Most people spend their lives without knowing why mental health is important and what role it plays in their lives. It’s as important as taking care of your physical health. We often grow up mocking mental asylum as a place for fools. We casually regard Stress as something avoidable on a daily basis. Have you wondered how important it really is to take care of your mental health to survive? In case you are unsure how much, let’s dive into some facts and truths here.
What Is Mental Health?
Does our brain have a physical capacity that works like our muscles? Moreover, why mental health is important if it doesn’t play any practical role? There you are wrong, buddy. You might have noticed how much stress can do to your happy life and body. In his book ‘How To Stop Worrying And Start Living‘, Dale Carnegie explains how worrying can cause ulcers, migraine, infections, and anxiety disorders. Our brain controls our whole body except involuntary organs (which the brain indirectly controls).
Whenever a simple thought of worry intrudes our minds, we start reacting to ease the tension. We rub our forehead, breathe deeper, clench our stomachs, or cry hard (that follows severe headaches). We unknowingly do things in times of stress and anxiety that create trouble for ourselves. In addition, the reactions we have toward stress are the survival mechanisms we develop over time. It’s just that we have started neglecting the cause and focusing more on the escape from the problem. Is it possible to neglect physical pain for a prolonged period?
Some Common Mental Health Conditions
You might have heard about depression which is widely romanticized in the media. According to the medical sciences, it’s a condition of chronic mental fatigue and has serious negative consequences in real life. If we generally see a person with any mental health condition, we may not recognize it at first. That’s why people should often learn about them. Most of them include extreme conditions that are medically treated or under the supervision of a professional. Most often, a healthy lifestyle and good support help improve these conditions significantly.
Below are some other most common mental health conditions:
- Anxiety Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar Disorder (BPD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
These conditions are never to be self-diagnosed and always should be treated under professional healthcare. They are only stated as examples here.
Factors That Impact Your Mental Health Negatively
While there are ways to improve your lifestyle and make it healthier, there are also negative ones. Just like the role of diet and exercise in our lives, negativity has its own significance. In that case, there is always a factor playing some role that makes us realize why mental health is important. Below, we’re going to discuss some of those factors in brief:
- Past Trauma or Abuse
- Prolonged Stress
- Breakup or Divorce
- Dysfunctional family history
- Medical Conditions
- Self Isolation
How to Improve Your Mental Health and Stability
It’s normal to get mood swings at times and feel stress under circumstances. However, if the same condition persists and starts affecting daily activities, you should not ignore it. It is the same with physical health. If any injury or hurt causes you inability to work effectively, you get it treated. Else it creates consequences that are intolerable.
For the same reason, let’s dig into various ways to improve your mental health and stability.
- Positive Attitude
When we have a negative perspective towards life, everything starts turning blue and dark. We barely feel any motivation to do even the simplest things like brushing our teeth or getting out of bed every morning. Why change your attitude to positive? That’s so because the slightest positive change in your attitude may cleanse your mind and give you a better point of view to look at life. According to Jeff Keller in his book, ‘Attitude Is Everything‘, our minds are like windows. Over time, they keep getting dirty due to the different situations we face. But changing our attitude is like wiping the dirt off those windows and making it clear to see outside.
Similarly, a positive attitude can clean our minds and give us reasons to take better care of ourselves.
- Healthy Diet And Lifestyle
One may ask, “how can food and exercise help me mentally?”. As the connection between diet and exercise, and mental health is not rather clear, let’s shed a little light on it. Our taste buds induce a chain of reactions that lead to chemical secretions in our brains. Furthermore, sweet foods always make our brains receive dopamine. In simple words, it’s a hormone that gives us immediate pleasure. Staying in a sluggish position most of the time always makes us feel comfortable wherever we are. And for the same reason, we don’t move much. But avoiding immediate pleasure is always helpful in the long run.
- Healthy Connections
Our surrounding influence plays a major role in navigating our life decisions. As humans, we have herd tendencies and want to move with the crowd. Conversely, surrounding yourself with very less but good people puts you off for a better life journey. We learn, get encouraged, interact, and develop in a way that our surrounding does. So let’s meet new people and never stop learning. But also make sure that you never become that bad influence in someone else’s life.
- Focus And Determination
It’s not easy to ignore how your life improves with improved focus and determination. We start neglecting minute problems in our life and start looking for solutions for major ones. We can also have stronger emotional health if our emotions are majorly focused on one thing at a time.
- Professional Help
There is nothing better than taking the help of a professional who knows why mental health is important to us in the best way. You do not have to be crazy or depressed before approaching a therapist. In addition, therapists are not majorly shrinks or quacks who bluff about mental health. They are experts and see hundreds of people every month who face similar or worse situations. It is always okay to see a therapist whether or not you’re going through something harsh.
- Talking About It
“Do you want to talk about it?“ is a phrase that can make a conversation thousand times better and maybe save lives. Stress is never biased but some part of society is told to avoid feelings and stay strict. Those people may include housewives, men, soldiers, single parents, etc.
Our senses don’t work the best when we are feeling mixed emotions. Consequentially, this leads to hindrances in daily life.
A new brain imaging study by the University of California, Los Angeles showed how talking about your feelings decreases the intensity of your anger, pain, and sadness.
Why Mental Health Awareness Is So Important?
Mental health is not something trendy or an unknown concept to our medical sciences. We have only been blindsided by societal fear and pressure. Earlier, we didn’t have enough knowledge and did not know why mental health is important to lead a sustained life. However, with the ongoing progress in the medical field, we are starting to stabilize our mental health better.
You may be amazed after knowing how many people still don’t know if there is help available for them. If you know someone who’s going through hard times, proactively tell them about various reasons for poor mental health. It is also crucial to share the information that you learn on this topic. It may save hundreds of lives from social bullying, abuse, discrimination, loneliness, and depression.
To conclude, it’s necessary to understand why mental health is important and what you can do to improvise it. There is no loss in being a helping hand to others. But most importantly to yourself. You need not hide your feelings anymore. Speak up about your emotions and also listen to others as intently as you’d want them to.