Musing on Mental Health
I was just thinking about mental health and how maybe it’s not that much about happiness or feeling good as much as something else. Like really… if someone dies in midst of the searing nothingness of grief, did they really fail? Were they even in poor mental health? Is it poor mental health if it’s appropriate (like grief or appropriate anger?)?
Is it (mental health) about accepting what you feel?
I thought maybe it was about – at least in part – about how you treat yourself in your head. Like in a similar way that a person who exercises and eats healthy is physically healthier than the person who doesn’t, couldn’t it be true that a person who is more gentle and assertive (or other things?) toward themselves with their thoughts would be mentally healthier?
It would make sense that mental health would be in the quality of your thoughts. But I don’t mean that like Marcus Aurelius. I think he was the one who said something like, “The happiness of your life is dependent on the quality of your thoughts.”
While that may be true, I’m certain now that I’ve thought it out more concretely; I don’t think mental health is measured by happiness. Or even necessarily a sense of well-being…? Can’t a grieving person, who accepts their (for example) grief, admits that they need help from those who love them, be mentally healthy, stable person?
It kind of makes sense that mental health would be related to the quality of your relationships, because of the same thing that Irvin Yalom, Ph.D said in The Gift of Therapy. That was basically that people go to therapy/counseling due an inability to develop and sustain meaningful relationships with others. Think about it… if you were able to treat yourself how you want to be treated in your own head where there is no one to hold you accountable except yourself, how much more would you be able to treat others that way, especially those most important to you? Thence, how much better would your relationships be and in turn, how much more would you feel able to bend without breaking in the storm winds of life (sorry; that sounds sorta of cheesy, even to me) with all the support from your quality relationships?
I hope I put a lot of question marks in this post, because it is entirely about me asking myself questions, rather than coming up with any real, concrete answers… ?