MEASURE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Ten characteristics of mental health as illustrated by Daniel
Ability to withstand change
Avoid intentionally placing yourself in situations that might subject you to too much change – too much stress.
Ability to function at full capacity – physically, intellectually, and emotionally
Work on building an adequate self-concept. See yourself realistically. Realistically accept the gifts and abilities God has given you. Realistically accept that because Christ died for you, you are a worthy person.
A good attitude – optimistic, confident, and secure
Do a good job at work. Function in such a manner that you feel competent. Set goals. Reach those goals. However, be careful not to set unrealistic goals, which, when not attained, will leave you with a feeling of incompetence. Each of us needs to develop a place in life where we feel secure and where we function successfully within our abilities.
An unwavering purpose in life
Develop an unwavering purpose in life. Devote your life to Christ and His goals.
The ability to relate to people and to build relationships with others
Build a strong support system of close friends around you. Spend time with these friends. Help them. Let them help you. Encourage them. Be happy when they succeed. Share your burdens with these friends.
Balance in several important areas
Balance between being dependent and independent
Balance between being organised and creative
Work on having a balanced life. Avoid extremes. Learn Bible doctrine but also work on your prayer life. Work but also play. Think but also learn to feel. Be serious but also learn to laugh. Develop your sense of humour. Laughing relieves as much tension as crying. It is not a sin to enjoy yourself. Work on a balance in every area of life.
Be dependable. Being dependable will make you feel good about yourself.
Other centred- not self-centred
Be other centred, not self-centred. Get your mind off your own problems. Determine to help someone else this week – either spiritually, or physically. By so doing, you will become more objective in dealing with your own problems. Work on being loving, gentle, and forgiving with others.
A man of the Word
Learn to love and enjoy the Word of God. Nothing builds like the Word of God. The apostle Paul said, “And now brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). Let the Word of God become your life. Do not be afraid of it. It will correct, but it will also build in a loving way.
An acceptance of God as our primary support system
Accept God as your primary support system. Realize that if you have accepted Christ you belong to God. You belong to Him! You have a support system that can never fail. There will be troubles. There will be “ups and downs.” Christ said, “Therefore every one who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the wind blew, and burst against the house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock” (Matt. 7:24-25, NASB). With God as our support system we will stand firm when the winds blow and the rains come. We can be like a tree planted by “the rivers of water” (Psa. 1: 2-3). With God’s help a Christian can develop an attitude of acceptance and the ability to adjust and cope.
Avoid sin. Sin destroys mental health. The apostle Peter said that we should avoid fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. Sin produces a sick mind, fluctuating emotions, and weak wills.
A SPIRITUAL-MENTAL HEALTH PROFILE
The following quiz is not meant to be a standardised measure of your mental health. However, if the questions are answered carefully and honestly, it will provide clues to evaluating your spiritual and mental health.
1 Do you read and personally apply the Word of God to your life?
a) Each day b) 3 times weekly c) Seldom
2 During periods of situational stress and rapid change in your life, do you expedience difficulty functioning (biologically – sleep disturbance, appetite change, headaches, nervous stomach, decreased sexual interest; or socially – loss of motivation or interest in work and other daily activities)?
a) Seldom b) Occasionally c) Each day
3 Would your employer say that you are a dependable person?
a) Almost always b) Usually c) Occasionally
4 Do you have a tendency to go to extremes in various areas of your life (physical exercise, church work, job, etc.)?
a) Seldom b) Occasionally c) Frequently
5 As a Christian living for God and His principles, how often do you stop to consider your purpose in life?
a) Daily b) 3 times weekly c) Seldom
6 Do your thoughts revolve around yourself and your problems, as opposed to helping others?
a) Occasionally b) Often c) Usually
7 Would your wife or closest friend say that you have a good attitude?
a) Almost always b) Usually c) Occasionally
8 Do you have close and intimate friends (ones with whom you can share your most private thoughts with the confidence that they will still accept you?
a) Several b) Few c) None
9 Do you have a primary support system?
a) Yes – God b) Yes – the family c) No (Personal or Christian)
10 How many major areas of life (church, family, job, etc.) do you function well in?
a) Four or more b) Three c) Two or less
Score 1 point for each (a) answer; 3 points for each (b) answer; and 5 points for each (c) answer.
12 -20 Excellent
21 – 29 Good
THE STRESS TEST
- Do you have trouble sleeping?
- Do you worry about the future?
- Are you often rushed?
- Do you often feel tired or lack energy?
- Do you work under a lot of tension?
- Do major changes in your life upset you?
- Do you often get angry with others?
- Do you often feel bored?
- Do you feel your life is out of control?
- Do you find it difficult to make decisions?
- Do you have trouble communicating?
- Do you leave things to the last minute?
- Do you feel anxious much of the time?
- Do you feel sad most of the time?
- Do you often worry about your mistakes?
If you have answered Yes to any of these questions,
you may have too much stress in your life