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Finding Meaning & Purpose Through Positive Mental Health

Positive mental health is becoming popular in our society today and the studies behind positive psychology are becoming the way to make a difference. Marie Jahoda is a psychologist who was an early developer of positive mental health and believed in the change positive mental health had on others lives.  Through her studies she has formed 6 criteria’s one must obtain and conqueror to succeed positive mental health, all of which lead to meaning and purpose in ones life.  Jahoda provides a criteria of 6 characteristics to help a person reach the ultimate goal of positive mental health:

  1. Positive Self-Attitude: acceptance of self and confidence; understanding personal strengths and weaknesses; and believing in your good outweighing your bad.
  2. Growth & Self-Actualization: Moving towards higher goals and wanting to grow; wanting more not only for yourself but for your community and environment.
  3. Integration of the Personality: Balancing your ID, ego, and super ego; has a unique look on life and resists stress; cognitively shaping your feelings and behaviors; tolerance and healthy steps to facing stress & anxiety leads to positive mental health.
  4. Autonomy: self determination and independence; positive mental health is a person who is self-directed and self-controlled.
  5. Reality Perception: viewing the world without distortions; the ability to perceive others in an empathetic manner; not judging someone else before picturing yourself in their situation.
  6. Environmental Mastery: achieving success in some social roles and obtaining appropriate function in those roles; positive effective interpersonal relationships; ability to adapt, adjust, and solve problems in an efficient manner.

Once an individual takes on these 6 criteria’s and commits to making life changes they too will see and feel the change positive mental health can affect their personal life. Challenge yourself to reflect on each criteria and write down how you feel you already show these characteristics and how you would like to approve.  If you already relate and feel confident in your positive mental health, share with others how it has helped you gain meaning and purpose.

“A mentally healthy person, therefore, accepts the current self, with its strengths and weaknesses, uses the strengths  available to him or her to maintain maximum autonomy by mastering their environment, and maintains positive relations with others, all with the overarching purpose of enacting personal meaning in life and personal growth (Keyes, 1996).”

Marie Jahoda