Are you mentally fit?
A good way to tell is if you’re able to see the positive side of life.
It’s not impossible but it’s hard if you’re a bit of a negative thinker, which I’ve been for a lot of my life.
It’s like asking someone, who’s physically unfit, to run a marathon without any training.
The mind like the body can be trained, in fact the body can become a lot fitter if the mind is fit also.
I came across an excellent podcast from The Pursuit of Happiness Conference at Emory University, which the Dalai Lama attended.
One speaker that stood out to me was American sociologist and psychologist Corey L.M. Keyes who claims happiness is not just about feeling good but it’s also about, “Flourishing”.
Flourishing is, “to live within an optimal range of human functioning, one that connotes goodness, generativity, growth, and resilience.”
Flourishing is the opposite of both pathology and languishing, which are described as living a life that feels both hollow and empty.
That is to say, mental health is not just the absence of mental illness, it’s presence of positivity and challenge.
This was easier for me to grasp in the physical sense.
Imagine somebody who isn’t particularly fit, as they do no regular exercise, but they also don’t have anything wrong with them ie a cold or flu.
They are not flourishing as they are, physically, not hitting their optimal level of fitness. They could be a lot fitter and so they are languishing.
This explains why a lot of people who quit their jobs, after coming into money, become bored and unhappy.
Why do multi-millionaires still get up early to work hard? Because they’re flourishing.
So how do we flourish?
We challenge ourselves to do the best we can otherwise we’re not functioning as we’re supposed to.
Why buy a Ferrari and never drive it above 30 mph? Isn’t that what life’s about?
As far as we know we’re only here once, shouldn’t we try to do the best we can with what we’ve got?