We all know about what health is – this term is most succinctly reflected in the phrase “no disease”. It is possible to call a healthy person, who does not have any disturbances in the functioning of organs and systems, diseases, however, regarding mental health, it loses its meaning, because this definition is not limited to the absence of pathology.
Mental health is a state of psychological and social well-being in which a person realizes his or her potential, effectively confronts life’s difficulties and stress, performs productive, conscious activity and contributes to the development of society.
First of all, this is realized due to the stable, adequate functioning of the psyche, as well as the basic mental cognitive processes: memory, attention, thinking. There are no clear norms for the concept of mental health, since each of the components can be interpreted subjectively.
Undoubtedly, there is an approved list of mental diseases, but, as mentioned earlier, their absence does not guarantee complete health, which is why one is ambiguous. Despite this, there are certain determinants – social, psychological factors, the presence of which allows us to state about good health.
The functional state of the psyche is determined by such aspects as:
1. Mental performance. Cognitive processes at a high level – an indicator of health.
2. The pursuit of conscious activity. Training, professional, creative activity, self-realization in a different capacity – evidence of the presence of interests, motivation.
There are several opinions that may indicate mental health and which of its components are mandatory. The following features have been recognized by most researchers.
How is mental health characterized?
1. The ability to build relationships with others. These relationships are mostly positive, trusting (with a narrow circle of people). The same category includes the ability to love – to accept a person as he is, to avoid idealization and unreasonable claims, to effectively resolve conflict situations, the ability not only to take, but also to give. This applies not only to marital relations, but also child-parental.
The important point is the health of the relationship: they should not be threatening, violent, disturbing, destructive. Healthy relationships carry only productivity. This also includes “environmental friendliness” – the ability of a person to choose for themselves mostly comfortable environment.
2. Desire and ability to work. This is not only a professional activity, but also creativity, a contribution to society. It is important for a mentally healthy person to create what is valuable for the person himself, his family, and society.
3. The ability to “play.” The game is a fairly broad concept in relation to an adult, so it is important to clarify that it includes:
3.1. free use of metaphors, allegories, humor – playing with symbols;
3.2. dance, singing, sports, some types of other creativity – to be not an outside observer, but an active player.
4. Autonomy. A healthy person does not do what he does not want. He makes his own choice and is responsible for it, does not suffer from addiction, does not try to compensate for the lack of control over one of the spheres of life by hypercontrol in another.
5. Understanding ethical standards. First of all, a healthy person is aware of the meaning and necessity of following them, however, he is flexible in this respect – in certain circumstances he can afford to change the course of behavior (within reason).
6. Emotional Resilience. It is expressed in the ability to endure the heat of emotions – to feel them, not allowing them to control themselves. In any circumstances, be in contact with the mind.
7. Flexibility to use protective mechanisms. Each person is faced with adverse life circumstances, and, being the carrier of such a delicate construct as the psyche, uses the means of its protection. A healthy person chooses effective methods and in different situations makes a choice in favor of the most suitable.
8. Awareness, or, in other words, mentalization. A mentally healthy person sees the difference between true feelings and other people’s imposed attitudes, is able to analyze his reactions to the words of another, he realizes that the other person is a separate person with his own characteristics and differences.
9. Ability to reflect. In time to turn to yourself, to analyze the causes of certain events in your own life, to understand how to proceed further and what it will entail – these skills also distinguish a healthy personality.
10. Adequate self-esteem. One of the components of mental health is realistic self-esteem, self-perception of oneself according to actual character traits and characteristics, attitude to oneself with warmth, real understanding of weak and strong points.