7 components of good mental health

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There are several components of good mental health. Although you may identify with some and not with others, most of them have consistently been shown to impact mental health.

These components are interdependent, so an imbalance in one can impact the other. It is necessary to prioritize them all to manage mental health, whether the cause of poor mental health is a physical health problem, an environmental stressor or a lack of boundaries.

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Components of good mental health

To lead a healthy life, people must consider various factors in order to achieve total well-being.

Being mentally healthy is essential to being well, as it creates opportunities for improvement in all other areas of life. Here are seven essential components of mental well-being:

1) Optimal nutrition

Nutrition is one of the most obvious but underestimated variables of mental health.

The brain is an organ that needs varying amounts of complex carbohydrates, vital fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and water to stay healthy, just like the heart, stomach and liver.

To reduce the prevalence and distress caused by mental health problems, an integrated approach that also reflects the interplay of biological factors and the broader psychological, emotional and social facets of mental health is essential.

Food is a key element of this integrated approach. A growing body of evidence suggests that an appropriate diet can help in the management and recovery of mental health problems and in their prevention.


2) Stress reduction

Stress is a common feature of our daily lives. Stress in moderation helps with productivity, meeting deadlines, preparing for presentations, and being on time for important events.

Long-term stress, however, can be detrimental. The likelihood of developing physical and mental health problems increases when stress becomes severe and persistent. Some people are more likely to develop anxiety and depression due to stress.

Researchers have found that the brain’s first reaction to stress occurs just seconds after a stressor is perceived.

Neurotransmitters, or chemicals that communicate between nerve cells, are released. Repeated stress alters the ability of these systems to control the stress response.


3) Engagement in daily activities

A key component of mental well-being is our ability to engage in daily activities.  (Image via Pexels/Sam Lion)
A key component of mental well-being is our ability to engage in daily activities. (Image via Pexels/Sam Lion)

The third crucial aspect of mental well-being is that it grants the person the capacity to take on the responsibilities of life. A person with a sound mind can think independently, make their own judgments and set fair goals.

When problems arise, they respond by taking action. We manage our daily obligations without being overwhelmed by feelings of fear, rage, love, and guilt. A common indication of any mental health disorder is disruption in the performance of various daily activities, such as maintaining personal hygiene, managing stress, etc.


4) Good sleep

A good night's sleep can do wonders for us.  (Image via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)
A good night’s sleep can do wonders for us. (Image via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

Mental well-being and sleep are intimately linked. Lack of sleep impacts mental health and emotional functioning.

Additionally, people with mental health issues are more likely to suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders. Insomnia and other sleep disorders have always been considered symptoms by professionals caring for people with psychiatric disorders.

However, research has shown that, for both adults and children, sleep problems can increase the likelihood of the onset of many psychiatric disorders, or even directly contribute to them.


5) Positive attitude

If it is not positive, the self-perception is not distorted.  (Image via Pexels/Julia Avamotive)
If it is not positive, the self-perception is not distorted. (Image via Pexels/Julia Avamotive)

The characteristics of a mentally healthy individual are self-acceptance, self-confidence and autonomy.

Knowing your talents and limitations and being certain that your positive characteristics outweigh your negative characteristics are two qualities that make up positive mental health. Other signs of good mental health include independence, initiative and self-esteem.


6) Autonomy

With good mental health, you are able to make independent decisions.  (Image via Pexels/Tolentino)
With good mental health, you are able to make independent decisions. (Image via Pexels/Tolentino)

Battery life may be different for everyone. Having the flexibility to decide whether or not to follow societal norms is one way to define autonomy.

Although a person is not completely independent of their environment, they have the freedom to choose how to respond to cultural pressures.


7) Community

We learn and grow with society.  (Image via Freepik/Freepik)
We learn and grow with society. (Image via Freepik/Freepik)

From close friends and family to peer support groups that meet in person or online, a community is made up of a wide variety of people. Your quality of life can be enhanced by any interaction that leads to genuine, honest dialogue or brief moments that remind you that you are not alone.

Your daily life and mental health journey can greatly benefit from constantly surrounding yourself with positive people who prioritize a healthy, balanced lifestyle and who share your goals and desires.

People can also manage their mental health and addiction issues with the help of a community.


Carry

Ultimately, it is up to us to improve and advance our mental health. The motivation to improve mental health must come from within. Anyone can be on the right path to a healthy mind and existence by following the aforementioned elements of mental health.


Janvi Kapur is a counselor and holds a master’s degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.


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