New research has linked ability to adopt a healthy lifestyle to how healthy your mindset is, or whether you can foster a can-do attitude and believe in the power of your own actions to improve your life. If you’re having trouble making key lifestyle modifications that are important for your health, your outlook may be what’s blocking positive change.

Check out this healthy outlook checklist, built with the expertise of Mark Komrad, MD, clinical assistant psychiatry professor at University of Maryland, and author of You Need Help: A Step-by-Step Plan to Convince A Loved One To Get Counseling. If you check yes to most of these, you’re likely in a healthy state of mind and ready to tackle new challenges.

________  When something bad happens, you’re able to see it as one singular event. It doesn’t cloud or significantly alter the way you feel about humanity in general or how you operate.


________  When something that annoys you occurs, you’re not easily perturbed or quick to wind up with anger.


________  When something disappointing occurs, you can bounce back within a reasonable amount of time.


________  You can bring humor to trying times.


________  In times of crisis, you see an opportunity for transformation and change (once the immediate calamity has passed).


________  When a difficult life event occurs, you don’t oversimplify and come up with simple explanations. For example, you don’t think losing a job is merely the result of an unfair boss. You think in terms of “and” rather than “or”.  For example, my friend is sometimes funny and sometimes serious.


________  Instead of understanding everything as black and white,  you can understand the shades in between.


________  When a situation is less than opportune you don’t  jump to negative generalizations.


________  When a sought after outcome isn’t achieved immediately, you can stay the course. You are persistent without being stubborn.


________  You can tolerate some stress and stick out a tricky situation without exiting, problem unsolved.

These are just some indicators of wellness. If you did not check off as many statements as you would have liked, consider exploring these ideas further with a loved one or therapist. “The human emotional system is not set in stone,” says Dr. Komrad. “People can change their attitudes, ways of thinking, and emotional reactions. If we work at it, we can grow and change our mental outlook, just like we grow and change our bodies physically by working out at the gym.”

How did You do on the checklist? Any surprises?