Understanding Mental Health
What is mental health?
Mental health is about mental wellness rather than an illness. Being mentally healthy is not merely about being free from a mental disorder or disability but also about being cognitively, emotionally, and socially healthy. According to the World Health Organization, positive mental health allows people to realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively, and make meaningful contributions to the community. In contrast, finding it difficult to manage how we think, feel, and act with respect to daily stresses could be a sign of poor mental health.
Early Warning Signs of a Mental Health Problem
When it comes to our emotions, it can be a challenge to know what is normal and what is not. However, experiencing a combination of changes in behavior, thoughts, or feelings as listed below can be early warning signs that you or someone you love might be having a problem in terms of his/her mental well-being.
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
One or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness but may indicate a need for further evaluation. On the other hand, people with suicidal thoughts or intent, or thoughts of harming others, need immediate attention.
Ways to Protect Your Mental Well-Being
Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help maintain positive mental health. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse. Below are some tips for looking after yourself that you might find helpful.
- Talk about your feelings. There’s no better way to let off steam than getting in touch with your loved ones and sharing to them what you feel. Give your family or friends a call or chat them online whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talking things through helps you to release tension and makes everything lighter for you.
- Take care of your physical health. Exercise regularly, eat healthy meals, and get enough sleep. Don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. Being physically healthy is a surefire way to improve mental well-being in the same way that being mentally healthy improves your physical health.
- Stay positive. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Focus on the good things in your life. Forgive yourself for making mistakes and forgive others. Spend time with healthy, positive people.
- Do something you’re good at. Doing things you're good at, such as cooking, painting, or dancing is a good way to enjoy yourself and have a sense of achievement. Doing things that you enjoy is actually good for your emotional well-being.
- Take a break. A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health especially in those moments when it all seems like too much. It could be a five-minute stretch-break away from your computer, brief moment to take deep breaths, or having a quiet time in your room. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you.
- Accept who you are. Acknowledge that you are a complex, imperfect human being who is capable of making mistakes as well as significant accomplishments. Self-acceptance is strongly related to mental health and well-being in people of all ages.
- Get professional help when needed. If you're concerned about your mental health, don't hesitate to seek advice. It’s important to get professional help especially if you are experiencing several symptoms at once and having inability to study, work or relate to others. After all, seeking help is a sign of strength, not a weakness.
We at Trinity really value the importance of mental health as this really affects not just the personal life of an individual but also his/her career, and as a trustworthy partner of our clients, it is also our objective to maintain the wellness of their employees.
•https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-strengthening-our-response •https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-mental-health •https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health