To have a happy and active life, one must have good physical and mental health both. The absence of any sort of physical discomforts or diseases is generally identified as physical health. Likewise, the aspects of our behavior, emotional or affective condition, cognitive functioning also have a significant influence on our daily lives, relationships, and professional or work life. The well-being state of such aspects is called mental health. The absence of any mental disorder is also considered as having good mental health.
This article targets to explain the importance of mental health and how can we maintain or improve it.
First, let’s discuss the importance of mental health
- Our living heavily relies on our behavior and distinct personality, emotions we experience in various phases of life, perception of objects and people, intelligence (both academic and emotional), coping ability to face a stressful situation. And if one of them becomes too heavy on us then our life gets in an unexpected and unpleasing path.
- Degraded mental health can lead to addiction to certain substances, attempting and committing criminal activities or suicide, which further disturbs the family, community, and nation as in whole.
The statistics of WHO (World Health Organization) show that about 450 million people in the world are suffering to achieve the ideal mental health. Among them, mental disorders play a prime role in degrading or disturbed mental health. Since it’s a great number we must be aware and make others aware of its importance.
After being familiar with the importance, we must know how an individual can attain good mental health. Following are the crucial 5 actions one can do for achieving the good or improved mental health.
1.Improving physical health
Yes, improved physical health has a remarkable effect on our mental health. If anyone is suffering through body dysmorphic issues (one considering owning a flawed body and appearance) or eating problems(less eating or binge eating) then they are more prone to have degraded mental health. Talking about chronic illness patients like that of cancer, diabetes, these people observe themselves as a burden to family and may develop other mental disorders. Thus we must take charge of our physical health. Consuming a balanced diet, doing regular exercise, drinking clean water, and maintaining a clean environment would undoubtedly contribute to achieving good physical health and eventually better mental health too.
2.Balanced professional and personal life
When work becomes everything to an individual then his/her family time starts to decrease. To such individual stress level elevates and further immunity-related problems arise leading to some diseases too. This has an impact on the mental health of such individuals as well. Further, it results in the separation of spouses resulting in a very significant impact on the upbringing of the child. It’s the fact the way one spends childhood strongly affects one’s mental health and sanity. Hence, an individual should act as a pivot to maintain both professional and personal lives.
3.Enhancing the coping skills
Coping means to face the situation, which we are in. It has been concluded that people with low coping abilities are at higher risk of degrading mental health. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) have given sights on coping strategy which is either emotion-focused which includes self-soothing actions, a distraction from such situation, emotional awareness, or problem-focused which means to solve the problem and time management. Thus one must enhance the coping skills to be ready for opportunities and for enhancing mental health.
4.Strengthening the self-esteem and optimism
Our idea, notion, and perception about ourselves have a drastic impact on shaping our personality and behaviors. Thus we must ensure our self-worth and convince ourselves that we are being loved, we are worthy of love, our values and actions are appreciated. If any individual fails to do so he/she struggles to have better performance in life. Likewise, certain failure or mistake should not develop concepts like life has come to halt, life has no more to offer or life is lifeless. Killing down the pessimistic thought, working on our problems, and seeing the positive or optimistic side of life surely brings the essence to live and let live. Having high self-worth and optimism vision keeps mental health strengthened.
5.Reaching out to the professional help
If the efforts of family or friends are not showing any signs of improvement in the disturbing mental health then one must see the professional ones namely the psychologist or the psychiatrist. These professionals help us by the Psychotherapy which includes Cognitive-behavioral Therapy(using realistic self-talk and developing constructive behaviors), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy ( changing negative thoughts and bring positive behaviors), Interpersonal therapy(addresses the problems in relationships and interpersonal communication), and others. But if the condition becomes very severe or there needs a strong treatment for problems like anxiety, eating, or sleeping problems then medication is also provided. Thus, one must get in contact with the professional to attain better and improved mental health.
In a nutshell, mental health is as vital as physical health. To have a well-balanced life, a healthy lifestyle should be maintained. But if an individual has started to face difficulty in doing so the help from the psychologist or the psychiatrist should be referred or contacted. As well-aware citizens, we can and must treat them equally and kill the stigma, which says mental health patients are threats or incurable. Let’s change ourselves and others to have prosperous mental health and happy life.