This article is based on my research paper that I had recently presented in a conference held in New Delhi.
Emotional wellbeing is a broad term that includes feelings, behavior, relationships, goals, and personal strengths. It refers to the emotional quality of an individual’s everyday experiences and occurs when a range of feelings, such as, energy, openness, confidence, enjoyment, happiness, calmness, care, etc. are combined and balanced.
Experiencing emotional wellbeing does not mean being happy all the time. It, rather, means feeling all right and not suffering mental distress, depression, or anxiety. Therefore, when feelings are managed in a constructive manner, do not cause too much of distress, and enable to maintain positive and effective relationships, then it is said to be a state of emotional wellbeing.
Emotional wellbeing has found to be associated with a number of factors, which can be seen by having a look at figure 1:
Figure 1: Emotional Wellbeing
Figure 1 shows that emotional wellbeing comprises of happiness and joy, self-esteem, optimism, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and so on.
Emotional wellbeing, even though being associated with many factors, can also be influenced by a number of aspects of life. One such thing that has a major influence on emotional wellbeing is relationships. Relationships are very essential for individuals. They play a very important part in an individual’s life.
Research shows that relationships shape our personality and have a significant influence on our physical and mental health. New research in social neuroscience suggests that the interactions in relationships have the capacity to reshape the structure of the brain by altering the neural networks.
Clearly, relationships have a very large role to play in an individual’s life. Any kind of relationship, be it friendship, romantic relationship, marital relationship, familial relationships, etc. have their own significance in an individual’s life.
When it comes to relationships, then the first thing that comes to mind is relationship quality, which is perhaps the main guiding force of every relationship. Relationship quality is the positive or negative feelings of an individual about a particular relationship. These feelings are derived from an overall assessment of the relationship, which is based on focusing attention on the relationship and its interaction patterns. It is also based on internal representations and conscious reflections about the particular relationship.
A high relationship quality involves experiences of affection, intimacy, nurturance, and fosters wellbeing. Comparatively, a low relationship quality involves conflict and antagonism.
Relationship quality has been found to be associated with various factors. Based on all the research done on relationship quality, it can be depicted in the following figure (Figure 2a):
Figure 2a: Relationship Quality
Figure 2a shows that relationship quality is associated with factors such as trust, self-esteem, happiness, satisfaction, forgiveness, and so on.
When we have a close look at the right side of figure 2a, separately, and compare with it with figure 1 (emotional wellbeing), then it it can be seen that all the factors of relationship quality are in some way or the other associated with emotional wellbeing. Figure 2b gives a clearer picture:
Figure 2b: Relationship Quality and Emotional Wellbeing
The left part of figure 2b can be easily replaced with the left part of figure 2a, which can be seen as figure 2c:
Figure 2c: Relationship Quality as a component of Emotional Wellbeing
When figure 2a and figure 2b are combined, relationship quality can be clearly seen as a component of emotional wellbeing (figure 2c).
Relationship quality, depending on being high or low, can be seen as the predictor of the course of the relationship. Being a key component of emotional wellbeing, relationship quality, thus, plays a significant role in determining emotional wellbeing.