Not all clients go to counseling simply because they had an issue with depression, anxiety, grief etc. For some, seeing a counselor was simply another way to maintain their great mental health.
That got me thinking, what secrets do these people have on attaining great mental health?
With over a thousand hours of experience counseling, this is what I have learned.
Here are the 5 secrets for great mental health.
1. People with great mental health are involved with their community.
They understand that the communities they are involved in helped them to develop their sense of identity, purpose, and meaning in the world. So whether it is underwater knitting or volunteering at your local animal shelter, there are a range of communities that you can get involved in to improve your mental health.
2. People with great mental health are quick to forgive and apologize.
That's right. These people tend to not hold grudges, and are aware when they have crossed lines in their relationships. They know that there is a right way to apologize and a wrong way to apologize. Although it may be difficult, they make it a priority to repair the relationship quickly instead of sulking in the pain or attempting to get even by hurting the other person.
3. People with great mental health assume the best in others.
Brene Brown explains it best with her definition of the word generosity (part of the BRAVING inventory). She states that generosity is ,"Extending the most generous interpretation to the intentions, words, and actions of others." That means when your husband or wife runs late to the kids' ball game, instead of thinking to yourself "They don't care about us" you might think, "Maybe they got stuck in traffic."
When people assume the best in others, positive things happen. There is less conflict. There are more solutions. I have seen this in couple and individual sessions. People feel closer to each other. People feel that they are respected and seen in a positive light. All of which help to build a stable and positive environment for great mental health.
4. People with great mental health take care of their bodies.
There are a million different ways that you can take care of your body. You have to find the right rituals and rhythms that are best for you. Going to the doctor, dentist, eating healthy, and living an active lifestyle all play a part into taking care of your body. Whether that is working out at Orange Theory or playing pickle ball at Osage Park, being active and taking care of your body plays a key role in maintaining great mental health.
5. People with great mental health invest in their relationships with others.
These people make friendships a priority. They aspire to outdo others in reaching out and keeping up with their friends, even when it doesn't seem so rewarding. They support friends in a multitude of ways such as throwing baby showers, planning birthday parties, or celebrating a new job promotion. There are a million ways to support your friends and show that they are a priority in your life. The work they put into their friendships isn't expected to be paid back or a quid pro quo. Their payoff is knowing that they are proud of themselves for the friend that they are becoming to others. That is the aim. Be the friend that you would want in the world.