We often get asked questions like, “Is there a checklist for good mental health?” or “How do I know if I’m more on the mentally healthy side or if I’m a little crazy?” These questions are usually asked during a high-stress time in someone’s life; when things feel out of control, and they aren’t feeling confident about the way they are viewing the stuff going on around them.

  • Maybe you’re in the middle of a separation or divorce
  • Perhaps a close friend or relative moved to another state or country and you miss them
  • You may be relocating all your belongings (home or office) from one place to another which is very stressful
  • You’ve experience the death of someone you love
  • You may have chronic Illness

Any of these high stress and mentally demanding times can sometimes create questions in our minds about our ability to cope in a healthy way with what’s happening. Mike and I recently put this list together as a first line checklist for good balance. See if you connect with these:

  • Reasonable independence.

    This is the ability to accept a responsibility and get it done; to accomplish tasks without constant supervision. It could be as complicated as negotiating a billion dollar contract, or just fixing a meal, and anything in between. The point is you can accept the task, and carry out the steps to finish the job.

  • Trustworthiness.

    People know that if you say you’ll do something, it will get done. This could be something as personal as not sharing information that you’ve been entrusted to keep secret. Trustworthiness can be showing up to work every day or vowing “to love and to honor from this day forward.” Usually we see this as consistency in a person’s character.

  • Ability to take responsibility.

    Some examples of this could be paying bills on time, taking care of the kids, or making sure the trash is all put out on trash day.

  • Work under authority.

    Order is one truth that is obvious in every aspect of nature. Nature has an order to it. The same type of leaves grow on a particular tree; a nautilus is symmetrical and ordered. Likewise, we are to work under the authority of those who are over us. Bosses, judges, pastors, we respect their position and come under their authority.

  • Tolerance of others and forgiveness.

    This is a huge indication of good mental health. If you feel bitterness or resentment against others, that is an indicator of un-forgiveness. Being patient with others and understanding and accepting their differences shows tolerance. We can be tolerant with a person but not have to accept their views, opinions, or beliefs.

  • Being friendly and nice.

    This plays out as being unselfish and kind to other people. Focusing on the needs of others. Doing good things for other people.

  • Sense of humor.

    There’s nothing that feels quite the same as a really good belly laugh. Scientifically, a laugh is proven to lower blood pressure and improve your sense of well-being.  Plus it’s contagious! We enjoy being with people who can find the humor amidst the serious demands of life.

  • Capacity to give and take.

    Are you capable of accepting help? Are you able to give help to others? To be well-rounded we must learn to give and take, and to know when it’s appropriate to do both.

  • See beyond yourself.

    Think of others and their needs before your own satisfaction and comfort. Think: empathy or getting into someone else’s movie theater.

There’s not scoring on this list as in a usual assessment, but you know where you need improvement.  I’m sure as you were reading the characteristics above that something jumped out at you.

If your intention is to be a well-rounded, mentally balanced person, this is a great place to start.

Share this list with others!