Mentors: Good for Your Mental Health

Do you have a mentor?

What I mean is, do you have someone you look up to? Learn from? Seek advice from?clock

Mentors can be parents, friends, teachers or colleagues, because we can use mentors in just about any aspect of our lives. In my last post I wrote about women I look up to. I have other parents I consider mentors, and have a quite a few psychologists I consider professional mentors as well.

So, why are they important? In her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg spoke about the importance of mentors from the business side of life, but I’m thinking more about their importance in terms of mental health.

They help us map the route of our lives. None of us like to wander through life without goals.  It doesn’t matter if they are big (launch the new Facebook) or small (finally finish knitting that sweater) – goals are important.  They give us purpose, and they also provide us with a sense of accomplishment once they’re reached.  Mentors can help us set and plan for life’s goals.

They provide perspective.  It’s easy to get bogged down in the ups and downs of everyday life.  Mentors help us understand the big picture and what’s really important.  Hint: it’s probably not what we spend most of our time worrying about.

They give us hope.  We all want to know that everything works out in the end, we’ll be successful and happy, and life will be good.  Of course no one can guarantee these things will happen, but mentors can provide us with a real life success story to strive for. Some days are tough, and it sure is nice to be able to look up and see someone who is where you want to be, giving you a helping hand.

Not sure where to start?  Check out these tips for finding a mentor in just about any area of your life: business, personal – even recreation!



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