If you are a perfectionist, you may find that this personality trait seeps into every aspect of your life. If you aren’t performing just right, you might even beat yourself up for it. What about mental health—is it possible to be perfect in that area? Perfectionists may argue it is, but the reality is that everyone has moments of mental hardship. What is possible is having great mental health, but not perfect. If you have poor mental health, you may need the help of a qualified therapist, but you may also see a therapist even if your mental health is excellent. Everyone’s state of mind and needs will look differently depending on a variety of factors like genetics, experiences, trauma, and more.
What Does Good Mental Health Look Like?
Those with good mental health have some characteristics in common with one another. These characteristics include optimism, resilience, positive self-esteem, self-acceptance, and determination.
- Optimism: you are hopeful that things will get better.
- Resilience: you quickly bounce back from failures, setbacks, and difficulties in life.
- Positive self-esteem: you believe you’re worthy and view yourself in a positive manner.
- Self-acceptance: you don’t allow shame to control you and let yourself make mistakes.
- Determination: you set goals for yourself and have passions you chase after.
What Does Bad Mental Health Look Like?
Now that you know what good mental health can look like, let’s discuss poor mental health. Some signs you may have poor mental health include sleep issues, anxiety, feeling unhappy, sudden changes in weight, and problems with shame.
- Sleep issues: sleeping too much or too little can indicate a problem, especially if it’s sudden.
- Anxiety: while many experience feelings of anxiousness, anxiety doesn’t promote good mental health.
- Feeling unhappy: if you generally feel “down,” it can signal a bigger problem.
- Sudden changes in weight: losing or gaining weight suddenly could be a symptom of a mental health disorder.
- Problems with shame: feeling overly guilty or shameful about yourself can quickly make your mental state decline.
How do I Improve My Mental Health?
There are lots of ways to improve your mental health. What works for one person might not work for you, and vice versa. Many people find that journaling helps them. You can write down your worries, what you’re thankful for, or anything else you’d like to. Journaling gets your worries out of your head and onto paper where you don’t have to think about them. You should also strive to be physically active and eat healthy meals whenever possible. Of course, it’s okay to have cheat meals here and there. You shouldn’t ever deprive yourself. Make sure to get enough sleep each night as well. Connect with other people and build a strong support network of family and friends. You’ll be able to lean on them when you need help and get their advice too. Finally, find the things that make you happy and that you’re passionate about. This could be sports, music, a job, or something else entirely. Find the activities that relax you and make you feel happy and hopeful.
Everyone will have different reactions to poor mental health, and the symptoms will also usually be more than one in number. Never put pressure on yourself to have perfect mental health, because it isn’t possible. Putting that pressure on yourself will only cause more stress, anxiety, and depression because it’s an unachievable goal. Remember to talk to and treat yourself like you would a best friend, giving yourself compassion, grace, and patience. In no time, hopefully, your mental health will improve.