What is mental health?
As it indicates “health”, it is a huge part of your well-being, but also the most important component when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. This aspect of life includes thoughts, behavior and emotional structure. To put it in simple words, it is about how people think, feel and act.
The condition of one’s mind and emotions determines how he/she deals with daily living, relationships and other parts of life. Psychological state is very crucial when it comes to having a sense of joy and peace.
Mental health acts as a base for individual’s overall well-being and effective operating of the community.
Why is mental health important?
Mental health is needed for one’s well being and also for the society. It is important at every stage, from childhood to adulthood so that one lives a peaceful and happy life no matter what the external causes are.
Mental illnesses would affect individual’s cope with normal stress, daily activities and productivity. The person wouldn’t be able to give his absolute attention or focus on what really matters.
Mental disorders, especially depression, increases the risk of chronic ailments like heart disease, diabetes and other physical conditions. Similarly, the presence of chronic diseases can also increase the risk for mental illness. Poor mental health can also decrease the functioning of an immune system.
If left untreated, it can bring extreme emotional and physical health problems. It can also cause one to come under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.
Physical and mental health are closely linked to each other. So, the body and mind must be well connected if one wants to live a disease-free life.
Types of Mental disorders
There are various types of mental illnesses and their cause might not be one but several factors that contribute to the following types:
1) Anxiety disorder: This is characterized by extreme feelings of worry, anxiety and fear which cause hindrance in daily activities. Some might also have social phobias, panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder.
2) Depression/mood disorders: This is one the most common and the most grieving as well. It includes feelings of huge loss, sadness or anger. It can happen at any age and if it persists, it could interfere with a person’s everyday life.
3) Eating disorder: It is a condition that causes abnormal eating habits (obsession or restriction of food), affecting a person’s overall health.
4) Personality disorder: A psychological condition which involves abnormal thinking and behavioral patterns and often lead to difficulties in interpersonal relationships.
5) Bipolar disorder: This illness is associated with episodic mood swings which affect their sleep patterns, energy and behavior. They go through two different periods, one in which they feel happy, joyful and energized, and the other period of feeling sad, depressed, angry or hopeless.
How to improve mental health?
Below are a few tips to maintain good mental well-being for a healthy lifestyle:
1) Eat healthy: Implementing balanced diet on a daily basis is not only important for the body, but also for the mind. Consuming right amounts of foods which are rich in carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and fruits help to provide us with sense of calmness, alertness and a positive mindset.
2) Get more sunlight: It is a natural source of vitamin D. Being under the sun is great for the brain which helps to release endorphines and serotonin, improving our mood. Spend atleast 30-60 mins everyday in the sunlight.
3) Be active: Keep yourself dynamic as long as possible during the day. Physical activities help to eliminate low moods, stress and fatigue. You don’t need to go play a sport for long durations, a short walk or some small activity might do the trick.
4) Quality sleep: Sleeping for long hours doesn’t necessarily mean good sleep. Some are restless or feel tired and lazy even after 10-12 hours of sleep. Make sure that you’re going to bed on time (early as possible) and to have dinner 2-3 hours prior to sleep.
5) Socialize and connect with people: Talk to your friends and open up whenever you get the chance. Maintain good relationships with others so that they can support you when you are going through tough times.
6) Positive affirmations: Perception of self has a powerful effect on how you feel and act. Practice using words that promote self healing and personal power. This can be done in the morning after you wake up and before going to bed.
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