Mental diseases have always been simpler to describe than mental health, and this has been true throughout history. When it comes to defining mental illnesses in the United States, the American Psychiatric Association has typically been the group to turn to (beginning as early as 1917 when it was known as The Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions of the Insane).
Mental health is now widely acknowledged to be more than only the absence of mental disease, as many have realized in recent years. Despite the fact that many people do not suffer from a diagnosable mental disease, it is obvious that some people are in better mental health than others.
What Is the Definition of Mental Health?
According to the World Health Organization, mental health does not simply refer to the absence of mental illness.
It refers to a condition of well-being in which individuals are able to manage the typical pressures that they encounter in their everyday lives, such as work or school. It is through good mental health that people are able to recognize and appreciate their own skills, work successfully, and make significant contributions to their communities.
In addition to emotional well-being, mental health also relates to how individuals think and act in their daily lives. There have been several studies conducted to determine which elements have an impact on mental health.
Satisfaction with one’s life
The capacity to enjoy one’s life is commonly cited as a measure of one’s overall mental health and well-being. In many cases, it is described as the extent to which a person takes pleasure in the most essential elements of their life.
Life satisfaction is influenced by a variety of factors, some of which include the absence of illness, positive relationships, a sense of belonging, participation in work and leisure activities, a sense of accomplishment and pride, positive self-perceptions, a sense of autonomy, and feelings of hope.
In the world of psychology, resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back after experiencing adversity.
In addition to having a positive perspective of their capacity to cope with problems, those who are resilient are more likely to seek out social assistance when they require it. The more resilient individuals are better equipped to not just manage stress, but to thrive in the face of adversity as well.
The importance of social support in maintaining good mental health cannot be overstated. Studies have revealed that loneliness has a variety of harmful health consequences. Issues with both physical and mental health have been connected to it, including cardiovascular illness, depression, and memory problems. It has also been linked to drug abuse and alcoholism, as well as impaired brain function.
Reduced social support as a result of major life transitions such as attending college, dealing with social hardship, moving jobs, or being divorced can have a detrimental influence on one’s mental health and well-being.
To your advantage, research shows that the most essential factor to consider is not necessarily the quantity of supporting connections you have, but rather the quality of those ties.
Having unrealistic expectations might lead to more stress in some situations. Emotional flexibility may be equally as essential as cognitive flexibility when it comes to decision-making. People that are mentally healthy experience a wide spectrum of emotions and are comfortable expressing these sentiments to others. Some people suppress certain emotions because they consider them to be undesirable.
Increased psychological flexibility has been associated to greater life balance and increased resilience, whereas decreased psychological flexibility has been linked to certain forms of psychopathology, according to the latest study.
Mental Health Obstacles to Overcoming
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about one in every five individuals in the United States suffers from a mental health condition each year.
There are a variety of risk factors that might enhance the probability that a person would suffer from poor mental health in one way or another.
Among the dangers to one’s mental health care:
- Exposure to traumatic events
- There is a history of mental illness in the family.
- Having a low income
- Illness caused by a medical condition
- Inadequate access to healthcare services
- Having low self-esteem
- Social abilities that are lacking
- Inequalities on a social level
- Substance abuse is rampant.
Supportive social interactions, good coping skills, chances for community participation, and a sense of physical and psychological stability are some of the elements that can assist provide protection against mental illness.
How to Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, some of the ways that you may develop and maintain mental health are as follows:
- Participating in regular physical activity is important.
- Getting an appropriate amount of sleep
- Providing assistance to others
- Developing new coping mechanisms to deal with stress
- Maintaining a connection with other individuals
- Making an effort to have a positive attitude in life
It is also essential to be able to seek assistance if you are experiencing difficulties. If you want help improving your mental health or resolving a psychological condition, speak with your doctor or a mental health expert.
Verywell Has Something to Say
In terms of mental health, there is much more to it than merely being free of sickness. Nonetheless, it is vital to recognize the reality that there are a variety of elements that influence one’s mental health and general well-being. Individual variables play an essential role in this, but social, environmental, and economical situations also interact dynamically with these individual elements to either improve or deteriorate mental health in a variety of different ways.