What Does Mental State Mean?

From psychology to law, the term “mental state” is regularly used without a clear definition or further explanation.

Generally, mental state refers to a person’s state of mind and the emotions that influence a person’s thought process.

What Does Mental State Mean?

There are a number of different types of mental states, including love, pain, pleasure and anxiety.

In this article, we take a closer look at what a person’s “mental state” is and the different types of mental states.

What Is A Mental State?

The mental state of a person is this person’s state of mind which includes a range of emotions, desires, perceptions, intentions and beliefs.

The mental state has been defined in many different ways throughout history, depending on progress and developments in psychology.

Even today, there is no single definition of mental state across different fields, such as psychology and law enforcement.

Some psychologists define a mental state as our state of mind which is influenced by others, while others perceive a person’s state of mind as solely individual and internal.

Instead of the term mental state, you may also notice similar terms used, such as psychological state, mental condition, mood, mindset or frame of mind.

All these terms describe essentially the same thing, someone’s mental state.

Types Of Mental States

Depending on the definition that is used, there are a number of different types of mental states.

Here are some of the most common mental states.


Pleasure is a feeling of enjoyment and satisfaction. We feel either pleased with ourselves, a situation or someone else.


Pain is a broad term to describe anything that feels uncomfortable and makes us suffer.

This could be old memories leading to nostalgia, grief for having lost a loved one or even physical pain.


Love commonly refers to a strong feeling we have for someone else. You can also feel love when you feel extremely positive, happy or caring.


Apathy is generally used to describe someone who is absent-minded or disinterested.


When a person has an anxious state of mind, then he or she feels confused and worried. Anxiety is often related to certain fears that we have about the future.


Hate is often described as the opposite of love as it is a strong state where someone feels anger and rage.

How To Influence Your State Of Mind

Our mind is always in a certain state but this state continually changes just as our emotions keep changing with our thoughts.

This means that we can influence our state of mind and how we feel which can be very useful, especially when you are in a negative state of mind.

Here are our top tips on how you can change negative thoughts into a positive state of mind.

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Often we feel sad, angry or frustrated because we are stressed, so doing something that makes you feel relaxed is important to keep your state of mind positive.

This could be reading or just doing some yoga to give yourself some time to connect with yourself.


It has been scientifically proven that exercising and physical activities keep your brain active and it will also make you feel better.

Just a few small exercises a day can improve your posture and your mood.


Keeping your mind fit and healthy is essential to a happy state of mind.

Meditating and breathing exercises can help you release some of these happy hormones that will calm your mind.


Writing your thoughts down helps you process your emotions, so you can leave any of the negative thoughts behind and move on to a positive state of mind.

Plus, it also allows you to be creative. A journal is also a great way to put down future intentions and plans.


Did you know that children laugh around 300 times a day? That is a lot more than most adults laugh on average.

Keeping your spirits up and laughing can help to improve your health and your state of mind.


Similar to laughter, smiling more often might not be the first that comes to mind when you are feeling low but it can help you to connect to more positive thoughts.

Research found that smiling regularly rewires your brain, so you think more positively.

Spend Time With Your Pet

Whether you have a dog, cat or guinea pig, spending some quality time with your pet does not just improve the bond with your animal but it also makes you feel better.

Appreciate Yourself

It’s important to acknowledge for yourself that you are an individual with some great life experiences.

Take a few minutes to look at photos or videos of special life moments and achievements.

Talk To Friends And Family

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It’s no secret that talking to loved ones and friends often helps us solve any problems quicker.

They might also be able to give a different perspective on an issue, and give you new ideas that you might not have considered before.

Plan For The Future

Many of our anxieties and worries revolve around the future. Take some small steps towards what you want to achieve in the future.

It’s a good idea to set yourselves some short term and long term goals and review their progress regularly.

Give Something Back

Giving something back to your community doesn’t just help others but it also makes you feel part of the community spirit sharing in a goal.

Change Of Scenery

Sometimes just escaping from your normal routine can make a big difference to how you perceive a problem.

Take a day off and do something that feels good.

Spend Time In Nature

Spending time outdoors in nature has been proven to calm the mind and it will also help link certain parts of our brain with more positive states of mind, such as love and empathy.

Final Thoughts

While the term mental state is defined differently in different fields, it is generally considered to be our mood or mindset.

Ben Easter
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