What is good mental health?

Mental Health and Wellness. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Good mental health affects every part of your life.

Mental health has a significant impact on your thinking, your feelings, and your behavior. Impaired mental health damages relationships. While poor mental health is connected to specific illnesses such as depression and anxiety, good mental health is associated with positive feelings like happiness and contentment. It’s essential to learn to recognize the signs of good mental health.

Mental health lies on a continuum.

Just like physical health, mental health lies on a continuum. People can move from being physically or mentally healthy to less healthy before finally reaching unwell. A lack of wellness doesn’t necessarily constitute illness. But low mental wellness can quickly turn into a mental illness.

A mentally healthy person has a life that is in balance.

Life is challenging, and each person has many roles to balance. Keeping the various parts of your life in balance promotes both physical and mental health. Work is important, but it shouldn’t be the only activity you have time for. Relationships with family and friends impact your mental health as well. Physical health and mental health are not two separate things; they are interconnected. Good sleep and diet, along with exercise, promotes both physical and mental health.

Learning to listen to and manage your feelings can contribute to your mental health. For some people, their spiritual or religious beliefs are also a significant part of them feeling connected to something greater than themselves. Social relationships also factor into your well-being. During this time of Covid-19, many people have had to limit their face-to-face contacts. Maintaining those relationships by phone or the Internet can also have a positive impact on your mental health.

Good mental health improves relationships.

Positive relationships with family and friends, as well as with an intimate partner, promote mental health. Unhealthy relationships are likely to damage your mental health. This relationship works in both directions. Generally, people with many good relationships have better mental health. Working on your mental health through counseling or using self-help methods can also improve your close relationships.

Being mentally healthy means enjoying life, having fun, and being able to laugh.

Happiness can be elusive. Don’t mistake temporary pleasure for happiness. Become a happiness expert. Many adults don’t know how to have fun without alcohol, drugs, and sex. Learn to have fun in positive ways and to recognize when good things are happening. Don’t forget to laugh. Remember also that contentment is a sign of good mental health.

Mentally healthy people have a meaning and purpose for their life.

If you can’t readily identify things that give your life meaning and purpose, it’s time to search for your life’s meaning. Your purpose in life may be to be a good parent or spouse, or it may be to have a good work-life. Some people find their meaning in religious and spiritual practices and their relationship with their higher power. Even if a physical or mental problem prevents you from full-time employment, there are many volunteer opportunities or other ways to be productive.

Good mental health is characterized by hope.

Hold onto your hope for all it’s worth. Having hope powers the rest of your mental health. Hope consists of two factors. You need to believe that if you try, you can achieve some measure of success. Secondly, if one path you’re taking doesn’t help you reach your goals, hope tells you to look for other ways that you might find what you’re looking for. If you’re low on hope, please check out some of the other articles I’ve written about help.

Mentally healthy people are more resilient.

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back. Many people have been knocked down repeatedly. Those people who can bounce back are inspirations to us all. Study resiliency and how highly resilient people recover from life’s setbacks. Cultivate a resilient spirit. Resiliency is so important that I wrote a book on this topic, titled Bumps on The Road of Life.

Being flexible and able to adapt is a sign of good mental health.

Avoid the tyranny of the “musts” and the “shoulds.” Learn to be flexible and accept that sometimes things will turn out the way you want them to, and sometimes they won’t. Insisting that the world be the way you want it, can cause you a lot of stress and lead to poor mental health.

Good mental health leads to self-acceptance.

Stop comparing yourself to others and accept yourself, however you are. Working on yourself does not mean there’s anything wrong with you. We are all in the process of learning and growing. Don’t focus on what is wrong with you. Focus on life’s improvement opportunities.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seems like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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