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psychotherapy in toronto:  mental health

The best definition of mental health is from the World Health Organization (WHO):

Mental health is not just the absence of mental disorder. It is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

Mental health is about well-being on many different levels:  emotional, psychological, social and even spiritual. Our thoughts,  feelings, moods, attitudes, and beliefs affect behavior. In turn, our behavior can affect our thoughts feelings, moods, attitudes and beliefs.

Questions about your mental health

    • Do you handle stress well? (Or do you unravel or turn off when the pressure is on?)
    • Do you generally have good relationships with family members, friends, work colleagues and neighbors?  (Or are most of these relationships fraught with tension and conflict?)
    • Are you happy with the choices you make? (Or does indecision often keep you in a frazzled state?)
    • Do you enjoy peace of mind on a regular basis? (Or do you worry and fret over most situations?)
    • Are you aware of your self-talk?  (Self-talk is what you say to yourself in your thoughts, or even out loud).  Does your self-talk create a positive feedback loop? (Or a negative one?)
    • Are you aware of your feelings and emotions? (Or do you avoid or suppress certain feelings?)
    • Do you have unresolved grief issues?
    • Are you a perfectionist?
    • Are you able to forgive others and yourself? (Or do you hold on to grudges and mistakes
      you and others have made?)
    • Are you able to be honest with yourself? (Or do you tell yourself little lies that keep you
      from living the life you want?)
    • Are you on track to realize your own unique potential? (Or are you unclear about how
      amazing a person you really are?)

Complex factors that can affect mental health

    • Genetics and brain chemistry: this includes your genetic makeup at birth and any genetic predispositions you inherited from your biological parents or ancestors.
    • Individual life experiences – from the traumatic to the joyful and everything in-between.
    • Your family history of mental health problems — from addiction or dysfunction to ancestral trauma (e.g.,genocide, war)
    • Stress and daily hassles — when they add up they can be overwhelming and confusing.