I recently saw a post on 15 things emotionally healthy people do, or don’t do. But what is emotional health and why don’t we teach it? I mean really teach it.

We learn much in our families as we grow up. Parents want their children to be confident, have good self-esteem, get good grades and develop social skills. Parents want their children to have a better life. But no one taught our parents about emotional health and consequently what they teach is often what they grew up with – sometimes not the best models. Schools teach physical health, math, and language. High schools require a couple of years of US history in order to graduate. Why don’t we teach emotional health as we do to physical health, foreign language, or the history of our country?

As a therapist who sees children, I’ve been saying for years that I think schools should teach Relationship Skills 101 in high school. Since thinking skills and maturity impact our relationships, maybe schools should teach it every year like they do one semester of physical health every year. Who will teach us how to be a good parent if our own parents don’t know how? Who will teach us to be a good spouse if our own parents are divorced? Why is our physical body, health, and gym more important than our emotional health?

Research shows that our brain reacts in the same way to physical pain and emotional pain. Yet we often tell people to “Just get over it – it’s all in your head” and expect them to do so. Would we say the same thing to a diabetic -“Just try harder, I know you can control your insulin”?  That sounds absurd.

Emotional health, social and relationship health is as important as physical health. We need to help everyone understand that. We can start in school, and I’m certainly willing to help with a class.

To learn more about emotional health, go to www.specializedtherapy.com or call 201-488-6678.