Updated: Mar 13
Have you heard the terms mental health and mental illness used interchangeably? They do not mean the same thing!
It is possible to have robust mental health while diagnosed with a mental illness. The same holds true that not every person who struggles to cope with the ups and downs of life will have a mental illness. For example, the global pandemic will likely have some trauma-related aftereffects, but not every person will, for example, suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Strong mental health is the ability to cope with change, manage stress, have good relationships with others and self, healthy self-esteem and confidence, set boundaries and future goals and aspirations. A professional, like a psychologist, needs to diagnose a mental illness and requires a management plan, therapy, and occasionally medication.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at seven signs that mentally strong people exhibit:
For example, when the mentally strong get overwhelmed or stressed, they sit down and write a few ideas to gain back their strength and be more present. They reach out to their peers to see how they are dealing with stress, speak to HR or doing their own research. They decide and sign up for a yoga class and listen to an audiobook on stress reduction. Their journal notes what is working for them and what still needs some adjustments on an ongoing basis.
Non-judgemental support system.
When they ask for help, they objectively look at the current support system that offers advice and recommendations. The mentally strong person identify those who are genuinely there to help and those who try to diminish their efforts. They find a network outside of their current one to ensure that they surround themselves with the same vibe.
Mentally strong people do not live in the victim zone. They are aligned to solutions rather than going down the rabbit-hole of never finding inner peace. Finding your light and the motivation to work on being the best you is hard sometimes, so mentally strong people know how to rest and not quit.
Compassion & Kindness.
Guilt, shame and playing small for the sake of others have no place in the strong mental health persona. Instead, compassion and kindness is the energy that radiates from their core being. The moment that emotions or thoughts become too heavy, they rely on their knowledge and acquired life-skills to lighten the load, often referencing their previous journal entries.
Actively participate in empowerment through self-care and knowledge.
Let’s compare mental health fitness to physical fitness and wellbeing for this one:
Goal: I would like to increase my immune system
Physical Health: Eat more fresh fruit, vegetables and less processed food.
Mental Health: Meditation so that my stress levels aren’t compromising my immunity.
Goal: I would like to learn a new skill
Physical Health: Read, listen to podcasts, join a group, start training.
Mental Health: I gain knowledge by reading and listening to something new that I want to try.
Goal: I would like to be more adaptable to change
Physical Health: Yoga / pilates / walking
Mental Health: Complete a guided journal
Goal: I’m concerned about _____
Physical Health: Book an appointment with my doctor/naturopath etc.
Mental Health: Book an appointment with a counsellor/psychologist etc.
By prioritizing mental health the same as physical health, self-care becomes a priority as part of a holistic wellness lifestyle.
Cultivate a growth mindset
The most intelligent person is the one who knows that they don’t know everything. Strong mental health is cultivating a growth-mindset by being present. People, sights, sounds, and experiences introduce us to grow if we take a moment to look for the lesson. Journaling every day about a life-lesson, insight, something that brought you joy will train the mental muscle to be more observant. Writing it down also allows the nuggets of inspiration to be kept as a reference that can be reflected on in future.
The mentally strong can lovingly support others in their journey and allow autonomy over their decisions. Especially in life-altering events, it can be easy to “rescue” people from whatever position they find themselves in. This is not sustainable, nor is it always helpful, no matter the good intentions. The mentally strong understand that every person deserves the opportunity to be in control of their journey. They do not try to control the outcome. Instead, they focus on making a difference.
Mentally Strong Mantra: I love all parts of me. Unconditionally.
The best part is that every person on the planet has mental health and can make it stronger through journaling! We designed our journals to help you along life’s journey, to become empowered and enjoy life to the fullest.
Check out our collection and choose the journal best suited to your needs. Sign up for our digital journal and choose from various complimentary journaling prompts to start your journey of strong mental health.
Keep journaling, keep growing.