What is mental health? Why it is important and how to take care of it?

Mental Health! This is a word that we’ve heard a lot from our friends, colleagues, family and, even on social media since we experienced COVID pandemic. So, what is mental health? Different scholars define different definitions when it comes to mental health. Sigmund Freud defined a mentally healthy person as the one who has the ability to love, work and play. According to World Health Organization, mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. You can check these four criteria of mental health which is defined by WHO to yourself. Am I a person with good mental health?

Why should we check about our mental health? The obvious answer is poor mental health can affect our state of mind. However, the tricky part of poor mental health is that it can impact different aspects of our life. Let’s go deep! When you ignore your mental health, the consequences can be pretty big. Poor mental health will bring a physical health decline, emotional distress such as intense anger, frustration, worry, sadness and depressed mood. You might face a decreased performance in your cognitive functions. As for behaviors, you will have a difficult time to share your problems to your close friends, or family. You might have to take an effort to get out of your bed in the morning. These are some signs that are already familiar with us. We can go on talking about many other factors which are brought from the declined mental health.

For now, let’s discuss about the benefits that we will receive when we take care of our mental health.

Getting The Better of me

The first person who will be benefited from taking care of one’s own mental health is you yourself. Your physical health won’t be declined by severe stress if you maintain your mental health to be stable. Having a positive mood will help you possess sparkling days in your life. Everything you think, you say, you act will be controlled with your good judgement, well-informed decisions, clear thoughts and stable emotions. As we said above, you are the first person who will receive these blessed consequences if you decide to check and maintain your mental health.

Better Performance in My Assigned Role

You might be a student or an officer or a freelancer or a housewife. Regardless of your occupation, an individual with great mental health can perform his or her role to the fullest. Mentally healthy people can bring their capacities, abilities and their best performance to the table. On the other hand, people who are struggling with their mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression have to struggle not to decline in performing their daily work performance which is quite a challenge for them.

Better Person for My People

If we feel peace and balance in our mind, we can think for people around us. We can manage to spend time with our loved ones. We will have some space in our heart to listen to their emotions, problems and difficult times they are going through. When we are not overwhelmed with our own problems, we can manage to share our thoughts and emotions to our close ones as well.

Some Tips for Promoting Our Mental Health

Taking Care of Your Body

When we are struggling with certain mental health issues, it is quite difficult to give a proper care for our body. However, please remind yourself. If our body is not well, it will not help you to have a positive mental health too. Have a proper meal. Sleep well. Take a warm shower. Do some exercises and relaxations. You can do everything you can for your better physical health and mental health.

Doing something that makes you happy

What are things that make you feel happiness? Different people can enjoy different things. For example, some people enjoy walking. Gardening brings happiness in certain people life. You only need to figure out what makes you happy and go for it.

Connecting with your people

We are social animals. When we feel stressed, we need support from our loved ones. They can give you advice, make you feel relieved, support you to be confident and, help you to reduce stress. You will realize you are not the only one in this difficult time when you receive support from your environment. It can give you strength to walk forward. You don’t have to walk alone. Your people can make you remember that.

Reducing your stress

Stress is a part of our life. It can’t be eliminated completely. We can only learn how to keep our stress at a manageable level. Lazarus and Folkman stated there are two types of coping strategies to reduce stress. The first one is problem-focused coping which aims to remove the cause of the stressor. The latter is emotion-focused coping which is used when the problem is outside the individual’s control. Sometimes, you will need to use both strategies at the same time to reduce stress.

Contact when you need help!

As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to struggle alone. Reach out to a professional to receive emotional support. We- Citta Sukha- is providing free counselling on every Friday and Saturday.