What Are the 7 Components of Good Mental Health?
Taking control of your mental health care journey will help you improve your overall quality of life, enhance your interpersonal relationships, and empower you to pursue personal and professional goals.
However, like many other people navigating this complex journey called life, you may not make sure where to begin when it comes to promoting your mental wellness.
You are not alone. The good news is that you can start optimizing your mental health and making meaningful progress toward your goals by familiarizing yourself with the seven components of good mental health. These components include:
Self-care is unique because it does not look the same for everyone. The term “self-care” refers to the process of adopting various behaviours to promote mental health and well-being. Sounds pretty complicated, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, as self-care is a bit simpler than you might expect.
Self-care should be a component of your daily or weekly routine. A few examples of self-care involve getting enough sleep, prioritizing downtime, and eating a balanced diet.
Your self-care routine should be tailored around your needs and interests as well. This means it should include hobbies or activities that you find relaxing, whether that involves going to the gym, having a spa day, or hunkering down with a good book at the end of your work day.
Your self-care routine should nourish you both physically and mentally. With that in mind, balance your routine by incorporating restful activities and more involved, rewarding ones, like exercise. Once you have committed to engaging in self-care, you will be able to apply the other components of good mental health.
The rise of technologies like smartphones and the internet has made us more accessible to our friends, loved ones, and employers. While staying in touch with those we care about offers a net benefit to our lives, the demands of this always-connected lifestyle can make it difficult to set boundaries.
However, you must set and adhere to clear boundaries to enhance your mental wellness. Setting boundaries gives you time to engage in your self-care activities. It also helps you avoid overstretching yourself by trying to please everyone.
Setting boundaries will look different depending on your life circumstances and the dynamics of your relationships. For example, setting a boundary may involve telling your boss that you are unavailable for after-hours phone calls or emails.
Alternatively, you may need to set boundaries by skipping a weekly dinner with friends or family when you feel burned out.
3. Environmental Health
Every aspect of your environment can profoundly impact your mental health. What you watch online, who you speak to, the songs you listen to, and your general living conditions will influence how you feel. All of these stimuli will also affect your self-view, your attitude, and your cognitive function.
Start by removing toxic relationships and content from your life to improve your mental health through your environment. Be more mindful of what you view online, avoid harmful content like the plague, and repair or end unhealthy relationships.
Once you have refined your environment, you will find that you are happier and healthier, both physically and mentally.
4. Intellectual Health
Intellectual health is a specific component of mental health that deals with cognitive function and performance.
Optimizing your intellectual health requires a multifaceted approach. You can strive to be mindful of what you eat and drink, as your diet will impact intellectual health and performance. Additionally, you might consider starting a regular exercise program if you don’t have one, as physical activity can boost cognitive function.
If you want to enhance your intellectual health, you must also regularly challenge your mind. This is particularly important if your current career is not intellectually engaging. You can sharpen your mind by playing puzzle games, learning new skills, reading, or soaking up online educational content.
You can pay more attention to your intellectual health without adhering to a rigorous school-like schedule. If you want to start boosting your intellectual health, start by setting an attainable goal. You can commit to learning one new skill each week or reading a book every month.
5. Physical Health
Your mental health directly impacts your physical well-being and vice versa. If you are in good physical health, your mental state will also be healthier.
With that in mind, you should make physical fitness part of your weekly routine. While exercising every day certainly has benefits, you will still experience physical and mental health improvements by engaging in activity 3-5 days per week.
When picking an activity, make sure to choose something that you enjoy and can do consistently. For instance, you should not choose an activity like kayaking unless you can kayak several days per week.
Instead, you should select an activity you can perform year-round, like walking, jogging, cycling, or weightlifting. This can help you develop a routine that you can stick to.
Even if you enjoy solitude and time alone, it is important not to isolate yourself, especially if you are navigating a mental health challenge. Instead, proactively work to build a community that you can turn to when life gets tough.
Building friendships, intimate relationships, or family bonds will help you build a trusted inner circle that will support you on your mental health journey. You and your circle can uplift one another and will significantly enhance each other’s quality of life.
7. In-Person Therapy
Mental health care can be complicated. No matter how committed you are to optimizing your mental health, there may come a time when you need some professional support, and that’s okay. A licensed mental health professional can provide a nuanced, objective perspective to help you work past barriers and enhance your well-being.
Whether you are struggling with a specific mental health concern or want to learn new skills to improve your life, in-person therapy can be a valuable resource.
When searching for a therapist, find one with appointment times that meet your schedule and set up an initial meeting. Even a single session can help you decompress from life’s stresses and leave you feeling relieved. These benefits will be magnified as you build trust with your therapist.
Enhancing Your Mental Wellbeing
As with all things, achieving better mental health is about balance. Any one of these seven components can improve your mental well-being and overall quality of life. However, if you want to become your best self, try using all these principles. The cumulative benefits of doing so can be significant.
You can begin using these concepts by taking a moment to reflect on your needs and feelings. Identify some self-care activities you want to add to your routine and start doing them. You may be surprised at how big of an impact this will make on your mental health and sense of wellness.
Remember, you don’t need a complicated game plan to get started. You need to start!