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What’s the Difference Between Mental Strength and Mental Health?

Melli O'Brien






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What’s the Difference Between Mental Strength and Mental Health?

Mental strength and mental health are sometimes used interchangeably but they're not the same thing.

So, what is the difference between

mental strength and mental health?

So mental strength and mental

health, those two terms are

sometimes used interchangeably, but

they're really not the same thing.

So mental health, when I look at

the common definitions around,

it's commonly defined as being

the absence of mental illness.

So, but not having depression,

anxiety or another illness does

not mean you're mentally strong.

In fact, you can actually be

mentally strong, even if you're

dealing with a mental health issue.

Mental strength involves your ability

to think, act and perform at your best

in any given circumstance, whether

there's big challenges present or not.

So the difference between mental health

and mental strength is a little bit like

the difference between physical health

and physical strength and fitness.

So let's say that we're

going to have a really simple

definition of physical health.


Let's say that we define physical

health in a really simple way.

Physical health is when you

have the absence of any illness.

So I'll just keep it that simple.

With physical strength, you can

have a person that goes to the gym a

lot and gets really fit and strong.

This person might have great muscle tone.

They're also eating well.

And so their body is really

physically strong, fit and vibrant.

That's amazing.

And this person is likely

going to be feeling great.

But that physical strength and

fitness does not mean that you have

a guarantee that you won't ever

deal with a physical health problem.

Still likely from time to time, you'll get

a virus or you could even get a serious

health condition that, that's just part

of life that could still have happen.

But even though a health issue, like a

virus or something most serious, might

make it more difficult to stay fit

and strong for this person, they are

still able in the midst of that to make

choices that do help them stay physically

strong, even when they have an illness.

So they could do things like yoga, still

keep eating well, they could go on walks.

And depending on what's going on for them,

they might still be able to go to the gym.

And so this is a great

analogy for mental strength.

So it is with mental strength

that if you're mentally strong and

fit, yes, it's less likely that

you would become mentally ill.

In the same way that it's less likely

that you're going to pick up illnesses

if you're physically strong and fit.

But I mean, the one thing for

sure is that you're still going

to go through difficult times.

You're still going to have

heartbreaks and losses and

misfortunes, and yes, potentially

even mental illness could strike.

In fact, at the time of me writing

this course on mental strength, I

have had the very humbling experience

of coming down with an illness that

does affect my mental health while

I'm writing about mental strength.

So it's been a really tricky time for me.

But so mental strength does not make

you immune to life's difficulties.

But in the midst of any of these

circumstances, when you're mentally

strong, you will have the tools

and the inner resources to navigate

through whatever you're facing

with the best of who you are.

So instead of being crushed,

overwhelmed, or beaten up by hard

times, you end up digging deeper and

drawing on your strengths and virtues

so that you come out the other side

of it all, wiser, more resilient,

more authentic than you were before.

So that's the difference between

mental health and mental strength.

Included in

Q&A on Mental Strength null Playlist · 4 tracks

Q&A on Mental Strength

Playlist · 4 tracks4.9

More by this teacher

What Does It Actually Mean to Be Mentally Strong?Talk by Melli O'Brien
Melli O'Brien
Melli O'Brien

What Does It Actually Mean to Be Mentally Strong?

Talk · 3 mins4.6

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