Emotional Health: Some guidelines
Emotional health like physical health requires persistence, knowledge and a willingness to take responsibility for one’s actions and attack negative thinking.
Characteristics of emotionally and psychologically healthy individuals include the following:
Self-direction. They assume responsibility for their own lives while at the same time cooperating with others. They do not need or demand continuous support from others to survive.
Flexibility. They are flexible in their thinking, open to change and unbigoted in their view of other people. They do not make rigid rules for themselves and others.
High frustration tolerance. They give both themselves and others the right to be wrong. Even when they intensely dislike their own behaviour and that of others, they refrain from condemning themselves or others completely for unacceptable or destructive behaviour. They are willing to put up with difficult circumstances in order to achieve goals, and even though they enjoy pleasurable activities, they are willing to defer them to achieve more satisfying pleasures and happiness in the medium to long term.
Acceptance of uncertainty. They acknowledge and accept that they live in a world of chance, where absolute certainties do not, and probably never will, exist. They enjoy planning and a good degree of order, but do not demand to know exactly what the future will bring or what will happen to them.
Absorbing activities. They are usually vitally absorbed in something. This may include some creative activity, or some major human involvement. It does not have to be altruistic, but many find that helping others is rewarding.
Enlightened self-interest. They are interested in themselves, and balance their own interests against the interests of others. They are willing to make sacrifices for those for whom they care, but not to become martyrs.
Social interested. Their interest in others is usually sensible and self-helping because most people choose to live and enjoy themselves in a social group or community. If people do not act morally, protect the rights of others, and help in the social survival of their society, it is unlikely that they will create the kind of world in which they and their children can live comfortably and happily.
Risk-taking. They are willing to take risks, and try to do what they want to do, even when there is a good chance they may fail. They are adventurous, but not foolhardy.
Responsibility. Refusal to blame: they don’t blame others for their woes or failures to achieve certain goals. They manage their lives as best they can, practising assertion where necessary and refusing to be walked over. They do not indulge in “whingeing and whining.”
Opinions of others. They don’t allow other people’s opinion of them to matter too much. They will listen to criticism from others, even those they don’t like. Because there may be one or two elements of truth in it.