What does mental health consist of? 15 signs that you’re okay

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, sexual and social well-being, the ability to adapt to the constantly changing conditions of the external and internal environment and the natural process of aging, as well as the absence of disease and physical defects,”

notes Elena.

Renowned psychoanalyst Nancy McWilliams described 15 signs of mental health. They cover all areas of a person’s life: relations with oneself, with other people and the world in general.

Ability to Love
Loving others motivates a person to give rather than take. When we love, we want to trust and open up to another person, to be compassionate and helpful. Loving ourselves helps us to feel our own needs, to care, and to accept ourselves as we are, with all our strengths and weaknesses. Love is an emotion that heals the soul.

Ability to Play
It would seem that game is a child’s occupation. Meanwhile, adults who have retained the ability to play are highly creative, have a good sense of humor, flexibility and imagination, at any age remain inquisitive and ready to learn new things.

Ability to build and maintain stable relationships

In other words, the ability to secure attachment.
Signs of Safe Attachment in Adults:

• the ability to withstand anxiety and the state of their own emotional vulnerability;
• readiness for emotional closeness in a relationship;
• a sufficiently high level of trust in the world;
• confidence in your relationship and in your partner;
• the ability not to succumb to fears, but to check them by comparing them with objective reality;
• a sense of comfort in closeness, but also the preservation of personal independence.


This quality relies on a sense of one’s own power and independence. It allows a person to do what is good for him in one situation or another. In the brain, the search system and the hormone dopamine are responsible for this quality. Curiosity and the ability to learn are directly connected with autonomy, as well as with the ability to play.

The concept of integration (permanence of self and object)

Sounds rather complicated, but it is actually the ability to be in touch with different sides of your own personality (pleasant and not so pleasant), the ability to perceive yourself as whole over time and accept the changes that occur, to withstand conflicts and not collapse.

The power of the ego
The ability to recover from stress and adapt to different situations.

Realistic and reliable self-esteem

Many people assess themselves too harshly, while others, on the contrary, have an inflated self-esteem. A person with normal self-esteem is able to see his shortcomings, but in general treats himself well. He/she perceives criticism in his/her address without special anxiety and resentment, is able to learn from his/her mistakes without presenting him/herself with excessive demands. Reliability of self-esteem is shown not in complete absence of dependence on the opinion of others, but in quick restoration of self-esteem to its former level after it has been hurt.

System of Value Orientations

Values are the moral center of the individual and at the same time its internal support. The system of values provides answers to the question of what is good and what is bad, and determines a person’s choices. The formation of the system of values occurs throughout life, but the basic values remain largely unchanged.

Tolerance for experiencing intense emotions

Enduring intense emotions means feeling one’s emotions, being in touch with them and not acting under their influence, but being guided by rational motives in one’s behavior.


A view of oneself as if from the outside. People with well-developed reflection are usually good at seeing exactly what their problem is, and consequently can find solutions to it as quickly and effectively as possible.


Understanding that other people are individuals, that they may be very different from us, with their own characteristics and needs. Not every action of theirs is directly related to us, but can be caused by personal (unknown to us) motives.

Possessing many variants of effective psychological defenses and flexibility in the use of coping strategies
Albert Einstein said it ingeniously: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

The balance between our own interests and the interests of our environment

It is a balance between what we do for our environment and what we want and do for ourselves. In other words, a balance between “giving” and “receiving.”


A sense of being alive. “Vitality” can arise as a defense against unbearable pain, and then a person can function normally, but internally be as if not alive. A truly “living” (vital) person is one who feels his body, his emotions, who is able to perceive objective reality with his senses and responds to the calls – stimuli received from outside.


The acceptance of what we cannot change and the ability to be genuinely sad about what we cannot have. It is the recognition of one’s imperfection, one’s limitations, and sometimes one’s powerlessness.

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