The Surgeon General’s report defines good mental health. Although various cultures have differing expectations for health, many of the following characteristics are likely to be present in individuals with good mental health:

  • A sense of well-being and contentment
  • A zest for living – the ability to enjoy life, to laugh and have fun
  • Resiliency – being able to deal with life’s stresses and bounce back from adversity
  • Self-realization – participating in life to the fullest extent possible, through meaningful activities and positive relationships
  • Flexibility – the ability to change, grow, and experience a range of feelings, as life’s circumstances change
  • A sense of balance in one’s life – between solitude and sociability, work and play, sleep and wakefulness, rest and exercise, etc.
  • A sense of well-roundedness – with attention to mind, body, spirit, creativity, intellectual development, health, etc.
  • The ability to care for oneself and for others
  • Self-confidence and good self-esteem

Author: Deborah Goza, MS, RN, COHNS, CCM
Editor: Lisa Perry