Who's Healthy?

Self-Therapy For People Who ENJOY Learning About Themselves

The best measure of emotional health is: How well do we handle the problems and opportunities we face in our daily lives? If you are extremely neurotic but you've found a way to survive a difficult life, you are healthier than those who avoid such labels only because they have had easier lives.


The three most important signs of emotional health are: Spontaneity, Intimacy, and Awareness.


Spontaneity refers to the immediacy with which we express ourselves. If you usually "think first" before you speak, or if you always "wait" before taking action, you are not very spontaneous.

Being spontaneous shows that we trust who we are. Ask yourself: "How often do I just react to things, without thinking?" If you answer "almost always," you are spontaneous and very healthy emotionally.


Intimacy refers to being able to feel safe when we are close to others. If you usually look away when people look your way, or if you are often lonely, you are not very intimate.

Being intimate shows we trust ourselves, and others, socially. Ask Yourself: "How often do I feel completely safe when I look into other people's eyes?" If you answer "almost always," you are intimate and very healthy emotionally.


Awareness refers to our ability to see and hear clearly and to believe what we see and hear.

If you often doubt your own perception of people and situations you are not very aware (or you are very aware and don't know it - a common problem).

Being aware shows we are alert, rather than mentally preoccupied. Ask Yourself: "How often do I think I am wrong about my perceptions?" "How often do I ask other people to confirm my perceptions and thinking?" If you answer "almost never" you are aware and very healthy emotionally.



Can You Answer "Yes" To These Questions?

  • Are you usually energetic (not frenetic)?

  • Do you seldom make comparisons between yourself and others (less than once a day)?

  • Do you laugh genuinely and often (many times most days)?

  • Are you a "self-starter"?

  • Are you quick and appropriate with your anger?

  • Are you slowed down significantly by depression less than two days a year?

  • Do you almost never feel guilty?

  • Do you have a good, long-lasting relationship with your partner?

  • Do you have good, long-lasting friendships (at least two or three)?

  • Do you almost never spend social or family time with people who mistreat you?

  • Do you seldom regret your decisions?

  • Do you make most decisions quickly?

  • Is your sex life exciting?

  • Do you recognize sadness, anger, scare, joy, and excitement easily in yourself?

  • Are you seldom told that you are controlling or manipulative?

  • Do you never wonder if you abuse alcohol or other drugs?

  • Do you know you could survive and thrive (after a long grieving period) even if you lost all of the important people in your life?

  • Do you make friends easily?

  • Are you seldom thought of as bigoted?


Each "Yes" is a remarkable achievement accomplished by a small percentage of people! Complement yourself sincerely and proudly for every "yes" on this page! Each "No" is a way that you are "about average" in this culture. Read each "no" again and say: "I could improve this if I wanted to!"


Decide whether to change by deciding how much emotional pain your problems cause for you and for those you love.

Then, if you are not successful on your own, decide whether to work on these problems in therapy by weighing this pain against the various costs involved (financial, time, privacy, inconvenience, etc.).

next: Growing Up Emotionally

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 13). Who's Healthy?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Last Updated: March 29, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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