Mental wellbeing is something that affects all of us. Whether it’s anxiety, stress, or even depression, having an understanding of mental health and how to look after your own mental wellbeing are essential skills for a happy, healthy life. Mental health awareness helps us understand how our environment, lifestyle choices, and daily activities affect our mental wellbeing and how we can improve or maintain it. In this article, we will explore the need for mental health awareness and why understanding mental wellbeing is so important.
1. Definition of Mental Wellbeing
Mental wellbeing is defined as a state of mental and emotional balance where an individual is able to comprehend their feelings and emotions and respond productively to them. It can describe a range of feelings, from contentment to joy. Building a strong sense of mental wellbeing also involves positive behaviours and attitudes, such as:
- Having strong self-esteem
- Building positive relationships with others
- Finding purpose in life
- Pursuing activities and experiences that bring pleasure
- Developing strength in one’s skills and abilities
These positive behaviours and attitudes help us to feel good about ourselves and our lives. Their presence can also help to prevent or lessen the negative effects of stress and anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Taking the time to build a strong mental wellbeing gives us the foundation we need to approach life’s challenges in a healthy way and move towards a better, more balanced future.
2. Signs of Poor Mental Health
It is important to know the . Unaddressed emotional issues can develop into more serious mental health illnesses if not addressed properly in time.
- Low Moods: If you experience feelings of emptiness, sadness, helplessness or guilt, that interfere with daily life, it is a sign of depression.
- Trouble Sleeping: Insomnia and difficulty staying asleep are two common keys of poor mental health, as they could lead to fatigue and lethargy.
- Eating Habits: Having issues with appetite and eating habits are signs of difficulty within the body and mind, as it could be linked to emotional struggles.
Other signs include lack of focus, making poor decisions, having problems concentrating, excessive worrying, social withdrawal, substance abuse, and cycles of negative/hopeless thinking.
It’s essential to look out for these signs within yourself or those around you and seek out professional help if needed. Mental health organisations and support groups are available to help you address your mental health. Additionally, continuing healthy habits like exercise, mindfulness, meditating, and healthy eating, can help you stay mentally healthy.
3. Causes of Mental Illness
Mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder are unfortunately quite common, and the causes vary from person to person. There are multiple potential contributors to the development of mental illness, such as:
- Family history of mental illness- genetics are thought to play a role in certain types of mental illnesses.
- Traumatic life experiences- Childhood trauma or abuse, a loved one’s death, a major life change, and other such events may increase the risk of developing a mental illness.
- Substance abuse – Some research suggests that using drugs or alcohol may predispose an individual to mental illness.
- Physical illness- Studies have also found a connection to certain physical illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and thyroid disease.
- Hormones- Fluctuations in hormones, especially during puberty or menopause, may increase the risk of mental illness in some women.
It is important to remember that mental health is complex and likely involves a combination of these factors. Seeking professional help from a mental health practitioner can help determine the underlying cause of mental illness and provide guidance on treatment options.
4. Strategies for Mental Wellbeing
Maintaining a good mental wellbeing is essential for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Here are some strategies that can help you achieve and sustain mental wellbeing:
- Reach out to help: Talking to friends, family, or mental health professionals can provide you with support if you’re struggling with your mental wellbeing. It’s important to have people around to talk to.
- Manage stress: Prioritizing tasks, asking for help, and building activities that relax you into your daily routine are all essential for managing stress and ensuring a healthy mental wellbeing.
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity is known to be an effective antidote to stress, depression, and anxiety. Exercise boosts the mood-regulating hormones in your body, like endorphins and serotonin.
- Be mindful of your diet: A balanced and healthy diet is necessary for optimal functioning of both your mind and body. Eating the right foods can help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises, help you de-stress and boost your physical and mental wellbeing.
- Get adequate sleep: Lack of sleep can have a serious negative impact on your mental wellbeing. Make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep.
- Set boundaries: Setting boundaries in relationships and knowing how to say ‘’no’’ can help you maintain your mental wellbeing. Respect your needs and make sure to take time for yourself.
Overall, understanding your mental wellbeing is crucial for optimal functioning and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Consider discovering which strategies can help you boost and sustain your mental wellbeing.
5. How to Recognize the Need for Professional Help
1. Common Signs
Anyone can experience mental health issues, but it can be hard to spot the signs in yourself or a loved one. Some of the most common signs include:
- Dramatic changes in mood or behaviors
- Persistent feelings of hopelessness or sadness
- Drastic changes in sleeping or eating habits
- Inability to cope with simple day-to-day tasks
- Difficulty in communicating or expressing feelings
2. Professional Guidance
If any of these signs persist over time, it could be a sign of a mental health difficulty. People can always benefit from professional help, including seeing a psychologist or counselor to provide support in managing mental health issues. Seeing a professional can provide insight into understanding emotions, develop coping strategies, and support processing difficult situations. Talking to a professional can provide accountability and guidance, and overall helping to maintain good mental health.
3. Building Skills
A professional can also build skills such as problem-solving, communication, and managing emotions. Working with a professional can help to identify unhelpful patterns or thoughts. Reaching out for help is an act of bravery, and it is essential to know that help is available for mental health concerns. If there is a moment of severe distress, it is a sign that professional help is needed to intervene to ensure safety and provide support. The first step in understanding and supporting mental wellbeing is recognizing the need for professional help.
6. Self-care for Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Identify Your Mental and Emotional State
- Calm Your Mind
- Set Boundaries and Ask for Help
- Stay Active
- Nourish Your Body
- Cultivate Positive Relationships
It is essential to understand your own mental state and be aware of the emotions you are experiencing. Keeping a log of your feelings and the events that triggered them can help you remain conscious and in charge of your thoughts and mood.
Meditation and mindfulness can be incredibly beneficial tools to decrease stress, build resilience and foster emotional stability. When your thoughts are intrusive and overwhelming, prioritise taking a few minutes alone to relax and recenter.
Learning to say “no” when you are feeling overwhelmed or managing difficult situations will help to reduce stress. Additionally, asking for help when you need it can help ease the burden of your responsibilities.
Exercise can improve mood, increase energy levels and assist cognitive functioning. Moving your body and connecting with nature will help to elevate your mental health and promote a positive mindset.
Eating wholesome foods that nourish your body will support your mental health and energy levels. When you are feeling mentally strained, eating whole foods can help to restore the nutrients that your body needs.
Building meaningful relationships with friends, family and colleagues can provide support, understanding and stability. Surrounding yourself with people who can be transparent and supportive of your mental wellbeing is key. Mental health awareness is an important part of our overall wellbeing. It’s important to recognize that mental health issues can manifest in different ways, and understanding the signs and symptoms can help us all become better advocates for ourselves and others. By understanding these important topics, we can start to support each other on our journey to better health.