As we get older, mental health can play a big part in how we enjoy our lives every day. Knowing how to take care of yourself in this way can help with stress, sadness and other feelings that may get in the way of the life you want to live. What traits do the most resilient and adaptive people use to continue to thrive and succeed despite overwhelming circumstances? We’ll give you some of the tips and tools that could help with keeping your mental health in check.

Balance your emotional life

Mentally fit adults have a balanced emotional life. This means they are able to experience and express a wide range of both positive and negative emotions including joy, sadness, frustration, pride, satisfaction, and love. Being able to manage emotions and use them in a positive way is another sign of mental fitness. An emotionally healthy person might turn frustration into a long walk or a learning opportunity. Mentally healthy people put energy toward managing their emotions and have developed a range of coping mechanisms that work well for them.

Build positive relationships

Those who have good mental health have positive relationships, and invest time and effort into keeping these connections healthy. Skills that are helpful for relationship building include being able to navigate conflict, compromise when necessary and communicate wants and needs. Mentally healthy adults usually feel comfortable around others, enjoy spending time with loved ones and are able to both give and receive support. Being able to laugh with others—and at yourself—is another sign of mental fitness.

Seek and enjoy learning

There are several characteristics that help make emotionally healthy adults lifelong learners. They have the confidence and optimism to take on new challenges, and to know that if they make a good faith effort they are likely to succeed. Emotionally fit individuals are also able to manage the negative emotions that sometimes arise when trying to learn a new subject including frustration, anger, and fear. In challenging learning situations, emotionally healthy people are able to manage their focus, keeping themselves calm enough to focus on the task, but excited enough to want to stay engaged and see it through. Understanding your learning style is a pro tip for emotional fitness.

Manage change and uncertainty

Mentally healthy adults are resilient. This means they are able to successfully manage unexpected circumstances and are not easily overwhelmed by life’s challenges. Those who work on their mental fitness shape their environments when they can, and do their best to adapt to situations that they don’t have the power to change. Mentally strong superstars are also always on the lookout for personal growth opportunities, especially from enduring very challenging situations. Having close relationships, a strong moral compass and a greater sense of purpose can also help improve resilience. 

One of the silver linings to come out of the recent pandemic has been a newfound spotlight on the importance of mental health. Elton John and Jim Carrey are a few examples of people who have openly discussed their mental health struggles. Facing these challenges head on is the best way to recover and get mentally stronger and healthier. 

How are you addressing and improving your mental health during these challenging times? One thing that could help is scheduling a phone visit with a licensed therapist – Medicare now covers these types of services.