Sunday, February 04, 2007

Characteristics of Good Mental Health
Here I will provide random thoughts on good mental health based off of a talk my Biology teacher gave that was excellent.
1. Emotionally Stable. Are your emotions under control? Are you excessively depressed or excessively goofy? Many people think it's only depressed people whose emotions are unstable, but some people are the opposite and are always laughing or making jokes to distract themselves/others about their problems. It's a good thing to have a sense of humor and to be serious sometimes, but to be overdosed with a particular emotion is unhealthy. One should be able to have control over their emotions in normal everyday situations.
2. Humility. Neither overestimate nor underestimate your abilities and gifts that God has given you. True humility sees oneself as who he truly is. It's so easy to deceive ourselves and think we are stronger in certain areas, or sometimes the opposite and think that something is impossible for us that is attainable. Learn to see yourself sincerely and unbiased. God uses all of our abilities, but we all have different abilities and gifts. We can't do anything even if that is what some people would want you to believe. Through God all things are possible, yes, but God has called each of us to a certain vocation.
3. Being able to have relationships with other people. In Mark 12:31 Jesus says the second greatest commandment is: "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
As Christians we need to love everyone. That is an order from God. Do we have to LIKE everyone? No, because there is a difference. I may not like somebody that is a mass murderer, but I still must love him. I don't FEEL any attraction or liking towards this individual, but I still as a Christian must have love for him. I must be willing to pray for him, to sacrifice my life if necessary for him, and love him as much as I love myself.
Mentally healthy people can have lasting friendships with others. There are some people that seek only after attention from peers, but a true friend is one that sticks through the thick and thin. There may be hardships, but the friends can remain friends and try to work through what is hindering the relationship.
Being able to trust others is also important. Now, be careful on this one, because you must trust only trustworthy people and shouldn't be naive and just trust everything/anyone that you hear. But stop just trusting yourself and be willing to listen to and trust others. A problem with scrupulous people for example is that they often do not wish to trust their spiritual directors and therefore hinder themselves in progress.
Being able to respect people's differences is also important. As Catholics for example, we must believe in the doctrines that the Church teaches to be proclaimed by God to consider ourselves Catholic. But do we have to do to the First Saturday Devotion or First Friday devotion to enter Heaven? Now these are wonderful devotions and should be encouraged to everyone, but it's not wrong for Catholics to have variety in line with the Church.
4. Able to meet the demands of Life. You can probably think of some people (yourself?) that are the type that will skip school or work for a "sick day" whenever they don't "feel" like going to work or school. Mentally healthy people are responsible and can go to work and school even when they don't "feel" like it. This unhealthy attitude can have people lose a job or get bad grades in school. It certainly is not a healthy habit.
Also, mental health consists in being able to think for yourself. Now this one we have to be careful on. Some people think that thinking for themselves means that they shouldn't listen to anyone else. Remember we've already talked about it being necessary to be able to trust other people who are trustworthy. The things you wonder about are not unique. I mean that probably every question you have had about life, someone else probably has thought the same thing or something similar. So you sometimes need to be able to trust others who have done research before. Truth is not a majority vote, and therefore you can't just believe something just because a bunch of people believe it. Christ promised us that if we seek we will find (Matthew 7:8). Seek after truth and God will help you to find it. That doesn't mean you should just sit in your room and close your eyes and imagine stuff. Pray, read, and work for the search of truth.

1 comment:

Leticia said...

I like this post! As a former Psychology major,and social worker, I find it very sound, especially where you distinguish between not listening to anyone and trust some sources of information. Sometimes we mistake independence for rebellion.