Mental health is something that a person has, but whether it needs to be healthy is not always easy to define. However, the unfortunate part is that society often ignores the significance of understanding and taking care of mental health.
In order to start the conversation on mental health, we need to be more accepting and understanding of what it means to be mentally healthy.
Let’s look at a few things to remember about mental health. But first, it’s important to understand that mental health and mental illness are not the same thing.
What You Need to Remember About Mental Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), mental illness refers to “conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, or behavior.” These can include but aren’t limited to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
Mental health reflects “our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.” Affecting “how we think, feel, and act.” It has a strong impact on the way we interact with others, handle problems, and make decisions.
Christopher M. Palmer, MD, director of McLean’s Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education, pointed out that mental health and mental illness are similar to the concept of physical health and physical illness.
“It’s not all or nothing,” he said. “The term ‘mental health’ implies the absence of illness or disorder. But there are a lot of ways people can be mentally healthy or ill, just like there are many ways to be physically healthy or unwell.” Both mental health and mental illness are states of being that are on a spectrum.
1. Yes! Mental health conditions are real
Mental health can sometimes be more difficult for people to understand than physical illnesses. Nonetheless, mental illnesses are just as valid and essential.
Mental health conditions include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, some types of schizophrenia, and others. Therefore, people with mental illness need proper diagnosis and treatment, just like people with physical conditions.
Mental health is essential and should not be stigmatized or ignored.
2. Mental disorders may have no physical signs or symptoms
Mental health conditions are very diverse, and each case is unique. Even though people with mental illnesses tend to be more sensitive, withdrawn, anxious, angry, or depressed, hardly any physical signs or symptoms accompany the mental disorder.
However, there are a few physiological factors included in the development of illness-related brain changes during a person’s lifetime. These changes can be physical, like gray matter loss in specific brain areas, or behavioral, like a reduced ability to regulate emotions and behavior.
3. Developing a mental health condition is not a weakness
Mental health is a fundamental part of our lives, and it should not be seen as a personal weakness. It’s essential to recognize that people who struggle with mental health are still capable and influential individuals with insights, ideas, and contributions to make in communities.
We shouldn’t allow stigma to silence people’s voices. Instead, we should create a culture where mental health is valued and understood.
4. Avoid avoiding food
Suffering from a mental condition shouldn’t be an excuse for you to stop taking care of your body. You can still be healthy and happy by following a nutritious diet, including vitamins and supplements.
Mental health supplements are supplements that are scientifically formulated with ingredients that provide physical as well as mental benefits at the same time. You can get your hands on these supplements from a health supplement store or an online vitamin and supplement store.
5. Remember that recovery is about you
Remember that recovery is about you – it’s not about what happened to you or how terrible the situation was. It is an individualized process.
The first step in recovery is accepting that you have a mental health condition. It may seem like an impossible task at first, but just remember that recovery does not happen overnight. It will take time, patience, and healing before anything can change within your life.
6. Surround yourself with supportive people
It can feel challenging to go through mental health issues yourself. But if you surround yourself with supportive people, the process might seem doable.
Find nonjudgmental people in your life who know about your struggles with mental health. The more, the merrier because these friends will be able to provide some brief support. Remember that the more open you are with these friends, the better they will be able to help you out in challenging moments.
7. You are not the only one suffering
No one is free from psychological disorders. Therefore, it is only normal that we feel embarrassed about it and do not want to talk about it. But we must speak of our mental health to gain support from others and seek the help we deserve.
If you believe that you are suffering from a condition, you should get help, even if it means talking about your condition with someone else for the first time. First, consider talking with a doctor or therapist specializing in such situations and make sure that they give you the right advice to heal yourself or get well soon.
8. Learn how to deal with stress
Stress is something that affects everyone, and most people experience it to some extent. But when faced with a difficult or traumatic situation, the magnitude of the stress can be enormous. Therefore, knowing how to cope with stress is essential.
While dealing with mental health issues, we often feel stressed. How can you deal with stress as a person with a mental health condition?
Some helpful tips for dealing with stress are:
- Be proactive in trying to reduce your stress levels.
- Develop coping mechanisms and seek support.
- Avoid managing it yourself and reach out for help from friends or family.
9. Value yourself
While most people and professionals will agree on the importance of self-care, too often, we are quick to judge ourselves and think we are not good enough. However, it is important to value yourself and take time for yourself, your loved ones, and your interests.
Treating yourself with kindness and respect will improve your mental health, relationships, productivity levels, creativity – all of which are necessary for a healthy life. Permitting yourself to have those things without criticism or judgment from others is essential in how you look at yourself.
10. Quiet your mind
When it comes to mental health, people tend to overcrowd their minds with a lot of thoughts and worries. However, the body also needs a break from a demanding schedule and other things that might pull your focus away from the present moment. By being aware that this is happening and using tools like meditation, mindfulness, and prayer, you can learn to control your thoughts.
Practicing meditation can help quiet the mind by allowing yourself to focus on one thing at a time without thinking about anything else. Mindfulness will enable you to pay attention to what’s going on in your body, thoughts, and emotions to understand them better and act accordingly. Prayer is another way of releasing stress and anxiety while maintaining a positive outlook on life.
The bottom line
If you feel you are not coping you must seek professional assistance. You are not alone. More and more individuals are choosing to be open about their own challenges and experiences. It’s important to see the strengths and dignity in all people regardless of their health status and try our best to help alleviate suffering when we can.
Who is the author?
A creative writer, fitness enthusiast, and proficient tarot card reader.
An individual with an engineering degree and a true believer in ‘Eat well, live well,’ Archita Chaplot decided to combine her beliefs with her technical knowledge. This combination of science and philosophy made her realize that food is both science and art, and she decided to become a Certified Nutritionist and Fitness Motivator.
Her health journey and transformation were crazy dramatic, which inspired many, which was also one of the reasons that inspired her to study nutrition. She combines her nutritional knowledge with her love for food to help people make simple changes to create vibrant health and well-being. Her interests include fitness, food, and a healthy lifestyle. She is a creative writer and passionately writes about making food a part of her lifestyle, not a source of stress. When she’s not writing blogs raving about nutrition, you can find her healing people with her positivity.