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World Mental Health Day: What, Exactly, is Mental Health?

world-mental-health-dayIt’s October 10th, and it’s a great day to celebrate. It’s World Mental Health Day, a day we, the people of the world, say to ourselves and to each other that mental health is important. Thanks to so many organizations (there’s a partial list and links at the end of this article), people are increasingly talking about mental illness and mental health and are realizing just how important it is to take care of mental health. Canada Goose Femme Pas Cher What, though, does mental health really mean? We know that it has to do with the brain and with thoughts and emotions and that it’s a good thing to have. GS Air Jordan 5 This is all true. However, it’s limited; there’s so much more to mental health, and the more we know, the better we can take charge of our mental health to thrive. For World Mental Health Day, a look at what mental health is, sometimes in the context of what it is not…

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is an important part of a bigger picture: someone’s physical health (I’m hesitant to distinguish between “mental” and “physical health, as the brain is a physical part of the body), nutritional health, fitness, and intellectual health. These are interrelated components of the whole — the person and his/her sense of wellbeing and ability to thrive in life. Mental health is a state of being. It’s who you are and how you experience and live your life at any given moment. Mental health is not the absence of struggles, hardships, bad days, or bad moods. Life is a roller coaster, wild and fun and nauseating and thrilling and terrifying, depending on the day and sometimes all in the same day. Mental health is knowing that life is imperfect. Mental health is getting on the roller coaster anyway, hanging on for the ride, and allowing yourself to scream and laugh and feel the wind in your hair, not caring that your hair is getting messy. Mujer Air Jordan 14 Mental health is not the opposite of mental illness. Mental illnesses are illnesses of the brain. Marcus Mariota Oregon Jersey Mental health is a way to experience life. Parajumpers Femme Mary JO It’s possible for someone with a mental illness to have great mental health, just as it’s possible for someone without a mental illness to experience poor mental health. Mental health is movement. It’s getting up and moving forward. It’s doing something every hour, no matter how small, to progress toward your goals and live according to your values. Air Zoom Pegasus 32 It’s continuing to move even when you trip over potholes. Mental health is being gentle with yourself, forgiving yourself for mistakes that are part of being human, it’s allowing yourself to be human. Mental health involves pure self-acceptance. Mental health is perspective. It’s looking at problems, situations, people, and change in a healthy way; indeed, it’s knowing that there’s good in life in spite of the bad as well as believing in your ability to create more of what you love. Brandon LaFell And finally… Mental health is passion, purpose, and creating a life worth living. Scarpe Air Jordan Xxx It’s turning en-JOY into an action verb in order to thrive. Mental health means less trudging and more skipping.


The following organizations are just a few of the many worldwide that raise awareness of and help people enhance mental health. Many simultaneously dedicate themselves to increasing understanding of mental illness:

world-mental-health-day   Sign up for my free monthly newsletter, Wellbeing & Words. Parajumpers Femme Pas Cher Each issue is packed with useful tips for enhancing mental health and wellbeing, reading-related tidbits, and updates about my own mental health writing and activities.

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