Psychosocial health includes four important components of well-being. We’ll go over what they are and what traits people with good psychosocial health share in this video lesson.

Psychosocial Health

The importance of being mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually sound was lost on medicine for a long time. A pill was supposed to solve everything! Now we know better, and there’s plenty of proof that a healthy mind and a content heart are just as important for the prevention of diseases and their treatment. Therefore, this concept of psychosocial health, a state of mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being, deserves a better look.

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Basic Traits of Psychosocial Health

Individuals who are deemed to be psychosocially healthy aren’t completely devoid of problems. Actually, it’s not the quantity or quality of a problem, or lack thereof, which makes someone sound in this respect. It’s the way people view themselves and how they deal with stressful situations that sets psychosocially healthy people apart from those who are not. Here are just a few traits shared by these robust individuals. They:

  • Like themselves
  • Accept their mistakes
  • Take care of themselves
  • Have empathy for others
  • Control their anger, hate, tension, and anxiety
  • Are optimistic
  • Can work alone and with others equally well

Mental Health

The thinking portion of psychosocial health is known as mental health. Your beliefs and values in life, as well as how you relate to others and respond to situations in your life, are a reflection of mental health, which overlaps with the other aspect of health we’re going to talk about. When something happens to you that you don’t like and you respond in a positive manner by accepting your mistake and looking forward to its correction, then that’s good. But if you show up late for work yet again, get fired, and then blame anyone but yourself, then that may be an indicator of less than ideal mental health.

Emotional Health

The feeling part of psychosocial health is called emotional health. This includes things like anger, love, hate, and happiness. Oftentimes, emotional and mental health overlap a great deal in some situations. Going back to our example of getting fired from work because you came in late for the umpteenth time, if you feel a bit down, but still have high hopes for the future, that’s a positive thing. But if you lash out in a blinding rage against your boss, sulk when you go home, and avoid everyone thereafter, then that may point to improper emotional health.

Furthermore, it’s not unexpected even for an emotionally healthy person to experience some sadness after getting fired; that by itself isn’t conclusive of poor emotional health. Everyone, even the most optimistic people, have their ups and downs. But an emotionally unhealthy person is one that responds to a situation in a manner that is uncontrollable, out of proportion, and extreme.

Emotional intelligence is also an important thing to note here. It is an ability to understand and manage your emotions and those of others. It can be broken up into five main parts:

  • Know your emotions: Are you able to quickly recognize your feelings?
  • Manage your emotions: Can you express those feelings appropriately? Are you able to cope with them well?
  • Motivate yourself: The more you can do this independently in order to achieve more in your life, the higher your emotional intelligence.
  • Recognize the emotions of others: The more you can empathize with others, the better.
  • Handle your relationships: The better you are at navigating conflict in life and building a good social network, the higher your emotional intelligence.

Social Health

That last part, relationships, is a good way to also introduce social health, the ability to create and maintain healthy relationships with others. I’m sure you can already appreciate how much this is related to the concepts we went over in emotional health. Everything here is related because they are all part of the one overarching concept I introduced initially – psychosocial health.

Social health goes beyond having appropriate emotional health and intelligence. A person with good social health:

  • Recognizes the importance of social engagement. We’re pack animals after all! We’re not supposed to live alone!
  • A person with good social health is able to support their friends in a time of need and ask for their help when they need it themselves.
  • They aren’t biased, prejudiced, racist, or sexist.
  • Listens to others well, expresses their feelings just as well, and acts in a responsible manner around others.

An example of a person with good social health is someone who has close friends that they enjoy listening to and feels close enough to share important feelings with. The flipside is a grouch who lives alone and shoos people away from his territory with a shotgun.

Spiritual Health

The final aspect of psychosocial health is spiritual health, a belief in a force that gives meaning to life. This does not have to be a religious force, God, or anything like that. For some, it is nature or something else that is bigger than themselves. Regardless of where a person’s ethics, morals, values and beliefs come from, they should give them a sense of purpose, awareness, and community.

As importantly, these beliefs give spiritually healthy people an ability to integrate these factors with their behavior in a positive manner. That last point is very important, as there are plenty of people who aren’t religious, but live a very positive life, and others who wear religious symbols, but are in jail for murder. Therefore, it’s not where your sources of spiritual health come from, but rather the ability to act in a spiritually healthy way that is important. Overall, the four main aspects of spirituality are:

  • Interconnectedness – a sense of belonging, a purpose and meaning to life, and connecting to others.
  • Mindfulness – to be one with yourself and the world, in the here and now, as meditation tries to achieve.
  • Spirituality on a daily basis – helping others in times of need, discovering your purpose in life, and experiencing love.
  • And, finally, community – living well and in harmony with others.

Spirituality has been linked to better physical, mental, emotional, and social health.

Lesson Summary

So, it’s not surprising then that spirituality connects to all the other aspects of psychosocial health, as they do so as in turn. Psychosocial health is defined as a state of mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being. The thinking portion of psychosocial health is known as mental health. The feeling part of psychosocial health is called emotional health and includes emotional intelligence, an ability to understand and manage your emotions and those of others. Emotional intelligence can be broken up into five main parts:

  • Know your emotions
  • Manage your emotions
  • Motivate yourself
  • Recognize the emotions of others
  • Handle your relationships

Besides mental and emotional health, psychosocial health encompasses social health, the ability to create and maintain healthy relationships with others. A person with good social health:

  • Recognizes the importance of social engagement.
  • Is able to support their friends in a time of need and ask for their help when they need it themselves.
  • Isn’t biased, prejudiced, racist, or sexist.
  • Listens to others well, expresses their feelings just as well, and acts in a responsible manner around others.

Finally, there’s spiritual health, a belief in a force that gives meaning to life. The four main aspects of spirituality are interconnectedness, mindfulness, spirituality on a daily basis, and community.

Learning Outcomes

After you’ve reviewed this video lesson, you should be able to:

  • Define psychosocial health and recall traits of psychosocially healthy people
  • Describe mental health, emotional health and emotional intelligence
  • Tell what some characteristics of socially healthy people are
  • List the four major aspects of spirituality