Mental Health: How important is it?
Mental health provides an individual with the ability to cope up with stress
The thought, feeling and behavior of an individual is highly dependent on the mental health. Mental health provides an individual with the ability to cope up with stress, in building relationships, overcoming challenges and resume from the hardship and setbacks of life. When you want to take care of your mental health, it implies that you may have to take the help of professional support. Making some changes might help you to take care of your mental health. This blog will definitely help you in case you are trying to deal with a specific problem of your mental health or if you want to feel energetic and positive.
What is the actual meaning of mental health?
The term ‘mental health’ indicates the psychological well-being of an individual. This may include the way that one feels about oneself along with the quality of relationships and the ability to deal with the feelings and difficulties. Good mental health does not necessarily imply the lack of mental health problems. It is much more than just being free from depression, stress and other psychological issues. Mental health actually implies the presence of positive characters.
Mentally healthy people have the following characteristics:
- A sense of contentment and the ability to laugh and have fun.
- Zest for living and the capability of bouncing back from adversities.
- Interest in learning new things and adapting to new changes.
- The ability to balance between work and play.
- The capability of building and maintaining relationships.
When these characteristics are present then you will be able to live to the fullest through strong relationships and productive and meaningful activities. Such characteristics help in facing the challenges and stresses of life in a better way.
The state of being mentally healthy does not imply that you will not go through bad times. Disappointments, emotional problems and change is a part of life. Physically healthy people have the ability to easily cope up with injury and sickness, similarly, mentally healthy people can easily bounce back from stress and trauma. Emotionally and physically resilient people have the ability to cope up with the difficult situation while maintaining a positive outlook. Such people can remain productive and flexible at all times.
How can you boost your mental health?
People are prone to health problems- both emotional and mental. One in five can suffer from mental disorder. Mental health problems are common but sufficient effort is still not made by us to improve the situation. We tend to ignore the emotional messages that might let us know if somethings not right. In such situations, we distract ourselves with the use of drugs, alcohol and self-destructive behaviour. We just hope that either the things will be better with time or this is how it is supposed to be.
However, the good part is that you don’t have to feel bad. There are a number of things that you can do to help in such situations. An effort is required to build our mental health. One has to keep working hard so that good mental health can be maintained and this is simply because there are many things that one needs to do which can have an effect on the emotional well-being.
There is always a need for the company of others in order to feel better. Humans are not meant for isolation and there is always a need for relationship and positive connection to others. Our brains crave for companionship even when it does not have a good experience of another person. Face-to-face time with other people is stress-busting and mood-boosting. Interaction with a good listener is the key. Someone who is available to listen at all times and someone who does not have an agenda showing how you must feel or think. A good listener does not interrupt or judges. Reaching out is not considered a sign of weakness rather if you trust someone to confide in them then it is flattering for them as well.
A link exists between the mind and the body. If you are able to improve your physical health then you can automatically experience improved mental health. Endorphins, a group of hormones, are released through physical activity that lifts up the mood and the energy level. Regular exercise or any sort of physical activity has a direct impact on stress, memory and other mental and emotional problems.
Stress levels in check:
Mental and emotional health is highly affected by stress and therefore it is necessary to keep a check on the level of stress. It is not always possible to avoid all stressors, however, there are a few stress management ways that can help.
Talk: Interacting with someone who cares can calm down the nervous system thereby relieving stress. Face-to-face interaction releases stress-busting hormones thereby making you feel better even when you are unable to alter the situation.
Senses: Listening to music, lighting a scented candle, taking a warm bath or squeezing stress ball are some of the ways to make one feel calm. You just need to discover which method works for you. You can quickly calm yourself after you discover what is best for you in a stressful situation.
Appreciate: Practice gratitude for things about which you are grateful. You can meditate or simply enjoy the sunset and even pay attention to the good things throughout your day.
Leisure time: Do things because you like to do them. Watch a movie, read a good book, take a walk when you feel like, play with your pet or talk to your friend. Making leisure time a priority is necessary for mental health.
Relaxation practice: Yoga, meditation or deep breathing are a few of the relaxation technique that you can adapt to decrease the overall stress.
Your diet has an effect on what you feel. An unhealthy diet can disrupt your sleep, have an adverse effect on the immune system and reduce your energy. You can have more energy and improve your sleep along with your mood just by making some healthy choices in your diet such as you may consume foods that are low in sugar and rich with healthy fats. The response to food varies from person to person based on genetics and other health factors. Add some items and cut out some from your diet and notice for the changes in your mood. You can start by avoiding bad fats and replace them with foods with good fat content.
Cutting back on sleep might not be good for your mental health. Getting enough sleep is a necessity and you must not consider it a luxury. Skipping quality sleep can have an adverse effect on your mood, your ability to handle stress, energy and your mental sharpness. You must aim for at least seven to nine hours of quality sleep. It is, however, also absurd for you to expect to sleep the moment you close your eyes. Switch off your phone, laptop, tablet, computer two hours before bedtime while keeping aside work, arguments and brainstorming for the next day. You must stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule as this will help in setting your body’s internal clock while optimizing the quality of sleep.
Finding meaning and purpose of life:
Finding the meaning and purpose of life is a way by which you can feel needed and feel good about yourself. This will drive you or become the reason for which you will come out of the bed every morning. This is necessary for brain health as it can generate new cells and develop new pathways in the brain. It will also strengthen the immune system, relieve stress, increase motivation and alleviate pain for mental health.
What can give you meaning and purpose?
Engage yourself in work that challenges your creativity and make you feel more productive even if you are not getting paid for it. This may include activities such as writing, playing an instrument, drawing or gardening.
- Care for a pet and this will make you feel needed and loved. Pets are the source of unconditional love. Having a pet can also ensure that you get out of your house for exercising and exposing you to new people and places.
- Relationships can give you a sense of purpose. This might be with your friends or relatives and it will support your health and theirs.
- Start volunteering. Helping others will enrich your life and make you a happy person. There are a number of schools, charitable and non-profit organizations that depend on volunteers.
- Take care of aging parent, handicapped relative or a mentally ill child. Such an act is challenging and at the same time rewarding.
When do you need professional help?
When you have made enough efforts for improving your mental health but still there are problems at home, in your relationships and work, it is the time for seeking professional help. A professional can help us in doing more for ourselves than that we are able to do alone.