Well-being is this elusive thought that focuses on the overall physical, mental and emotional health of an individual. No longer are people only considering the presence or lack of illnesses when looking at their health, but mental and emotional as well, as stress levels increase rapidly across all age and gender groups in recent years. While mental well-being and emotional well-being can appear to be referring to the same idea at first glance, they are both referring to vastly different notions. Mental well-being refers to the idea that the individual is able to cope with normal stresses of life and able to function productively, while emotional well-being refers to the emotional quality of an individual’s everyday experiences, the frequency and intensity of his stress, joy, sadness and anger, that makes him feel pleasant or unpleasant about life.
The concept of mood mapping by Dr Liz Miller explains that mood mapping involves plotting an individual’s feelings against his energy levels. The map works to increase self-awareness, so that individuals will be able to implement practical ways to improve low mood. By identifying and mapping moods based on one’s feelings and energy levels, is would be possible to determine current mood. With this knowledge, individuals will then be able to manage their emotions, take charge of their mental health and change their outlook towards life, to better appreciate life.
While experiencing certain stressful situations are obvious, research has shown that it is possible for an individual to not be able to tell that he was stressed in other circumstances. By mapping the moods on the mood map, it would then be possible to identify these situations, where it would then give the individual the power to identify and take note of these situations and either manage it positively or ignore it.
Taking charge of mental health
As defined by the World Health Organisation, “Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” No longer is health only related to the absence of diseases, but is now more commonly thought of as the complete package of physical, mental and social well-being. It can then be astonishing to realise that around 20% of the world’s children and young adults have mental disorders. Hence, taking charge of one’s mental health starts from young. By better understanding one’s emotional well-being, through mapping one’s mood on the mood map, it would then be possible to increase awareness, so that individuals will be able to take steps to improve mental health.
Changing the outlook on life
“When life closes a door, a window opens”. Ups and downs are simply part and parcel of life, and changing one’s mindset in the face of adversities can lead to a more positive outlook towards life. By managing mental health, it can help individuals identify, understand and lift their moods, to become happier and more positive towards life. This change in attitude can result in a big difference in the individual’s outlook towards life and the way he manages situations and copes with adversities, and not breaking down.
Mapping moods may not be common practice for individuals currently, and the idea of this is elusive, with little historical science and research in this area. Nonetheless, this area is expected to grow as greater emphasis is placed on the study of mindfulness and mental and emotional well-being, which will help advance research in indicating the overall well-being of people in different societies.
Kahneman, D., & Deaton, A. (2010). High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(38), 16489-16493.
Miller, L. (2009). Mood Mapping: Plot Your Way to Emotional Health and Happiness. Pan Macmillan.
Schutte, N. S., & Malouff, J. M. (2011). Emotional intelligence mediates the relationship between mindfulness and subjective well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(7), 1116-1119.
World Health Organisation | Mental health: a state of well-being
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