Mental health is the way we think and feel, and our ability to deal with the ups and downs of life. It’s something we all have. When we enjoy good mental health, we have a sense of purpose and direction, the energy to accomplish things, and the ability to deal with the challenges that happen in our lives.
When we think about our physical health, there’s a place for keeping ourselves fit, and a place for getting appropriate help as early as possible so we can get better. Mental health is just the same–necessary for keeping our minds fit and seeking help when we need it.
If you enjoy good mental health, you can:
– make the most of your potential
– cope with what life throws at you
– play a full part in your relationships, your workplace, and your community
Because mental health is such an important part of ourselves, our friends, our family members, and our coworkers, here are five things that everyone should know about mental health:
1. Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can fluctuate as circumstances change and as people move through different stages in their lives Some stages might include distress, which is a word used to describe times when a person isn’t coping – for whatever reason. It could be something at home, the pressure of work, or the start of a mental health problem like depression. When we experience a period of distress, we need a compassionate, human response. The earlier we are able to recognize when something isn’t quite right, the earlier we can get support.
2. Everyone will experience a dip in mental health. We all have times when we feel sad, stressed, or scared. Most of the time those feelings pass, but sometimes they can develop into more. When it becomes more, we call that anxiety or depression, which can have a huge impact on our daily lives. For some people, mental health issues become something that requires treatment for the rest of your life. Lifetime treatment doesn’t mean you are a bad person or that you are weak. It only means that you are sick and in need of treatment. Mental health is part of the human experience and most people know someone who has a mental health issue. It happens to all kinds of people from all walks of life. With the right support and treatment, mental illness doesn’t have to be a barrier to a fulfilling life.
3. Lots of things can influence mental health. While it is important to remember that mental health issues can happen to anyone, we also know that factors like poverty, past trauma and discrimination make it more likely that a person can develop mental health issues. While there’s no way to avoid sorrow, adversity, or distress in life, there are ways to help regain a sense of control. Resilience is the ability to cope with the loss, change, and trauma that have been inevitable parts of life even before these extraordinary times. Building resilience can help you better adapt to life-changing events, cope with turbulent times, and bounce back from hardship and tragedy. Drawing on past experiences can help you cope with the challenges you’re facing today. Even if you’ve struggled to cope with adversity in the past, you may at least be able to recognize some of the ways of coping that DON’T help, such as using alcohol or drugs.
4. Mental Health Cannot be Ignored. It’s tempting to believe that the best way to get through hard times is by ignoring painful emotions and “putting on a brave face.” But unpleasant emotions exist whether you choose to acknowledge them or not. Trying to prevent your emotions from surfacing will only fuel your stress, delay acceptance of your new situation, and prevent you from moving on.
5. There is Help for Mental Health By reaching out to others, verbalizing your feelings, and allowing yourself to feel your emotions, you’ll find that even the most intense, upsetting feelings will pass, the trauma of these tough times will start to fade, and you’ll be able to find a path forward. Talk to someone you trust about what you’re experiencing. If you don’t know where to turn, start with this resource guide.
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Published November 9th, 2021