What is mental health?
Mental health is a state of mental well-being that includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It impacts your ability to think, feel, and act and influences how you respond to stress, interact with others, and make decisions. Your ability to manage life’s stresses, learn well and work well, and contribute to society depends on your mental health. Therefore, mental health is an integral part of your health and well-being and is a basic human right. It is vital to personal, community, and socio-economic development.
Mental health is more than just the absence of disorders. It exists on a complex continuum, and therefore, every person has a different experience, with varying degrees of suffering and distress, requiring varying social and therapeutic implications. Moreover, be it young or old age, good mental health is crucial at every stage of life.
Mental health disorders include psychosocial impairments, mental illnesses, and other mental states linked to high levels of suffering, functional limitations, or risk of self-harm. People with mental health issues are more likely to have low levels of mental well-being, but this might not be the case all the time. Many factors affect your mental health causing mental health issues. These include biological factors, including genetics or family history, or life experiences, such as trauma or abuse.
Early Signs and Symptoms
Some of the early signs and symptoms are
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Having little or no energy
- Losing interest in people or other usual activities
- Feeling numb or useless
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Excessive smoking, drinking, or other substance abuse
- Feeling irritated, confused, forgetful, angry, or frustrated
- Feeling sad, depressed, or scared
- Mood swings
- Self-harming thoughts
- Inability to perform everyday tasks
Mental Health Treatment
It is crucial to not only protect and promote the mental well-being of every person but to provide appropriate treatment to people with mental health disorders. Anyone can suffer from mental or emotional disturbance. However, no matter how common mental health problems have become these days, seldom do people seek help. Mentioned below are some practices that can help you elevate your mood, have a more positive outlook, and enjoy life more.
5 Steps to Improve Mental Well-being
Here are five evidence-based steps to improve your mental well-being.
- Connect with your loved ones: Spend quality time with others and nurture positive relationships. This could be your friends, family, or anyone else around you.
- Increase physical activity: Be physically active, Go out for a walk, gym, play any type of sport, dance, or find any physical activity that you enjoy doing.
- Learn something new: Learning something new and productive gives a sense of achievement and confidence.
- Be kind to others: Even the tiniest gesture, like a smile counts. Volunteering for a worthwhile cause can also be rewarding and raises a chance to socialize.
- Be mindful of your present: It is easy to get stuck in the thoughts of the past or the future.
Tips to Maintain Mental Health
Mental health has a significant impact on your overall health. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you take care of your mental health. Here are a few mental health tips for promoting positive mental health.
- Exercise regularly.
- Include nutritious, brain-healthy foods in your diet.
- Sleep well for up to 7-8 hours every night.
- Reduce screen time before sleep.
- Try meditation, yoga, or just deep breaths.
- Connect with your loved ones.
- Find out ways to relax (writing, reading, listening to music, etc).
- Start with small things.
- Find Support.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Benefits of Good Mental Health
Whether you’re young or old, the importance of good mental health for the overall well-being of the body cannot be emphasized enough. When your mental health is affected, it can gravely affect your physical self and bring forward negative behaviors that may affect your day-to-day life. Below are some of the benefits of having good mental health.
- Good Coping Capability
Strong emotional and mental states can help overcome life challenges more easily. A stable mental state encourages healthier coping mechanisms for managing relationship disputes, financial difficulties, work stress, or other life hurdles and challenges. Good coping skills help you tolerate and reduce stressful situations, impacting your ability to perform best in any given situation.
- Preventing Chronic Stress
One of the greatest benefits of intentionally improving mental health is chronic stress management. Research shows that chronic stress leads to the deterioration of the hippocampus. Chronic stress causes decreased concentration and memory, confusion, loss of sense of humor, anger, irritability, and fear. Stress is never good for the brain, and improved mental health practices reduce the risk of chronic stress and brain deterioration.
- A positive Self-Image
A healthy mindset fosters a positive self-image. With a more positive outlook, you are more self-aware and easily able to recognize your assets and potential. Positive self-esteem has a close association with mental well-being, happiness, success, and satisfaction. A person with positive mental health often has high self-esteem because they are likely to focus on the good in themselves.
- More Productivity
It has been scientifically proven that good mental health leads to improved productivity. In addition to productivity benefits, mental health also improves a person’s well-being and health. With strong mental health, you are more likely to work more efficiently while prioritizing inner peace.
- Strong Social Connections
Mental Health issues affect multiple aspects of your life, including relationships and social connections. Moreover, a person with good, healthy mental health is more capable of having stronger relationships. It becomes easier to help the individuals you care about when you’re not experiencing emotional hardship yourself.
Mental Health, like physical health, is crucial to your well-being. A fit mind helps to achieve and sustain a good mental state that eventually influences you to live your life to the fullest. Mental health is important because it impacts the way you think, feel, and act. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you take care of your mental health. Being mentally healthy can increase efficiency and effectiveness in tasks like your job or education and help you adjust to changes in your life and deal with hardship.