Have you ever wondered what kind of person is happiest? It seems like a very subjective question. Most experts would probably agree that anyone can experience psychological disorders or disorders, illness, and a general lack of well-being, regardless of personality, values, and traits.
But what if there was scientific evidence that certain traits lend themselves to better overall psychological health? What if learning to embrace these traits could help you on your journey to a healthier mind? As a result, there might be some truth to that concept!
Recently, new research was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that provides information on these traits. Entitled “The healthy personality from the perspective of a basic trait,” this study presents some new and potentially innovative findings on positive personality traits and their impact on mental health.
Based on that study, many traits have been discovered that indicate what could add to people a better state of mind and well-being. These traits join many others that experts have long believed contribute to the ideal level of mental health. Based on this and previous research, without further ado, this is how therapists reveal 6 traits of psychologically healthy people.
1. A person in good psychological health is not impulsive
An impulsive person is someone who has a hard time controlling impulses, cravings, and temptation. Those who face this problem are more susceptible to mental health problems, as they experience guilt and later regret or perform acts that may ultimately harm them.
Humanistic psychologist and author Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., states that people should aspire to develop low impulsivity because:
- You will develop a high tolerance for frustration.
- You can more easily resist any type of temptation.
- You can delay gratification.
- You are able to focus on long term goals rather than short term.
It’s worth noting that impulsivity is not the same as being a risk taker, quick thinker, or spontaneous person. It refers very specifically to the lack of foresight that results in poor decisions that could harm you and others without sufficient calculation to determine your safety in advance.
2. They are open to feelings
Being open to feelings doesn’t just mean accepting the emotions of others. More important than that, it specifically refers to your acceptance of your own emotions. It means:
- The ability to be aware of your own feelings and thoughts.
- The understanding of emotion as a crucial part of everyday life and of the human being.
- The acceptance of difficult and complicated emotions.
- The willingness to reflect on feelings, no matter how difficult it is to face them.
- The openness to experience all kinds of natural emotions, including deeper and more differentiated emotional states.
- The ability to express your own feelings to others in a healthy and positive way.
- The experience of emotions more intense than others
This is not a huge surprise, based on previous research. Numerous studies have pointed out how suppressing and suppressing emotions can lead to a decrease positive thinking, endangering physical and mental health. Self-expression of emotions is not only healthy, it is necessary!
3. They don’t get caught up in negative emotions
Negative emotions are normal and it is even healthy to experience them from time to time. The problem arises when you get caught up in those negative emotions, which makes it difficult to overcome them and potentially leads to long-term negativity. Here are some forms of negativity that can form traits of poor mental health:
Stress is a normal part of life, but those who are especially vulnerable may experience it in unbalanced excess. So much stress can mess up the way your brain processes and handles difficult situations, which can lead to constant or chronic stress, both of which, of course, are not the best for mental health!
You have probably heard these terms separately many times. When they get together, they tend to experience negative emotions based on or resulting from anger. Examples of this are annoyance, bitterness, envy, and frustration. Angry hostility can lead to a susceptibility to negative situations, which means that you are more likely to regret or experience anger over minor situations.
Anxiety comes with restlessness, stress, and fear, all of which affect one’s psychological state. It’s easy to get caught in an endless loop of worries about the future and regrets about the past. Keep in mind that this does not refer specifically to anxiety disorders, but to the general concept of being caught up in worries and anxious thoughts to the point that they become self-fulfilling.
Unfortunately, depression is often not controllable, but you need to be aware of what makes you most susceptible to it. Those with diagnosed or clinical depression tend to experience greater shame, guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, sadness, and loneliness. Combined, it makes perfect sense that these point to poor psychological health, especially since cycles of negativity are common in depression. Learning how to better manage a depressive disorder can help you overcome the worst of these symptoms.
Clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Jennifer Kunst, Ph.D., who also works with the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and the Psychoanalytic Center of California, considers vitality to be an important sign of mental health. She defines vitality as the state of being more engaged, alive, and free from inhibitions – all things that you will have a hard time developing while trapped in negativity.
Linked to the previous point, most psychologically healthy people strive to promote and create positive emotions in their lives. If you try to be optimistic, you are training your brain to better detect the good things than the bad. As such, the more positive emotions you train yourself to experience, the more psychologically healthy you can become, and vice versa.
Of course, it goes without saying that this is easier said than done. But did you know what to pretend positive thinking through smiles you can trick your brain into releasing happy hormones Numerous studies have shown that the brain cannot differentiate between a real smile and a fake one, so it always responds as if smiles were real. This does not mean that you should suppress sadness, but rather that you must learn to incorporate smiling more into your daily routine.
Being around positive people can also help you train your happiness. Author and psychiatrist Dr. Eva Ritzo claims that seeing other people smile makes it easier for you to smile, allowing your brain to have even more “training.”
5. They are warm
Warmth refers to acts of affective intimacy at the interpersonal level in all types of relationships, be they platonic, romantic, family, or even with strangers. Psychologically healthy people tend to form positive bonds with others easily, as they genuinely like to be around other people.
Someone who lacks warmth is aloof, formal, reserved, and a bit lonely. While they can still be compassionate, there is an inherent lack of closeness in all of their ties, if they have any. This does not mean having a lot of friends or switching from an introvert to an extrovert. Instead, it means being open and warm in your valuable relationships and being friendly with others.
Kunst adds to this trait by listing love as a sign of good mental health. Essentially, in that case, love is a form of warmth that means genuine care for others. A loving person leaves space in his heart for the people he values most and makes an effort to repair the damage in his relationships, with his main intention always rooted in gratitude and appreciation.
6. They are direct and simple
Being simple can be difficult. Many people are more willing to tell white lies because they are sweeter to listen to, are more likely to be welcomed without creating conflict, and can make others feel a little better. But at the end of the day, lack of honesty gets you nowhere.
Psychologically healthy people are often authentic in their everyday life. They are sincere and frank, and their social skills are maintained through means other than awkward deception. They don’t use incorrect flattery, manipulate, cheat, or use dishonest tactics to get ahead. This allows their minds to rise and be safe from the negative psychological effects related to repetitive lying.
This is another of Kunst’s declared signs of positive mental health: a general commitment to the truth. This means that you prefer to provide factual and factual information rather than provide dishonest statements for the sake of idealism or kindness. While there are some nuances to apply to this concept, it is good to keep them in mind.
In the past, research has also published interesting findings about the combination of happiness and honesty. Not only are you more likely to be honest when you are happy, but being honest is linked to other ways of positive thinking and behavior, including:
- Life satisfaction
- Self-monitoring and impulse management
- Feelings of normality
- Positive self confidence
- Social success
- Healthy relationships
How many things on this list can you check off? As highly positive traits, they are all values that you may find beneficial to add to your behavior, whether your goals involve improving psychological well-being or not.
Despite the research on these traits, it’s worth noting that no single trait can dictate physical or mental health. Even then, a collection of traits is still not a definitive form of psychological health test. You can have all of these traits and still have mental disorders, and you can’t have any of them and be psychologically healthy.
However, given the evidence, it’s likely that learning to hone these traits can improve your mental state or make you less susceptible to threats to your mental health. You should always work on self-improvement, and many of the traits that research over the years has found to be beneficial for psychological health are ones that many would strive to achieve independently.
At the end of the day, one of the best ways to become mentally healthy is to work on yourself and your well-being. For starters, you may not be able to control everything, especially if you have a mental disorder, but you can learn to better manage and control the factors that affect you. If you need further assistance in your endeavors, you can always speak to a therapist, psychologist, or similar medical professional for advice on your psychological health.