We all must have read or heard about the term, ‘mental health’. But very few of us know what it means. Mental health refers to our psychological health. It includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes “subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential, among others. The WHO further states that the well-being of an individual is encompassed in the realization of their abilities, coping with normal stresses of life, productive work, and contribution to their community. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing for professional theories all affect how one defines mental health.
We all don’t want any physical injury, disease, or infection right? In the same way, keeping our mind and psychology healthy and happy is essential. However, people don’t understand the importance of mental health. Our minds should be stable, balanced, and happy just like our bodies. An individual’s emotional health can impact their physical health too. Poor mental health can lead to problems such as the ability to make adequate decisions and substance abuse, getting diagnosed with various health issues, etc.
Evidence from the WHO suggests that nearly half of the world’s population is affected by mental illness with an impact on their self-esteem, relationships and ability to function in everyday life. According to Mental Health America, 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime; everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health.
Mental illness is normal like a fever or cold. However, we tend to ignore it. And somehow, we feel going for therapy or psychiatrist means we are mental or crazy. And society will judge us.
Having a healthy mental state helps us live happily, relaxed, and honestly, disease-free. Not many of us would know that our mental issues can lead to other diseases and physical issues of the body. No one can understand this better than the ones who have gone through it and probably still are. We don’t even know we are suffering from a psychological issue and when we do, it might be late. That is because of the lack of awareness levels. In that case, there are some warning signs one needs to take care of. When you feel you are ticking some items on that sign list, it is a red alert for you to consult a professional.
Common Signs of Mental Illness:
- Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks
- Trying to harm one’s life or plan to do so
- Seeing, believing or hearing things which aren’t real
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
- Drastic changes in mood, behaviours, personality or sleeping habits
- Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or difficulty breathing
It is high time we spread awareness about it. Let us unite to fight against mocking- if someone is going through a rough patch and confesses that they are facing troubles, to fight against people who think depression or anxiety or any psychological issue is just a thought or a figment of our imagination and does not exist, to lend a helping hand to those in need, to motivate people to talk and share their feelings, to spread the word that we are there if anyone wants to talk, we are there if they wish to seek help, we are there if they wish to speak up.
Ways to maintain positive mental health
There are some simple hacks to maintain your mental health.
- Just talk– Share your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This is the most effective yet free solution one can adopt. Even if you feel the person won’t understand, just talk. They will get an idea that you are going through something and will be there to be with you. Don’t mistake it as sympathy, consider it their care and love for you. They will do what it takes to set things straight, what they want is you to be happy and fit. Sometimes, pouring our heart before strangers helps a lot. If you feel that is your case, the, do that but just speak up
- Seek professional help if necessary– Facing mental health issues is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it means you are strong enough to take up some burden but now that is affecting you and it is time to let go of it
- Optimism is the key– Don’t hesitate or shy to stay away from people, situations, or environments which make you weak, affect you or spread negativity. Just walk away and move on. Life is too short to have regrets
- Have a work-life balance– Try to balance your work and home. Anything of excess can be bad.
- Stay happy– Always have that curve on your face.
- Avoid over-thinking or taking stress- Stop worrying, live in the present, switch off your mind and let it rest, don’t think about the past or the future.
- Exercise– Have an exercise regime which should include walking, yoga, meditation.
- Have a hobby– It will help keep you engaged in a productive way.
- Have a good sleep– Sleep is responsible for the smooth functioning of our body and brain. Have good sleep to ensure you are healthy.
- Include happy foods in your diet– This will provide cure from your mood swings and cheer you up in your low phases.
- Be aware– Know about mental health. Read, read and read, so that if you or someone around you is suffering, you can quickly take an action
Garima Batra is a professional working as Senior Content Strategist and Writer. She is also an author and her books, Hashtag Story and The Scribbler’s Dais are both available on Amazon. Garima has been a Journalism and Mass Communication student.
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This Content has originally written by Garima Batra and published on May 12, 2020. No Copyright/IPR breach is intended.