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What does it mean to be mentally healthy?

If you ask yourself the question whether you are mentally healthy or not. You may not be able to answer in a categorical yes or no. Why is that so? Simply put, it is because mental health lies in a continuum, with mental illness and good mental health being on opposite sides and each of us lying at some point on this scale, tending towards either direction. And yes, all of us may move to different points of the scale at different stages of our life.

What then is good mental health about?

Good mental health incorporates the way we think, feel and act. It is:

Believing in oneself

Living up the possibilities that life provides

Striving towards living a meaningful and purposeful life

Nurturing mutually fulfilling relationships

Living in the present rather than being bogged down with preoccupations of the past and future

Being able to jog up every available resource and not giving up when life throws roadblocks one’s way

Learning from failures and moving on

Being okay about asking for a helping hand when one is down

Being happy and at peace with oneself and the world, knowing that imperfection is a given, and change occurs not through cynicism but by hope and by giving of oneself a bit at a time

To sum up, we are all potters trying to shape mentally healthy lives and while we are at it, we need to remember that we will always be a work in progress. Here’s to each of us. Carpe diem!

  • Aruna Rose Mary Kapanee

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