Happy Mental Health to you!
Did you chuckle and say to yourself, ‘I’m not a mental case,’ when you read the heading of this post? Chances are that you did. Unfortunately, we colloquially equate ‘mental’ with being mentally ill. However, this is far from the truth. Mental means ‘of the mind’. Therefore, mental health means health of the mind.
Today, 10th October, is celebrated worldwide as Mental Health Day.
Mental Health is much more than the absence of any mental illness. As per the definition of WHO, it is a state of psychological well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.
Mental Ill Health v/s Mental Illness
Mental ill health and mental illness can be viewed on a continuum, wherein mental ill health constitutes general mental health problems, usually temporary in nature, which we can all experience in certain stressful circumstances. Mental illness, on the other hand, involves severe and distressing psychological symptoms to the extent that normal functioning is seriously impaired.
Stress = Mental ill health
Stress is one of the biggest impediments to mental health and wellbeing. And the fact of life is that stress cannot be avoided. So long as we are alive and operating in different areas of life, namely work, home, society, we are bound to encounter stressors. However, we can definitely prepare ourselves to deal with stressful situations without getting bogged down or overwhelmed. And we can choose to face stress and nip it in the bud too…
Dealing with stress:
Here are some quick tips to deal with stress:
- Reduce your stress load – learn to be assertive and say a ‘No’
- Develop a good support system, which includes family and friends
- Break the stress cycle with relaxation
- Get regular, moderate exercise
- Practice deep breathing
- Learn to forgive and forget. The only person getting affected by grudges is you.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s perfectly human to be imperfect. We can always learn from our mistakes and not repeat them.
- Take care of yourself – nourish yourself with good food and gift yourself adequate sleep
- Live one day at a time
- Be optimistic
- Get professional help when needed
If you are finding it difficult to deal with the stress in your life, it is normal. You can engage with a coach and undergo a stress management program. If you would like to schedule a free session with me, I would be glad to help. All you need to do is write to me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wish you the best mental health and wellness!