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8 Vital Things Mentally Healthy People Do

By Catherine Gordon
Updated June 30, 2017

When you hear anything about mental health, it’s usually in a negative context.

Maybe you’ll catch a news report that says some violent crime was committed by a person with known “mental health issues”, or you’ll see stories about a celebrity who has had a “breakdown”.

But there are the positive aspects of mental health to consider, too, something that is just not discussed as often as it should be.

Mental health problems may be on the rise, if recent studies are anything to go by, so it’s high time to start discussing how mentally healthy people think, as this can provide a “benchmark” of sorts and help you gain insight into your own mental health.

It is important to note that before you check out the eight important things mentally healthy people do, keep in mind that no one is 100 percent physically and mentally healthy.

If you do believe you may have a psychological disorder, speak to a professional for help immediately.

1. They’re In A Positive Social Circle

Good social circles have been linked to mental wellness for a long time. As reported by Forbes, researchers have found that socially isolated people don’t live as long as their engaged counterparts and suffer from more problems.

You may have experienced how being isolated, without good friends or a support system, can make you feel more stressed, anxious and lonely, all of which can add up to mental health trouble.

Take a look at your current social circle to see how positive it is. If you are frequently connecting with people who cause you harm, worry, stress and grief, it’s time to cut off contact.

This remains true even if the offending person in question is a family member. Having harmful people in your social circle will take too much of a toll on your mental health.

Focus on building a more positive social circle by reaching out more to people who have a good impact on your life and trying new things so you can meet other people.

2. They Plan Ahead

A mentally healthy person is proactive rather than reactive.

When you are consistently working to improve yourself rather than reacting to things happening around you, you’ll be better off mentally.

Being proactive means you’re self-aware and willing to work toward your long-term goals.

This type of mindset will manifest itself in a positive state of mind, but a reactive mindset indicates you’re lacking self-control, a trait which can morph into problems with mental health down the road.

3. They Take Care Of Their Bodies

Your body and your mind are connected. Many mentally healthy people are also physically active and have positive eating habits. Poor eating, for example, is linked to conditions like anxiety and depression.

Those who are not physically active also tend to gravitate toward certain mental health conditions.

If you haven’t done so already, start some sort of exercise plan. It can be as simple as walking to work during the week or as elaborate as a big gym membership, but whatever you do, be sure to stick to it.

Major life changes can be hard to adjust to, so staying on course is key to long-term success.

Make some dietary changes too if your current habits aren’t really up to par.

4. They’re Emotionally Intelligent

Emotional intelligence sounds fancy, but it really just means the ability to fully understand your emotions and how they can impact your body and mind.

When you are able to determine what is happening in your body and mind, you’re in a much better position to do something about it.

Developing and strengthening your emotional intelligence isn’t easy, but there are some things you can do. Don’t judge or edit your feelings; just allow them to exist.

Find connections in your feelings; if you’re feeling a certain way and it seems familiar, try to remember when you felt that way last and why. Pay attention to what your body tries to tell you.

If the thought of spending time with a specific person makes your stomach knot, for instance, they are probably not someone you should have in your life.

Last but not least, if you’re not sure what you are feeling, try asking someone you trust. The people close to you may actually be able to pick up on your emotions even if you can’t.

5. They Are Productive And Self-Guided

When you can guide yourself in a positive way, it speaks highly to your mental health.

A person with mental health conditions may struggle to handle their circumstances, while mentally healthy people have more control over the situation and can work toward making something positive happen.

Set some goals and make them part of daily life. This shows discipline and is mentally healthy behavior.

When you are constantly feeling lethargic or giving into instant gratification, there may be a problem.

6. They Control Their Own Behaviors

Resisting negative temptations and impulses is a sign of sound mental health for good reason. Being able to do both requires willpower, resilience and knowledge of yourself, something mentally healthy people possess.

Being able to consistently stick to a positive routine is another sign, as this usually means you’re in a positive mind state.

Improving your ability to resist urges and acting on impulses won’t be easy, and it will definitely require willpower.

Start off small, like avoiding your favorite late night snack once a week, so you can work toward building your willpower. If you commit, the rest will follow.

7. They Accept Themselves As They Come

People with negative self-images are more likely to develop certain mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

Having a positive – which doesn’t necessarily mean high – level of self-worth often means you have a healthy state of mind.

Think about what you want to improve on instead of being stuck on what you view as your shortcomings.

Devise a plan to help improve your weak spots and work on them; your self-esteem should rise as a result, and you will also grow as a person.

8-Vital-Things-Mentally-Healthy-People-Do-pin 8. They’re Strong At Self-Realization

A situation, whether it’s good, bad or somewhere in-between, is better interpreted by someone with a healthy mind state.

A mentally healthy person may find themselves in a bad scenario, but they will recognize that and take more productive actions faster than someone who is struggling with their mental health.

Work on improving your sense of self-realization by considering your situations more carefully and avoiding reacting to things on a purely emotional level.

When you’re in a bad situation but able to take the time to realistically examine it instead of just having a knee-jerk reaction, you’ll have better results and a healthier state of mind because of it.

Being mentally healthy is just as important as being physically well, so if you’ve been neglecting your mental health, it’s time to take care of it – and yourself – today.

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Katherine Hurst
By Catherine Gordon
Catherine Gordon (PhD) has a background teaching and researching analytic philosophy. She is also a practising therapist who works with individuals and couples on issues relating to relationship difficulties, emotional well-being and self-improvement.

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