What are the Components of Mental Wellbeing?
Mental wellbeing is comprised of many different components; it’s not a singular trait that someone either has or does not have. This is good news, for it means that mental wellbeing is rich and varied and in reach of absolutely everyone in his or her own unique way.
Mental wellbeing, in general, is the state of thriving in various areas of life, such as relationships, work, leisure, and more, despite ups and downs. It’s the knowledge that we are separate from our problems and the belief that we can handle those problems.
That’s a broad definition that may seem hard to reach. Breaking mental wellbeing down into different components makes it accessible. When you see the parts, you can make goals and take action to go after them. It can be helpful to group the components into categories. Here’s a look at four categories of mental wellbeing and their parts.
Four Categories of Mental Wellbeing
Mental health and wellbeing involve many different concepts. Four prominent components of mental wellbeing are
- A healthy sense of self
- Psychological flexibility
- Daily maintenance
Each of these is made up of its own elements.
A Healthy Sense of Self
When someone has a healthy sense of self, he knows that he is separate from his problems and challenges.
He is defused from them—he doesn’t become stuck in them, and he knows that even big problems aren’t a part of who he is.
A person with a strong, positive sense of herself is aware of her own strengths and uses them confidently. She also knows, however, that no one is perfect, including her. She is aware of weaknesses, but rather than viewing them as flaws and berating herself for them, she views them as growth areas.
Another component of the healthy sense of self is feeling part of something greater. Mental wellbeing involves a sense of mental wellbeing at work, in the community and/or family, and a sense of the greater world. People strong in this area often report feeling a sense of awe and gratitude.
Mentally healthy people have a sense of compassion, both for themselves and others. They understand themselves as worthy human beings, and they extend empathy to others.
An important component of mental wellbeing is the ability to develop and apply a healthy perspective. Psychologist Albert Ellis, founder of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) and contributor to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), asserted that problems are just things or people or situations that exist. The true problems lie in the way we interpret them.
Someone with a high degree of mental wellbeing who has developed healthy perspective will likely
- Feel and express gratitude for the good in life despite the bad
- Remain rational when faced with difficulty rather than catastrophizing (exaggerating problems and getting stuck in assuming the worst possible outcomes)
- Reframe challenges, looking at them in new ways or redefining their meaning
- Purposefully engage in emotional wellness activities
An important part of mental wellbeing is the ability to be flexible, to go with the flow. When people are rigid in their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, problems tend to seem bigger and more frequent. Wellbeing grows when people monitor and adjust, checking to see what is and isn’t working and making changes accordingly. Further, when faced with unwanted change, psychological flexibility helps people be more adaptable.
This is another way of thinking about coping skills. Mental wellbeing involves having a stockpile of coping strategies to use to become and remain mentally healthy. There’s an abundance of coping skills available to cultivate mental health and wellbeing. Just a few include:
- Creating opportunities for fun, enjoyment
- Finding and utilizing social support
- Developing emotional awareness
- Accepting and letting go of what can’t be changed
- Taking action every day to move in your desired direction
Mental wellbeing is what allows us to create a quality life. There’s a lot to it, which gives us a lot of opportunities to develop it.
We take care of things in our lives: cars, bicycles, our homes, and more. It’s vital that we take even better care of ourselves and all the components of our mental wellbeing.
Peterson, T. (2018, May 12). What are the Components of Mental Wellbeing?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/self-help-information/what-are-the-components-of-mental-wellbeing