy life. As such, we offer various mental health services to support both.

Our emotional and mental health treatment options include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and family therapy. Banyan Treatment Center Locations also offer substance-specific addiction treatment as well as treatment for people with mental illness and substance use disorders.


If you or someone you love is suffering from mental illness or struggling emotionally, there is hope. Call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 to find out more about our Banyan drug rehab programs and mental health care.

Related Reading: 

Living With Bipolar Disorder: What It’s Like

333 Anxiety Rule: What Is It and Does It Help?


Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Comparing Emotional Health vs. Mental Health
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