Psychosocial health is a combination of psychological, emotional, and social factors. It determines and reflects the way people view themselves and others, and how they deal with problems and stressful situations. Here are just a few traits shared by psychosocially healthy individuals.
- Like themselves
- Accept their mistakes
- Take care of themselves
- Have empathy for others
- Control their anger, stress, tension, and anxiety
- Are optimistic
One aspect of psychosocial health is mental health, which is about psychology and emotions. Your beliefs and values in life, how you feel, as well as how you relate to others and respond to situations in your life, are a reflection of mental health. VR can help improve these reactions and perceptions and is being used to successfully treat a number of psychological problems, including PTSD, anxiety disorders, and depression.
The feeling part of psychosocial health is called emotional health. This includes things like anger, love, hate, and happiness. Often times, emotional and mental health overlap a great deal. Everyone, even the most optimistic person, has 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. Understanding your emotions is an important thing, as is the ability to manage your emotions and those of others. Do you:
- Know your emotions: Are you able to quickly recognize your feelings?
- Manage your emotions: Can you express those feelings in an appropriate manner? 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 understanding
- 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 understanding
The ability to create and maintain healthy relationships with others is key to a happy life. Psychosocial health goes beyond having appropriate emotional health and understanding. A person with good social health:
- Sees the importance of social engagement. We are pack animals after all, aren’t supposed to live alone
- 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
The last piece of psychosocial health but not least important is spiritual health, a belief in a force that gives your life meaning. The force you believe in is very personal. It could be God, religion, positive energy, nature, love or whatever else you might believe in. Regardless of where a person's morals, ideology, and beliefs come from, spirituality is what gives you a sense of purpose, guidance, and often community.
Each of these aspects combines to form a healthy, psychosocial human being. Hey, it’s hard to keep all of those plates spinning. But balance is important. In tech, we’re widely known for putting social back into our lives, but the spiritual piece is often left behind.
Please also read our white paper: "Using Virtual Reality for the Reduction of Anxiety: An Introduction to How Immersive VR Can Improve the Treatment of Anxiety"