Mental health is not just the absence of mental health problems. Being mentally healthy is much more than not having depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. World Health Organization defines Mental Health as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
Being psychologically healthy does not mean never going through difficult times or experiencing emotional challenges. I’m not a fortune teller, but there’s one thing I can guarantee -- all of us will face stressful moments. We all go through change, experience disappointments and setbacks, and face losses (i.e., I’m using losses broadly, just think of losses that come with the aging process). Stress is normal part of life and can lead to us experiencing moments of sadness and worry.
People with good mental health, however, do not linger in sadness and worry. They have an ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep moving in a positive direction in the face of stress and adversity. This ability is called Resilience. Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary. People commonly demonstrate resilience. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone. Cultivating Resilience is important to Mental Health. Stay tuned for tips on how to cultivate Resilience!