Mental health encompasses emotional, psychological, and social well-being, influencing cognition, perception, and behavior. It likewise determines how an individual handles stress, interpersonal relationships, and decision-making. Mental health includes subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential, among others.From the perspectives of positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines “mental health”. Some early signs related to mental health difficulties are sleep irritation, lack of energy, lack of appetite and thinking of harming yourself or others.
Importance of Mental Health
An article that was written by Dr. Glen Xiong, states, “Mental health is integral to living a healthy, balanced life.” (Xiong, 2018) Our mental health is such a large part of our lives that if ignored can have severe consequences in my opinion. Sometimes, many of us tend to neglect our mental health to the point where it wrecks havoc. Why? Is it pure laziness? Is it pure forgetfulness for us to take care of ourselves? Sometimes, we may also put others first and then we tend to lose ourselves while we’re looking after others.
What exactly happens if you leave mental illness untreated? Here are some of the consequences according to Joel Young:
1. Worsening Mental Health Issues
2. Unexplained aches and Pains
3. Chronic Physical Health Problems
4. Homelessness and Job Stability issues
5. Victimization and Trauma
Joel Young explains each of these consequences in his article on Psychology Today. One of these consequences that he mentioned is something that I have noticed in my own life when I have neglected my mental health. I have high stress that sometimes I bring on myself and other times it is due to work related stress. In his article, Young states, “When a mental illness becomes to challenging to deal with, sometimes the body bears some of the burden. You might involuntarily tense your muscles, leading to headaches and muscle pain. Or maybe chronic stress will lead to gastrointestinal distress.” (Young, 2015) Every person is different in what they may experience. Something that I started doing in my own life to be proactive in maintaining good mental health is spending some time thinking of positive things that happened during my day and thinking of things that I am thankful for. This helps me to maintain a positive mindset and be more optimistic about life.
What are some proactive things that you can do to be proactive in maintaining your personal mental health? Here are 10 proactive things you can do according to thedailypositive.com:
1. Get enough sleep.
2. Pay attention to your feelings.
3. Spend time in nature.
4. Spend less time in front of electronics.
5. Spend some time alone.
6. Say “no”.
7. Practice deep and calm breathing.
8. Limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
9. Practice forgiving yourself.
10. Listen to your instincts.
If you want to read more on this article the link to the website is: “https://www.thedailypositive.com/10-proactive-mental-health-practices/.”
I thought that all of these points are great ways that you can be proactive in maintaining good mental health. One point that I think I will start practicing is learning to forgive myself, learning to say no. I am my own worst enemy like anyone would for whatever the reason behind it all. Iam the most critical of myself. I always want to be the best at everything I do and never want to fail. I try to now learn that is okay to make mistakes along the way so I have learned that it is okay to fail sometimes. When we fail, we are able to learn from that failure and grow from it.
So my question to you is what is it that you need to learn to do for yourself to look after your mental health? Are you happy to where you have come based on what you been doing for yourself?