Today we are more “health-conscious” than we were 30 years ago. Thanks to the explosion of information on the internet that we have so much material available at the tips of our fingers. 

It is our exposure to all this information that has prompted us to realize the importance of health. 

We are a lot more aware of things like diabetes and cancer now and we are always intending to do something to stay fit and healthy.

Changing diets, working out, regularly quitting smoking and alcohol is all we talk about when we discuss health implying, physical health is the only thing that comes to our minds when one says the word “health”. But health is so much more than that.

The W.H.O defines health as “ the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” 

This means that social well-being and mental health are integral and important parts of one’s overall health. Yet, we all have been seeing time and again how much we neglect the mental well-being part of our lives. It is high time we all acknowledge the fact that the term health encompasses physical health and mental health.

But what is mental health?

Mental health is spelled out by the W.H.O as a state of well-being in which the individual realizes their potential and can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can contribute to their community. It is necessary to note here that mental health is not just the absence of any mental illness.

Mental health is about how we feel concerning ourselves and others. It is, our ability to handle the demands in our life, make and maintain friendships and relationships, learn and develop emotionally and psychologically.

It is all about how we feel and think and behave.

The need to maintain sound mental health arises because it can affect our routine life, our activities, relationships, and also our physical health. Being disturbed mentally can meddle with all our activities and social life and cause trouble for them.

Often, mental health itself is perceived as being a problem. What we need to identify here is that mental health is not a mental illness and both these things are different from each other

We all have mental health like physical health that we should be taking care of.

Turning a blind eye to an unhappy mind for a long period could lead to mental illnesses.

Mental illnesses are recognized as a medically diagnosable disorder that results in significant impairment of an individual’s behavior, cognitive, relational, and affective abilities.

It usually occurs when the state of well-being of the mind and soul is affected. It can prevent one’s ability to cope with the challenges of life and affect one’s productivity.

Unexplained sadness for a prolonged duration, uncontrolled emotions, and lack of interest in life are a few common signs that indicate a potential mental illness.

There could be so many reasons for the incidence of mental illnesses. Here are a few common ones.

They could be usually caused by one or by a combination of these factors. 

Heredity: Many mental illnesses ruin families, suggesting that they might pass on from one generation to the other. However, having people with mental health issues in one’s family does not mean you will have it too, it just means that one is more prone to having those problems. Genes carry information of every cell most of it inherited from the previous generations, but it takes other factors like trauma and stressors from surroundings as well for mental illness to appear in a person.

Biology: Some mental illnesses surface in people because of some imbalance in neurotransmitters. There occur problems in communication between the nerve cells causing issues mentally. Also, sometimes injuries to the brain can cause mental health problems.

Trauma: One of the most common reasons for the incidence of mental health issues is trauma. Certain painful events from childhood or even adulthood like sexual abuse, accident, physical abuse, or loss of parents or near ones at early age cause a lot of disturbance to the functioning of our mind also leading to problems like depression or anxiety.

Environment Stressors: These factors include being a part of dysfunctional families, divorced parents, changing work or schools frequently, peer pressures, and substance abuse. These factors significantly influence our thought processes and conflicts in these matters could lead to the illness of the mind. 

Well, all these are a few common factors that could cause problems but one can certainly practice some healthy activities and habits regularly to promote a happy mind. A few of such practices are listed below.

  • Maintaining good physical health – healthy diets, regular exercise, and sufficient amount of sleep are most essential for a healthy mind.
  • Anger management – venting anger in the right way and sorting out issues immediately can save one from a lot of unnecessary stress.
  • Be aware of your negative emotions as sometimes they can overpower senses and cause a lot of damage.
  • Stimulating senses is a beautiful way to lift our spirits. Drawing some art or listening to your favorite music are some excellent ways to relax from hectic work schedules.
  • Indulge in activities that help you learn new things and challenge yourself. This keeps the brain active and healthy.
  • Practice yoga and mindfulness. Their benefits are innumerable.
  • Maintain supportive relationships. They help a lot in our times of need and also help us get a different perspective on all our life matters.
  • Have fun, learn to relax, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Sometimes we get so engrossed in our daily life activities and work stresses that we forget to enjoy the little thighs of our life. Lay back one in a while and enjoy your toddler’s giggles, take pleasure in the cool breeze of the beach, and chirping birds by a stroll in the park.

After all, we all live only once and we’ve got to make the most of it. Taking care of our mental health becomes inevitable for leading a peaceful life. 

All of us need to understand the basics of mental health and how our mind works to be able to take good care of it. I hope that this article has served that purpose and that you all could take away some useful tips from it.

Do let us know your thoughts on this article in the comments section.
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