What Is Positive Mental Health?


When we’re talking about mental health, we must go beyond psychopathology. Psychopathology is mental illness.

How to check for positive mental health? Answering the question once in a while if “I’m doing everything I can in my capacity from a cognitive and emotional standpoint to live upto my full potential?”

After the age of 50, here are some major health issues that come up:

a. Depression: It’s that feeling that nothing interests you. Nothing gives you motivation or enthusiasm.
b. Dementia: Its referring to our cognitive decline as we age.
c. Anxiety: Over thinking and worrying that we do when we’re trying to solve a problem.

Every one of us had moments where we felt any one of these emotions, but the key to look for is, are these emotions causing dysfunction in your life. Are they declining the quality of your life? Is it affecting your performance in life and work in general?



Understanding Developmental and Life Changes:


Like with any decade in our life, there will always be permanent life changes as we reach the age of 50. There will be personal changes, occupational changes and social changes. Until we reach a certain age, we might not truly understand how our day to day life is going to be. But, from time to time, if we can think about the potential changes that will occur in the future with us, it will help “soften the blow” when we actually get there.

In your 50’s, you might move from being a parent to a grandparent. From being employed you might be moving towards a retired life. Socially also you might be facing a lot of unexpected circumstances. Your kids might be moving away or your loved ones might be struggling with their personal health circumstances, anything could be happening.



The 6 Dimensions Of Positive Functioning:


Here are 6 dimensions of positive functioning, especially for those over the age of 50.


Am I seeing myself in a positive or negative light? Am I being kind to myself? Am I getting stuck to labels? We’re not going for a whole hearted acceptance of who we are in spite of things we are not doing well. The key is to find a balance.

Positive Relations With Others:

At any stage in life, it’s important to feel like we belong and know we’re connected to others in a meaningful way. Do an audit of all the positive relationships in your life. With use of technology to stay in touch, ensure quality over quantity. Don’t discount the power of shared interests to make and keep new friends who enjoy doing what you do.


You’re your own person, and you can exercise your own choices. We might have social and health reasons why we might not be having an extended list of choice in front of us, but even within a finite set, we can still make some good choices. Don’t go into the mode of learned helplessness, where even when I can, I am not taking matters into my hand. As part of our culture, sometimes, we try to include everyone else in our decision making process. But boundaries are important to keep so you and everyone around you understands that its ok to do what is good for you specifically. When we can’t exercise our choices, it can lead to frustration and anger.

Environmental Mastery:

Am I using all the resources available to me to thrive? Am I willing to ask for help? These ideas can be for social connection, physical mobility, or exercising our choice of opportunities.

Purpose In Life:

For each stage of our life, this is always a big one for us – what’s our identity and what’s the meaning of our life?

Personal Growth:

Some of it is cultural and some of it is universal. At any age, you can still ask what your unique value proposition is. Finding meaning can be a great motivator to how you will live your life leading to a lot of growth.

What cannot be overstated is the importance of physical health for a good mental health. A healthy lifestyle includes good diet, moderate exercise and a nightly dose of timely sleep. People who have anxiety issues, have gut issues and sometime persistent worries can lead to headaches. So our mental health determines our physical health and vice versa.



Habits To Build And Maintain:


1. Taking time for personal hobbies and interests.
2. Asking yourself what you’re grateful for.
3. Becoming a lifelong learner and not lose your natural curiosity.
4. Give time and attention to others, serve others to feel content.
5. Be physically and mentally active. Be spontaneous to seek new challenges.




NOTE: Notes I Made While Attending A Workshop “Positive Mental Health” By Rajalakshmi Parameswaran, Licensed Professional Counselor.



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For Your Spiritual, Mental And Psychological Wellness


Here Are Free Resources For Children, Teens, Adults And Parents

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