I truly enjoyed this content! I think this list of characterisitics is a list of things I find myself totally interested in in life and as a list of characteristics that I'm truly trying to possess. However, as I was thinking about the list, I came to the conclusion that I think the state of being mentally healthy is probably as much of a state that needs to be diagnosed from the outside looking in, as does a mentally unhealthy person's state of diagnosis. So, I'll share the list with you and let YOU be the judge...
- A positive outlook on life.
- A realistic set of expectations and approaches to life.
- Effective management of emotions.
- The ability to function well with others.
- The ability to draw strength from others without being overtly dependent upon them.
- Reasonable appetites.
- A spiritual nature.
- Effective coping skills.
- An honest self-regard and self-esteem.
- The ability to view the world honestly, accurately, and realistically.
[Donnelly, J.W., Eburne, N., & Kittleson, M. (2001). Mental health: Dimensions of self-esteem and emotional well-being. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.]
Granted, a person's spiritual nature may not be as easily recognizable from the outside in, but areas such as a person's management of emotions or how well a person functions with others are areas I like to think someone from the outside looking in, especially someone that knows you well, would be the best "judge," in a sense, on saying whether you meet that characteristic or not. Because let me tell you, I know some people that would immediately tell you they function well with others, but I can go get those "others" and let you hear their side of the story...HA!
Also, something I want to point out is about the spiritual nature part. I love spirituality (believe it or not!) And for those that might be surprised by my saying that, you might one of the ones that so easily confuses spirituality with religiousity (I used to always just consider them one in the same, too!)
It was pointed out in our handout from this lesson in class that a spiritual nature comes from people who have a sense of purpose in being and have a notion that they belong somewhere in their own big picture of the universe. Individuals who are mentally healthy believe there is a purpose to life and they feel they have a part to play in that purpose. Granted, a person's religious background can guide his/her spirituality, and that is VERY common; however, I think it is important to remember that one is not necessary for the other.
Gosh, this is fun/good stuff!