A great deal of our time is spent discussing poor mental health. The different types, symptoms, how to manage them etc.To make this post more positive I want to discuss what good mental health looks like.
I have recently read an article written by Carla Shuman an American Clinical Psychologist. It is called ‘Ten Key Traits of Mentally Healthy People’, published on the Psychology Today site on 17 June 2022. The Traits:
1 Feeling Grateful. To express gratitude for a least one thing on a daily basis is a useful habit. It encourages resilience.
2 Look forward to future events. Planning something you are anticipating brings enjoyment and contentment.
3 Let go of anger. Holding on to bad experiences prevents moving on with our lives. It can lead to internalised negative emotions and make it difficult to find lasting peace.
4 Enjoy the simple things. Positive experiences can come from simple things like walking in nature or laughing with friends.
5 Keep trying even when the going gets tough. Continue following your good routines through tough times.
6 Help others. You may be feeling rough but still find ways of supporting other people.
7 Take care of yourself. Do not neglect yourself even when there are pressures from other sources.
8 Maintain good boundaries. Knowing when to say no and giving yourself some space is important. It’s still possible to be helpful without violating your own your own sense of space and privacy.
9 Don’t be envious. Don’t spend time comparing yourself to others. Focus in your needs and what is within your reach.
10 Be happy for others. Even if your own life is challenging be pleased for others and let them know.
These traits all come under the umbrella of managing your mental health. This is easier once you accept your mental health conditions. I have realised:
I can’t beat it.
I can’t defeat it.
I can’t fill it.
I can’t kill it.
I can’t win it.
I can’t bin it.
And I know:
I can feel it’s presence
I can’t directly control it (but see below)
It has associated bad physical symptoms.
It can be difficult to live with.
I think writing this down helps to understand what you are trying to manage. This does not mean trying to change or control it.
Many people live and manage their mental health (sometimes with outside support.) A very famous example is Winston Churchill. He became a great war time leader whilst managing his “black dog”.
Can you improve your mental health?