For one of my courses this semester we all have to fill out two psychological assessments and then write up a self-assessment report by the end of the semester. The first, the Strong Interest Inventory, is used in career assessment while the second, the California Psychological Inventory (CPI), is used to assess everyday, ordinary ways of describing behavior and personality.
These tests are LONG. The Strong Interest Inventory (and the Skills Confidence Inventory that accompanies it) have a combined 351 questions. The CPI has 434 questions. Yeah, did I mention they’re long?
When I got to question 245 on the CPI, I had to stop for a minute to reflect. While there are several questions on the CPI I’m certain I answered differently than I would have a few short years ago, question 245 was the most revealing for me.
Most of the time I feel happy.
I wish with all of my heart and soul that every single person could mark “true” for that question, but the fact of the matter is that many people can’t. I wouldn’t have a few years ago.
In the last few years my life has changed dramatically. Not only can I now say that most of the time I feel happy, I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have ever been. It is no accident that I am also the healthiest I have ever been.
There is more to mental health to physical health, for sure. At the same time, the two are inextricably tied. It’s very very hard to have good mental health without good physical health and on the flip side good mental health makes it easier to achieve good physical health.
Taking care of yourself means taking care of your body through diet and exercise, taking care of your emotional and mental health by surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people who help you find your voice and express your needs and desires without fear, and taking care of your spiritual health in whatever way is most appropriate for you.
So many of us care too much about what other people will think about our decisions, goals, and actions. While the opinions of our loved ones should matter to us to some degree, we have to do what truly makes us happy to be truly healthy individuals. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the support of friends and family in their goals for weight loss, getting healthy, seeking mental health services, etc. This is an awful position to be in.
Try to find at least one person who shares your goals and supports you 100%. That way even when the naysayers try to bring you down, you know you still have support. Eventually you’ll be able to feel confident in your goals just with your own personal support, but no one should have to stand alone when they need someone else by their side.
Today I am the happiest I have ever been. I truly hope that all of you can say that as well, if not today then someday soon.