Characteristics of mental health
Health is a state of being hale, sound or whole in body, mind or soul.
Mental health today is recognised as an important aspect of ones total health status is basic factor that contribute to the maintenance of physical health as well as social effectiveness.
In the words of John, Sutton and Webster is a positive but relative quality of life. It is a condition, which is a characteristic of the average person who needs the demands of life on the basis of his own capacities and limitations. By the word relative we imply that the degree of mental health, which an individual enjoys at a time, is continuously changing.
It is not mere absence of mental illness that constitutes mental health. On the other hand it is a positive active quality of the individual' s daily living. This quality of living is manifested in the behaviour of an individual whose body and mind are working together in the same direction. His thoughts, feelings, actions, functional harmony is oriented towards the common end.
It means the ability to balance feelings, derives ambition and ideals in ones daily living. It means the ability to face and accept realities of life. It connotes such habits of work and attitudes towards people and things that bring maximum satisfaction and happiness to the individual. But the individual gets this satisfaction and happiness without any friction with the social order or group to which he or she belongs.
From these one can conclude that mental health has two important aspects. It is both individual and social. The individual aspect connotes that the individual is informally adjusted. He is self confident, adequate and free from internal conflicts and tension or in consistencies. He is skillful enough to be able to adapt to new situations. But he achieves this internal adjustment in a social setup.
Society has certain value system, customs and traditions, by which it governs itself and promote the general welfare if its members. It is in this the social frame work that the internal adjustment has to be built up only then the individual becomes a person who is acceptable as a member of society.
It is an understandable fact that social forces are in constant flux. They are constantly moving and changing. Similarly our internal adjustment is also affecting various stresses. As such mental health is a process of adjustment, which involves compromise and adaptation, growth and continuity.
Because of the significance of individual and social aspects some psychologists have defined mental health as the ability of the individual to make personal and social adjustments.
If one can establish a satisfactory relationship between himself and his environment, between his needs, desires and those of other people or if one can meet the demands of a situation he has achieved adjustment.
Adjustment results in happiness because it implies that emotional conflicts and tensions have been resolved and relieved. Keeping this criterion in mind one can say that a mentally healthy nurse will be able to make successful adjustments that are needed by the nature of her job adjustment to her strenuous life to work and study toward duties to night duty and to a residential life away from her home.
Other definitions of mental health refer to such abilities as of making decisions, of assuming responsibilities in accordance with ones capacities, of finding satisfaction, success and happiness in the accomplishment of everyday tasks of living effectively with others of showing socially considerate behaviour.