Mental health, as soon as you hear this word, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Because if I talk about mine, the only images this word brings to my mind are depression, anxiety, stress, and whatnot. And if I am not wrong then this would be the case with probably most of us, apart from those to whom mental illness only means you must be a lunatic, there is no between for them. I guess there could be no better time than this for talking about this topic. We all have read so many cases of people committing suicide because of depression in the past few months. But the one case which drew everyone’s attention was the demise of a young Bollywood actor which shocked almost all of us. It felt like a personal loss to a mammoth group of people.
There were innumerable posts and stories related to mental health and depression, probably the outcome of outrageous people on social media. But the one important thing that this incident did was draw everyone’s attention to the most indispensable thing, i.e. mental health. Since then, the cases of people committing suicide due to depression has not come down; in fact, it has only increased. We bottle up our issues and problems in the hope that nobody would notice. Hoping that it will improve on its own. But how can it be until and unless you do something to make it better instead of cursing your self and fighting this battle all alone? So, let’s get into the deeper roots of mental health of a person to know and understand it better to act accordingly. Mental health is not something which will pass in one day, and it takes time.
What is mental health?
The cognitive, behavioural and emotional well-being of a person is considered as its mental health. It is how you think, feel or behave. It is not merely the absence of mental disorder but much more than that. Your mental health can have a huge impact on your daily life, relationships and your physical health as well. But this can be vice-versa as well, I mean as your mental health can affect these things, it can also be affected by them. A sound and healthy mind are one where you can perform your daily activities without any disruptions, be productive, and make rational decisions and cope with normal stress. Good mental health is one in which you have a sense of contentment, flexibility to learn new things, make a fulfilling relationship, have a meaning and purpose in your life and most importantly, bounce back from adversity.
There are many forms of mental illness such as as-
OCD [Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder]
PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder]
A mammoth group of people faces more than one mental disorder at some point in time. Conditions such as stress, depression and anxiety can also develop due to underlying physical health problems such as cancer, diabetes and chronic pain. Anxiety is the most common type of mental disorder we all face at some point in our lives.
Many factors affect our mental health, such as social factors, financial and biological factors, and our lifestyle choices. For instance, the chances of having a mental illness are 3.96 times more in women as compared to men.
Concerns for mental health
The concern for mental health increases as there are no fixed or reliable symptoms to identify whether a person has a mental illness or not. Except for the few early signs that may not appear to signs actually, but they could be early signs of it. Such as-
Avoiding close friends and family members,
Not having enough sleep or excessive sleeping,
Showing defiant or strange behaviour most of the time,
Feeling worthless and hopeless
Feeling of loneliness
Having low energy or showing negative emotions
Excessive eating or not eating at all
Not doing things which you used to enjoy earlier.
Anyone can have a mental illness. Having good mental health doesn’t mean that you will never experience bad times and emotional problems. At some point in your life, you will go through these negative feelings, and while this is very normal, it could still be a reason for stress or anxiety in you. But as we can recover from physical illness, we can bounce back from mental illness. Just don’t ignore the emotional messages that tell you that something is wrong. As, if you are mentally and emotionally fit, you will easily recover from adversity and trauma. While many medical experts are there for your aid in case of serious mental issues, there are few steps that you can take to improve your mental health and if not improve it, then at least take care of it. So, here are few from my side, hoping that these will help you-
Talk to someone about your feelings, and they could be anyone with whom you are comfortable. And if are unable to share it then pen it down somewhere.
Do things that make you happy like dancing, singing, painting or anything.
Try meeting new people and make new friends.
Find a new and purpose in your life, and this will help you in keeping yourself busy.
Do yoga and meditation, the ultimate solution for every problem.
Try to stay active, your physical health as a huge impact on your mental health. Regular exercising will help you in improving your mood.
Listen to music, go for a walk and try to enjoy every bit of life.
Take enough sleep, believe me, or not this has a great on our mental and physical health.
Spend some time with people in person, not over social media.
Life is tough, and sometimes this toughness takes a toll on us. But here is the good news you don’t have to feel terrible because you are a warrior. Your vulnerability is not your weakness but your strength and doesn’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Smile and stare back at your anxiety!