How Do We Define “Mental Health”?
How do we know if we are mentally healthy? What exactly is “mental health”? These are questions that maybe we should ask ourselves. It seems hard to expect to achieve a goal, if we don’t even know what that goal is. What does it mean to have good mental health?
I came across this quote from psychiatrist William Glasser, originator of Choice Theory. I think this sums mental health up pretty well. Overall, I like the image it paints. If we could all strive to achieve this state of being, I think we’d all enjoy an increase in good mental health. Read it and see if it gets you thinking, too.
You are mentally healthy if you enjoy being with most of the people you know, especially with the important people in your life such as family, sexual partners and friends.Generally, you are happy and are more than willing to help an unhappy family member, friend, or colleague to feel better.You lead a mostly tension-free life, laugh a lot, and rarely suffer from the aches and pains that so many people accept as an unavoidable part of living.You enjoy life and have no trouble accepting other people who think and act differently from you.It rarely occurs to you to criticize or try to change anyone. If you have differences with someone else you will try to work out the problem; if you can’t you will walk away before you argue and increase the difficulty.
You are creative in what you attempt and may enjoy more of your potential than you ever thought possible.Finally, even in very difficult situations when you are unhappy – no one can be happy all the time – you’ll know why you are unhappy and attempt to do something about it.You may even be physically handicapped as was Christoper Reeve, and still fit the criteria above.
-William Glasser, M.D.
What are you tolerating in your life that might be chipping away at your mental health?