Encouraging Better Emotional Health for Citizens

All human beings have the same basic goals and motives in life:  to survive, to have minimal or at least tolerable physical and emotional pain, to have some times of feeling positive emotions (which can be achieved mainly through feeling good about ourselves and feeling secure and not afraid), to have sex and raise children, to have satisfying relationships with at least some others, and to be generally accepted as part of our groups (family, friends, town, nation).  Every human behavior is motivated by these underlying needs/goals.  Emotional health must be based on successfully achieving these needs/goals.  Our happiness is a pretty good indicator of whether we are reaching these goals.

My own definition of mental or emotional health is (1) having all of your capacities available for use in seeking achievement of your goals (and having few, if any, internal conflicts or “symptoms” that would interfere with use of your capacities in a “smooth”, integrated way) (e.g., wanting to go to college but feeling unable to because your parents would think you were disloyal to the family to want to have a better life) and (2) having an adequately satisfying subjective state (your moment to moment emotional experience of life), including feeling some amounts of happiness and hope, and ultimately some amounts of satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment.

Human beings are constructed to have adequate happiness fairly easily, unless they have internal conflicts or issues that cripple their effectiveness or themselves create painful emotions, but there are many things that interrupt or subvert our natural processes, such as believing things that make you feel better rather than believing things that are true, letting others define you as inferior or worthless and accepting this, not accepting yourself as you are, not treating yourself with respect and love, believing that you can get more in life by taking advantage of others than you can by attending to their needs and feelings and cooperating with them, and believing that you can get more in life by using force and power with others than you can by attending to their needs and feelings and cooperating with them.

At the emotional level, three things are essential for emotional health – feeling secure, feeling valuable yourself, and feeling that you are valued by others.

Feeling secure is a matter of dealing with fears.  It can help to identify the worst that could happen and prepare yourself for it, so that you feel reasonably confident that you can manage.  Otherwise, accept an objective assessment of the fear (is it realistic?) and do whatever you are willing to do about it, after which you then accept whatever risk remains.

In order to have healthy self-esteem (to feel valuable yourself, to feel good about yourself), you need–

          a positive view of yourself,

          being basically accepting of yourself (including determining your own
humane and reasonable standards for yourself),

          treating yourself with respect.

          loving yourself,

          treating yourself well,

          a feeling of agency from and the satisfaction of taking decent care of
yourself and your loved ones (feeling satisfactorily successful and effective),
and having basic respect, courtesy, and acceptance from some others.

People feel better from being active in ways that nourish the self and contribute to the welfare of family and nation, whether that is a job or otherwise.  Stay active!

To feel valued by others, seek relationships with others who can accept you and appreciate you, treat others as if they are valuable–with respect, courtesy and basic acceptance, don’t try to force others to give you what they don’t want to give, don’t take advantage of others, treat others fairly, and be empathically helpful to others when possible.

Stick to reality as regards to overvaluing or undervaluing yourself.  As a person, no one is “better than” you, and you are not “better than” anyone else.  Rich people, entertainers, sports heroes, and politicians are not “better than” you.  Status differences imply that some are better than others, but this is false!  We do not need to feel better than others in order to feel good about ourselves.

Our obsession with buying and consumption leads us to believe falsely that one who has more is “better than” others.  It would be far better for us to value people for their contributions to the lives of others than to value them for their wealth or fame.

Difference is always threatening to people, so learning to tolerate difference (different views, beliefs, customs) is necessary, in diverse populations, for smooth, positive relations.

As President, I will speak to the psychological needs of all of us and support education and programs that enhance our well-being, including good self-esteem and healthy relationships with others.

I will also highlight the respect and admiration due to people of every station in life who take good care of themselves and contribute to the lives of others, as parents, community members, and citizens of our nation.  (You can find more about emotional health in my book Live Wisely, Deeply, and Compassionately.)

You can find more information about my positions on my campaign website ebbeforpresident.com and in my campaign platform book A Compassionate and Moderate Political Platform for 2024.  You can also explore my essays over the years on public affairs and morality at my first website livewiselydeeply.com.  There will be opportunity on ebbeforpresident.com to donate to supporting the campaign ideas, if you are so inclined.

Treat everyone with the same respect and courtesy.

Everyone needs a sense of value and a sense of security. Help others with this! You’ll feel better for it.






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