Characteristics of Good Mental Health
Happiness is hard to find, and some people spend their whole lives searching for it. Big-time celebrities win Grammys and have all the physical wealth, yet drown themselves in alcohol and drugs. If they aren’t happy with everything money can buy then what is happiness? How is it achieved? It’s an inner positive emotion between the physical and spiritual worlds. We become happy when there is a balance between social life, work-life, and our personal life. Defining happiness is complicated because happiness isn’t just a feeling, it is a way of thinking. Happiness cannot be an end in itself. I think happiness is a byproduct of something more significant… finding meaning in life. When you find your purpose, happiness comes as a gift. A person doesn’t always aim for success, they work hard to achieve goals–success is a byproduct of their hard work.
For this blog post, the focus is on character traits that are seen in happy people. Your character is in your thoughts, beliefs, and values. It is expressed in your relationships and everyday life. It’s the way we live when no one else is watching. These traits fabricate the deepest self, which guides action to the way we treat others and ourselves. For instance, take a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Can you have the one without the other? The same concept applies to happiness and character. Take a home; for example, a home needs a solid foundation on the bottom, or else it would crumble. Without a stable foundation, we develop traits such as hate, jealousy, selfishness, and ego. It is why it’s crucial to develop good habits and incorporate some of the traits listed below. I’m convinced following these traits will have an immense impact on your happiness.
What are the characteristics of good mental health?
To be grateful is to simply count your blessing and perceive life as beautiful, even though it’s not going as planned. You have to appreciate everything you have in life to be truly grateful. Grateful people notice the light in the dark and appreciate lessons learned from the heartbreak of life. If you aren’t grateful, then you will never have enough, you will always be in need of more regardless of having plenty. When we are grateful our problems do not disappear, but rather occupy less space in our hearts. Try and practice gratitude every morning when you wake up. Just be thankful to be alive and everything that God or the world has given you, even if it’s a pain you had to endure to learn an important life lesson. It teaches you to appreciate everything around you. Focus on what you have, not what you “could” have.
There was a time in my life that I thought being humble was a weakness. So instead, I steered clear from it. Following the path of being humble, I learned more about who I truly am. I discovered that humility is rather a strength, not a weakness. When people say “kill them with kindness” well, that’s exactly it! Being humble doesn’t mean you allow others to walk all over you. To me, it’s more about cultivating quiet confidence and open-mindedness. In today’s time, it’s hard to be humble due to the simple fact that we want to be in the spotlight. Society has taught us the opposite of being modest. We need inner maturity and not to worry so much about emotional comfort from others’ opinions. Being humble is an important trait because it allows doors to open for development, growth, and self-improvement. One of my favorite quotes about being humble is, “Speak softly but carry a big stick.”
Forgiveness can be one of the hardest traits to put into action as human beings. How can you forgive someone that wronged you? Think about how much time you spend letting an irrelevant person occupy your thoughts. Letting go of what happened unshackles you from negative thoughts and doesn’t allow the other individual to take control of your life. Without forgiveness in our life, we create a prison in our minds. Those we imprison in our hearts keep our happiness miles away. The way I perceive holding on to the past and not forgiving is like someone with an open wound. Instead of letting the wound heal, we pick at the scab. Eventually, this wound infects and spreads, manifesting into the blood. Similar to how an infection spreads, not forgiving eventually spreads within ourselves and into relationships, affecting others. Give yourself freedom from others and learn the beauty of forgiveness. It will remove negativity and make room for happiness to enter.
Think about one important person you know… would you say they are happy? Impatience is a pest that drives happiness away, causing happiness to be temporary. Learning to relax and allowing things to go with the flow is critical to living a happy life. The reality is; we can’t control all life events. The more we try to control them, the more we feel a loss of control and get impatient. I struggle a great deal with this trait, and I’m sure many of you that know me will have smirks on your faces reading this. I’m a punctual person but realize that things don’t always go according to plan. Step one is admitting the problem… so I’m learning how to breathe, relax, let things unfold, and be patient.
To be courageous is not to fear; having courage is to resist fear. It’s the absence of fear. Remember that fear is the crook that steals happiness. It’s the thief in the dark that sneaks into closed doors and makes us second guess ourselves and say “next time”. We all want to try new things and experience the unknown, to take that step you need the courage to get outside of your comfort zone. Fear will put you in shackles and make you live life in a routine. That’s why we need the courage to keep fear in check. Allow yourself to embrace life, approach people/situations, and life’s obstacles.
Latin “Optimus” means “best”. Being an optimistic person helps drive positive thinking. Optimistic people look for the best in the worst situations and carry the expectation that good things will happen. It helps to stay hopeful, things will turn out the way they are supposed to. I’m a firm believer that we are the architects of our own destiny, but sometimes there is a greater force that guides us in life. Having this trait allows you to stop searching for faults in unfortunate situations; instead, you have positive lenses to see life through. Becoming more optimistic will foster better attitudes in events, and with practice, will change your outlook to constitute happiness.
I encourage you all to adopt these six traits to become a better version of yourself. The beauty of it, we all can grow, learn, and develop habits that we aren’t comfortable with. All it takes is a little desire to see things through and be persistent to travel the distance. As you learn and grow, you will discover the man or woman that already exists inside; it just takes patience to allow the smoke to clear from all the rubble of everyday life.