Mental wellness helps us to build resilience, grow, and flourish.
Basics of Mental Wellness
The Global Wellness Institute characterizes mental wellness as a “dynamic, renewable, and positive resource.” And as an “active process that requires initiative and conscious action.”
The World Health Organization defines it as a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities. They have the ability to cope with the normal stresses of life. Are able to work productively and fruitfully. And can make a contribution to their community.
World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Surgeon General are aligned in the key concepts of mental wellness. This includes feeling good, being resilient, and enjoying positive relationships. It’s important to contribute to society or community and have a sense of fulfillment or coherence.
Components of Mental Wellness
Mental wellness is an internal experience that encompasses multiple dimensions. These dimensions include mental, emotional, social, psychological, and even spiritual.
If we break down mental wellness into parts it’s how we think. It’s how we process and understand information. And how to use information.
Mental wellness is a lifelong process. It involves a proactive strategy to strengthen mental, emotional, social, and psychological resources. On one level, mental wellness is about prevention. It is about learning to cope with adversity. It’s about resilience in the face of stress, worry, loneliness, anger, and sadness.
Personal nature of mental wellness
Mental wellness is the integrated and holistic nature of health and well-being. The state of the body affects the mind, and vice versa. It is connected to beliefs and values. It is the connection to other people, to nature, and even to spirituality. They are enriched by cultural, social, and religious traditions and contexts.
Emotional wellness is an awareness of your feelings. It is an understanding and acceptance of your emotions. And the ability to manage and express your emotions effectively through struggle and change.
With strong emotional health, you can act on your feelings and emotions in a healthy way. It means remaining in the present moment with a sense of mindfulness, without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
Being emotionally well doesn’t mean that you’re happy all the time. It means you’re self-aware. Strong emotional health leads to a happier and more blissful life. It allows you the opportunity to reach your full potential.
Characteristics of Emotional Wellness
People who are emotionally well have these common traits.
Treat of others with compassion and respect
Emotionally strong people tend to be more sensitive and compassionate about the needs of others.
Emotionally healthy people recognize and feel gratitude for their lives. They are grateful for relationships and experiences. This tends to relate to more spiritual aspects of their lives.
Emotionally healthy people are content with who they are. They love themselves in a grounded, emotionally stable way. And they engage in positive self-talk and affirmations. And, they’re often trying to become better people and seek to help those around them do the same.
Open-minded and flexible
These individuals are self-aware. They listen to the thoughts and opinions of others with an open mind. They don’t feel any attachment to particular dogma or philosophy. And they are willing to hear the viewpoints and ideas of others.
Understand their life purpose
Individuals with an understanding of life’s purpose see the “bigger picture.” They know their core values and focus on them. Their purpose gives life meaning.
Manage stress effectively
The emotionally stable have ways of navigating the stress in their lives. They use meditation, exercise, talk therapy, or creative pursuits to tackle stress. And they maintain a balance between work and play.
Social wellness is a measure of how we interact with others. It measures how we create social connections. And it defines how we build and maintain relationships.
From your earliest experiences, social relationships help you learn to navigate the world. You learn how to interact with others, express yourself, and connect with a community. Positive social habits can help you build support systems. This helps you stay mentally and physically healthy.
Your social connections may contribute to your health and longevity. Social connections can have powerful effects on your health. Social connections can affect your biology and well-being. For your health’s sake, you should seek ways to get involved with others.
Research suggests that strong social ties are linked to a longer life. Social isolation and loneliness are linked to poorer health. It is linked to depression and an increased likelihood of early death.
Studies found that having a multitude of social relationships helps to lower stress levels. These connections may improve your ability to fight infection. It may give you a more positive outlook on life. Physical contact can trigger the release of hormones and brain chemicals that make us feel good.
How to build social connections
Here are some ideas to help you create and build connections.
|Learn a new skill||Enroll in an art class or cooking class|
|Volunteer||Participate in service in the community|
|Join a group||Find a local group dedicated to hobbies or interests|
|Participate in local events||Get involved in the community|
|Travel||Go on a trip or cruise to connect with others|
Healthy relationships are important throughout your life. They affect your mental and physical well-being. As a child, you learn the skills needed to create and maintain relationships. Improving this skillset is a lifelong pursuit. It’s important to understand what an ideal healthy relationship looks like to create them for yourself.
Every relationship lands on a continuum from healthy to unhealthy to abusive. A sign of a healthy relationship is feeling good about yourself around your partner, family member, or friend.
Studies show that certain factors prevent people from forming unhealthy relationships. This protection starts early in life. The quality of an infant’s emotional bond with a parent can affect their ability to develop healthy relationships in life.
Secure emotional bonds help children and teens build trust and self-esteem. Healthy friendships reduce a child’s risk of becoming emotionally distressed. And lowers the likelihood of engaging in antisocial behaviors.
How to build healthy relationships
According to the National Institute of Health, here are a few ways to build relationships.
- Recognize others influence you.
- Share your feelings honestly.
- Ask for what you need from others.
- Listen to others without judgement or blame.
- Be caring and empathetic.
- Disagree respectfully.
- Avoid being overly critical, angry outbursts, and violent behavior.
- Expect others to treat you with respect and honesty in return.
- Learn to compromise
- Try to come to agreements that work for everyone.
- Protect yourself from violent and abusive people.
- Set boundaries with others.
- Decide what you are and aren’t willing to do.
