What is Psychological Health?

Jennifer Carnevale, Artem Cheprasov, Jennifer Levitas
  • Author
    Jennifer Carnevale

    Jennifer taught 9th grade ELA and AP Literature for over 8 years. She has a dual master's in English Literature and Teaching Secondary Ed from Simmons University and a BS in Psychology. She is also a contracted freelance writer and certified AP Test Reader.

  • Instructor
    Artem Cheprasov

    Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

  • Expert Contributor
    Jennifer Levitas

    Jennifer has a Ph.D. in Psychology. She's taught multiple college-level psychology courses and been published in several academic journals.

Learn what psychological health encompasses. Understand psychological health and mental health definitions, and review different emotional health examples. Updated: 09/23/2021

Table of Contents


Mental Health Definition

Psychological health, aka mental health, is defined as a person's emotional and or psychological wellbeing. The psychological health definition and mental health definition go hand in hand in that they both involve the emotional, behavioral, and social health aspects of a person's life. These three facets are the foundation of mental health, determining how a person functions daily and reacts to adverse situations that may arise.

It's essential to understand the three facets that make up the definition to comprehend psychological health.

  • Emotional health: the way a person feels daily and the actions a person takes to maintain a healthy emotional state
  • Social health: the way a person interacts with others and maintain healthy relationships
  • Behavioral health: the way a person acts and reacts

When these three facets are in harmony, a person has positive psychological health. When out of balance, a person may deal with mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, broken or lost relationships, problems at work, and many more.

The 2019 data shows that among the 51.5 million adults mental health issues 23 million people received mental health services.

Only 44% of folks suffering from mental health issues sought treatment in 2019.

Psychological health also encompasses a wide range of factors, including but not limited to a person's:

  • Biology: individual genetic makeup
  • Environment: where they were raised, where they live now, their workspace, etcetera
  • Family: childhood caretakers, current family relationships
  • Life experiences: any event, positive or negative, that occurs in one's life

These factors play into the three facets of psychological health. They will determine a person's psychological state, allowing them to adjust to life's daily changes and struggle with day-to-day living; this is why fostering positive psychological health is deeply important. It resides in our brains and deciphers how we perceive the world and subsequent experiences. Suppose a person is unable to maintain positive mental health. In that case, it can affect all aspects of their lives, including their relationships, career, and ability to take care of themselves.

Health Psychology Examples

The best description of psychological health is the maintaining of wellbeing daily. When a person fosters good mental health practices, they can:

  • Cope with stress in healthy ways
  • Find meaning in life
  • Support others around them, including those in their community
  • Realize their potential and strive for their goals and dreams
  • Work and live productively and effectively

When a person's psychological health is out of balance, their lives can be affected negatively and show up in their school/work environments, their relationships, and their connection to themselves and their passions. Poor mental health can result in a person quitting their job/getting fired, losing loved ones from isolating or attacking them, and even the inability to do the dishes or clean their laundry.

For example, if the bullying of a teen transpires at school, their school work may suffer, causing them to get in trouble with their parents. This consequence could cause them to hide in their room and forgo fun activities with friends. Without any coping mechanisms or supports, this behavior will continue. However, a therapist could greatly help. A mental health provider may help the teen learn to process their emotional trauma safely, help the teen find ways to communicate with the bully and or administration and work with the school to find more appropriate ways to handle situations like this in the future.

It's essential to seek help, get back on track, and feel good again, but taking that first step can feel challenging. Mental health professionals can help those in need by offering varying services to help folks find joy in their lives and cope with the stressors they are facing. Mental health professionals can help by:

  • Diagnosing mental health disorders
  • Offering talk therapy to work through complicated past or present experiences
  • Teach coping mechanisms to help process emotions, such as sadness, grief, anger, and anxiety
  • Retrain the brain through CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to release negative thoughts and behaviors
  • Help clients find community resources, such as housing, jobs, support groups, etcetera

The goal of seeking support is to help a person find their passion for living and teach them positive mental health skills to ensure they have the tools to live a whole and happy life. Providers can also help clients improve their lives without having a diagnosis like depression. For example, suppose a person is struggling to make friends because they are shy. In that case, a therapist might use group therapy to help that person come out of their shell and teach them techniques to start conversations and maintain communication.

Psychological health is a life-long process, and people will have varying needs at different times in their lives. There isn't one right reason to seek help, but it's essential to reach out if needed.

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  • 0:03 What Is Psychological Health?
  • 1:18 Emotional Health
  • 1:57 Behavioral Health
  • 2:50 Social Health
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Emotional Health Definition

As previously stated, the emotional health definition covers how a person feels daily and the actions that person takes to maintain a healthy emotional state. Emotional health dictates mood, perception, and how a person interacts with the world, which means if emotional health is off, the whole world can feel off.

Maintaining psychological health means exercising the brain and body to ensure the removal of negative thought patterns, and coping mechanisms like working out are employed.

Psychological health means taking care of your head and body.

If a person's emotional health becomes ill or distressed, they may exhibit some/all of the followings signs that include but are not limited to:

  • Feeling helpless, numb, or that life has no meaning
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Having little to no energy
  • Forgoing typical activities or friendships
  • Using substances such as drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes more than usual
  • Fighting with loved ones
  • Thoughts of self-harm or harming others
  • Mood swings
  • Hearing voices or believing irrational claims

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  • Activities
  • FAQs

Psychological Health Activities

Writing Prompt 1:

Think about the last time you went to the doctor for a physical. In addition to the common measurements of weight, height, blood pressure and so forth, did your doctor ask you any questions about your psychological health? For example, did your doctor ask you about your mood (to assess depression)? Did your doctor ask about your social life? For this activity, create a list of ten questions relating to psychological health that you believe doctors should always ask when a person has an annual physical exam.

Writing Prompt 2:

Psychological health is a concept that is understood by most people today, even though it is a latecomer to the field of health in general. Most people have heard about psychological problems such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Do you think that there is still a stigma attached to getting help for psychological issues? Most people are not embarrassed about taking high blood pressure medication for their elevated blood pressure, for example, but some people still may be embarrassed to seek help from a psychologist regarding their anxiety or mood problems. Write a two to three paragraph essay about your perception of the stigma associated with getting help for psychological issues. Is the stigma decreasing as the years pass? Are most people comfortable asking for psychological help today? Will the stigma ever be completely gone? Is there anything that can be done to decrease the stigma?

What are three emotional health examples?

Three emotional health examples are:

1. Walking away from a heated conversation until you calm down and reflect

2. Getting bullied at school and talking through the trauma with a mental health professional

3. Writing down your fears in your journal instead of letting them consume your mind

How do you describe emotional health?

Emotional health is how we feel daily and our actions to maintain a healthy emotional state. In one sense, emotional health is how we interact and react to the world based on our lived experiences.

What are 3 traits of good emotional health?

Three traits of good emotional health are:

1. Maintaining a positive work/life balance

2. Setting boundaries with friends/family/partners

3. Taking care of your body through good food and exercise

How do you define mental health?

Mental health, also known as psychological health, is defined as a person's emotional or psychological wellbeing and involves the emotional, behavioral, and social health aspects of a person's life.

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