MENTAL HEALTH: Defining Mental Health, the Importance of Mental health, Early Signs of Mental Health Problems, and Ways to Attaining Positive Mental Health

 What is Mental Health?

In my view, mental health may refer to how one feels, thinks, deals with day to day challenges and their reactions to what surrounds them. This can be people, work, things, situations, pets, etc.

According to WHO, mental health may be defined as a state of well being in which an individual realizes their abilities, cope with the normal forms of life stress, be productive and have a positive impact to their communities. It does not mean the absence of a mental disorder. 

Mental health directly impacts our everyday life, physical health relationships, and our ability to attain a balance between life activities.

In this article, we define mental health, the importance of mental health, signs of mental health problems and ways of maintaining positive mental health

People With a Healthy Mind Can:-

  • Feel the sense of gratification
  • Deal with stress like a champ and spring back to adversity
  • Steer and grow their career and business to the desired directions
  • Healthy self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Realizing their full potential thus being able to follow their dreams and potential
  • Keep and build long term healthy relationships;- may it be romantic, or other interpersonal relationships
  • Make critical contributions to at work, family and their communities
  • Have a super balanced work, play, rest while observing physical and mental health
  • Bring a sense of meaning in both their personal lives and what they let others see
  • Laugh, live, love and have fun while on it!

It is, therefore, true to say mental health is inclusive of our psychological, emotional as well as social well being. It directly affects how we make choices, relate with others, and even how we handle stress, hence critical at every stage;- childhood, adolescence to adulthood. Factors contributing to mental health issues include;

  • Past and present life experiences for instance abuse and trauma
  • Biological factors for instance brain chemistry and genes
  • And family history of mental health issues and disorders

Well, sleep is as essential to our mind and body as breathing. It helps us recover from our mental and physical exertions, and closely related to our health.

Though mental health problems are more common as compared to other ailments regarded as ‘common’, most people rarely seek help while others are not aware they have mental disorders. People with mental health do get better and most heal completely if they share their experiences. The problem shared is problem half-solved!

Early Signs of Mental Health Problems

  • Sleeping/eating too much or a lot less than usual
  • Generally low or no energy. Experiencing the feeling of being drained constantly
  • Experiencing unexplained pains or aches
  • The feeling of hopelessness and helpless
  • Drinking, smoking or using drugs more than the usual
  • Experiencing confusion, anger, anxiety, scared, forgetfulness, on edge or just mixed emotions
  • Feeling immune like nothing no longer matters
  • Withdrawal from people and usual activities
  • Inability in performing daily tasks like work, taking care of kids, house chores, etc
  • Having harmful thoughts to yourself and others
  • Experiencing tenacious contemplation you cannot get off your mind
  • Being in frequent fights with family and friends

Ways to Maintain Positive Mental Health;

Getting Enough Sleep. Well, sleep is as essential to our mind and body as breathing. It helps us recover from our mental and physical exertions, and closely related to our health. Though sleep disturbances can be one of the signs of distress, we can always improve our rest time by planning our routines not to consume our sleep, defining our sleep environment and sleeping hours, being on the watch on our lifestyle

Getting Professional Health Advice when you are in a need. You know what they say about the problem shared…? Sharing how you feel to the right person is a courageous step to maintaining positive mental health

Helping Others. This entails a single act of kindness towards helping others; for instance if you have mastered a skill that can be passed to others, maybe online or in the community around you. Sharing is caring.

Connecting with Others. This might not be the best thing for you if you are introverted. Interacting with others on common grounds is a type of therapy for promoting positive mental health.

Getting Physically Active. Physically thrilling activities help in releasing the ‘feel-good’ and adrenaline hormones thus helping you in keeping the positive vibe. These may include and not limited to, physical exercise, athletics, Yoga, hiking, backpacking, creating time for hobbies, indoor activities, etc.

Developing Coping Skills. This is practical if you take time in understanding yourself and what you love doing, for instance, Rosa has always had this resigned mood over since she completed her diploma, she thought finding a job would her cure but nothing changes after she finds a great job. A year later, she enrolls in baking classes since she always wished to bake. Baking has been a coping skill since then. Your coping skill may not be the same as Rosa’s, it is somewhere within, seek for it!

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