Bond with children
Parents have an important role in raising a family. It can be rewarding and challenging. Being present, and responsive to their needs, can help parents build healthy relationships with their children. These strong bonds help children learn how to manage their feelings. It helps them develop self-confidence. Children with strong parental connections are more prepared to cope with life’s challenges.
How parents can bond with children
The National Institute of Health outlines some ideas for parents to bond with their children.
- Give children meaningful jobs at home.
- Help kids improve their skills one step at a time.
- Use kind words, tones, and gestures.
- Spend some time every day in warm, positive, loving interaction with your kids.
- Look for opportunities to spend time as a family.
- Brainstorm solutions to problems at home or school together.
- Be available for advice and support.
- Set limits for yourself on mobile device use and other distractions.
- Ask about your child’s concerns, worries, goals, and ideas.
- Participate in activities that your child enjoys.
- Help out with and attend their events, games, activities, and performances.
Psychological wellness is the combination of feeling good and functioning effectively.
Studies have found that people with good psychological wellness live longer, healthier lives. They may have a better quality of life. They are less likely to engage in criminal activity or abuse drugs and alcohol. Good psychological health may lead to higher earning potential and more prosocial behavior, like service or volunteering.
If you want to improve your psychological wellness, there are several things you can do to feel and function better. Here are a few things you can do to improve your psychological health.
Living a life with purpose is key to improving your psychological wellness. You don’t have to change the whole world to find your purpose. There are several ways to find purpose in life. Start simple. Think about the legacy you would like to leave behind. Get some paper and write down how you want people to remember you. Or you could visualize the impact you want to leave on the planet. Next, outline some steps that can help you reach those goals.
Power of positive thinking
Thinking positively improves your psychological wellness. As your wellness improves, it becomes easier to have positive thoughts. You can begin creating that positive cycle with a few easy steps. Here are some ways to give your life a boost of positivity.
Write down good things
Take a few minutes each day to visualize your best life. Imagine how you spend your time and who you spend your time with. Write down those thoughts in a journal.
With those thoughts down on paper, you can start to create a plan of action to make it happen. Create SMART goals that will help you achieve that vision. Next, put a plan in place. As you’re working toward a better future—even if the steps are really small—it gives you a sense of meaning and a goal to look forward to.
Focus on positive memories
Part of positive thinking is recalling the best memories in your life. It could be a family ski trip 20 years ago or the science fair project you won as a kid. Remembering these happy times in your life brings more positivity to your mind.
Focusing on the good things that have happened to you over time is an important part of improving your health. These thoughts help remind you of the fullness of life.
Doing service for other people reminds you that you have the power to make a difference in the world. Giving to others gets you out of your own head. It helps you think more positively and feel happier. This can include things like helping a neighbor with a fence repair or raising money for a charity.
Look for ways to serve others in your everyday life. Researchers found that individual acts of kindness release the good hormones endorphins and oxytocin. It creates new neural pathways in your brain.
Service can become a self-reinforcing habit that takes less and less effort to perform. There’s evidence linking service to healing. Look for ways to be kind to others and your body and mind will thank you.
Mindfulness has a multitude of benefits. They range from increased happiness to more resilience. Mindfulness is a skill that takes practice. Over time you can learn how to be present. Research suggests that mindfulness helps you do these things.
- Manage stress
- Cope with illness
- Decrease anxiety
- Reduce depression
Many people who practice mindfulness experience the following attributes:
- Enhanced ability to relax and decompress
- Improved self-esteem
- Greater enthusiasm for life
Studies have linked mindfulness to changes in the area of the brain responsible for emotion, memory, and learning.
Recognizing and expressing your gratitude will keep you centered on all the good things in life. Tell friends and family how much you appreciate them. Write feelings of thankfulness in a journal. You can even share gratitude on social media.
The more you practice expressing gratitude, the more you’ll recognize it. You’ll find that you can be thankful for small things like the beauty of snowfall. Or big life events like the birth of your child. Recognizing things to be thankful for each day is a simple way to boost your psychological wellness.
Focus on your strengths
One of the best ways to feel confident in your abilities is to remind yourself of the strengths you possess. Think about your past achievements and the qualities that helped you succeed.
Write down your strengths and accomplishments. This is a reminder of what you have to offer the world. And, if you feel there are areas that need improvement, write that down too. And seeking to improve yourself is a great way to boost your overall well-being.
Releasing past anger is key to good psychological wellness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing that person to hurt you again. Forgiveness is about releasing the anger that’s holding you back from moving forward in life.
Forgiving another person frees you. It allows you to use that energy to focus on more positive things. If the person who wounded you is still a threat, it may help to build boundaries to safeguard yourself from further pain.
Spiritual health is defined as expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life. This includes one’s ethics and morals. And it may or may not involve religious affiliation.
What is spiritual wellness?
Spiritual wellness is an acceptance of your connection to the world and your place in it. It’s the understanding that your life has a higher meaning or purpose. Whatever that purpose is, it is bigger than material possessions and short-term happiness. Spiritual wellness is the desire to do good, to live with a grateful heart, and to add positive change to the world.
Spiritual wellness may or may not embrace organized religion. That is a deeply personal decision every individual must make. There is more than one path to spiritual wellness. It’s about living your life with purpose and balance.
Why spirtitual health matters
Attaining spiritual wellness means you have made some kind of peace with your life. You begin to view adversity as opportunity. You’ve come to know that despite the outcomes, it’s all a part of the journey. This perspective gives you the flexibility to solve problems as they arise. This in turn helps you make difficult choices, reach your goals faster, develop healthier relationships, and be fully present to enjoy your life.