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Plan to be Happy

What does it mean to be mentally healthy? How do you know if you are mentally healthy? How can you stay mentally healthy?

A. You should have at a minimum some of the following characteristics:

You should have a positive attitude
The decision to stay positive is a personal choice. When the trials of life close in, you will not give up and take a “whatever will be, will be” stance, you will embrace a positive lifestyle that will enable you to endure life’s disappointments or hardships and keep you pushing forward. You know that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30-5).

You should have a code of ethics
There is no way to stay focused and balanced without some moral compass to direct their actions. In order to live a principled life, you must have a set of core values. You must know what you are all about: what you will or will not do. Folks who have a code of ethics have some kind of indication of what they will do or how they will act in certain situations. They are not swayed by the actions of others no matter what is at stake, especially when others’ actions are in opposition to their ethics.

You should be your own best counsel
If you are mentally healthy you do not seek others’ counsel when making personal decisions. You may consider their advice, but in the end tyou take responsibility for your own actions.

You should be open minded
If you are mentally healthy, you are unbiased and unprejudiced. You know there are two sides to every story and you endeavor to listen carefully before making decisions. You know that harboring grudges and hatred against others will only impede your own pursuit of happiness and growth.

Your life should be one of sustained happiness
The desire to be happy is a major characteristic of mentally healthy folks. They know that happiness comes from within themselves; they do not burden or guilt others into believing that their happiness rests with them. If you are mentally healthy you tend to love others, you spread your joy by making a conscious effort to bring out the best in both people and situations. You are not afraid to love others because you seek nothing in return.

You should be able to laugh at your own folly
If you are mentally healthy you know that there is truth in the axiom that “laughter is the best medicine,” because it is. You are able to laugh at yourself and can even find humor when some things go awry.

It is not difficult to become or remain mentally healthy; it’s simply a matter of choice. If you have a positive attitude about life and people, chances are you are mentally healthy. You know that it takes the same amount of energy to worry and fret as it does to be optimistic and hopeful. You know that the thoughts you allow to occupy your mind and the words you speak will eventually manifest either positively of negatively in your life (Proverbs 18:21).