We might have come across the advice to “love yourself”. But do we know what it really means?
Of course, it starts with taking care of our health, but it doesn’t just encompass the physical aspects of health. We have to take good care of our mental health as well.
Mental wellness is an important part of healthy living; that is why the World Health Organization (WHO) designated October 10 as World Mental Health Day.
The observance of this day certainly has a goal, namely campaigning for mental health and providing education to the public. So, what does mental well-being cover? According to WHO, mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual is able to:
- Be confident in his abilities
- Cope with pressure and stress encountered on a daily basis
- Work productively
- Contribute actively to his environment or community
What conditions fall into the category of mental health problems? There is a term mental distress; it’s a feeling experienced by a person when faced with a situation that causes discomfort, for example:
- Financial difficulties
- High workload
- Stress from school
- Poor interpersonal relationships, etc.
These situations may trigger feelings such as sadness, disappointment, guilt, pessimism, anger, hatred, etc. These feelings are to be expected, especially when it is triggered by situations that we did not anticipate or are beyond our control.
Mental distress can be an opportunity for individuals to exercise their problem-solving skills. When an individual is able to overcome these uncomfortable conditions and manages to develop himself positively, then the person is likely to experience positive emotional and mental development.
There is also the term mental disorder, which is a condition in which the brain experiences problems that causes an individual to be unable to live well, for example:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Locking oneself in a room and refusing to partake in activities
- Extreme eating disorders
- Avoiding social relationships
- Thoughts of self-harm
This condition is likely to require diagnosis and treatment, carried out by professionals such as psychiatrists and psychologists.
So, what are the things that can we do to maintain good mental health?
1. Incorporate self-care habits into your daily routine
You can practice self-care techniques, which are a series of physical, emotional, or spiritual actions that reflect how we take care of ourselves. Self-care is not selfish, but a way to maintain optimal physical and mental health.
Self-care can help us deal with stress, anxiety, and even anger. Taking part in activities that you enjoy doing on a regular basis, especially with others, can improve our psychological well-being.
2. View each challenge as an opportunity for self-improvement
Realize that problems are there to be solved, not to be avoided (flight response). Also understand that some problems cannot be resolved immediately, and requires resilience and patience.
3. Do not label or self-diagnose
Similar to physical health, mental health is also a basic need that will affect a person’s quality of life. Be confident in yourself, identify the situation and the emotions it triggers. Have a well thought out plan and execute it to the best of your ability.
If you are experiencing prolonged negative emotions, it is recommended that you share your thoughts with a loved one. Sometimes, getting the problem off your chest can help you move on from lingering negative thoughts and emotions.
You only live once so embrace this journey and live life to the fullest. Stay healthy!
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