The Importance Of Mental Well-Being: How good mental health is important for overall well-being
Many people who lack mental health issues take their well-being for granted. However, millions of people are affected by mental disorders both moderate and serious in nature. Mental disorders can affect anyone, no matter their background, genetics, culture, race or environment. In many cases, mental health services are required to help people get back to a state of good mental health.
What is Good Mental Health?
Being “mentally healthy” does not necessarily mean the absence of illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, bi-polar disorder, etc. Instead, it is characterized by the following:
- The ability to learn
- The ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions
- The ability to form and maintain good relationships with others
- The ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty
All of us will have our struggles from time to time, but good mental health helps us bounce back and stay in control when times get tough. Being in a state of good mental health allows us to maintain healthy relationships as well as our physical well-being. Plus, we make solid life choices that are for the betterment of ourselves and those around us.
How Do We Sustain our Mental Health?
There are many ways to sustain a place of positive mental health. While we still may be subject to forces beyond our control, there are means by which we can help keep up our good mental state.
Healthy Diet: A healthy diet does more than control weight. Studies have shown foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and eggs, can positively affect mood.
Physical Activity: There is a large body of evidence that shows one of the best ways to improve mental and emotional well-being is to exercise. Even simple activities such as taking a walk a few times a week can have a great impact on mental health.
Mental Exercise: Did you know that playing games, solving puzzles and using our minds helps to keep engaged and active? They may even help us avoid some of the breakdowns in mental health. Just like the muscles in our body, our mind needs a variety of exercise as well to stay in shape.
Recognizing Mental Health Issues
It can be difficult for us to recognize when we are suffering from a mental health issue. The stigma around being diagnosed with a mental illness can be a large barrier to seeking help. However, early recognition and treatment can lead to successful management and possible recovery from many types of mental health issues.
In fact, studies have shown that the appropriate use of mental health care can significantly reduce the use of medical services. For example, one study revealed that people who were treated for anxiety disorders reduced the number of medical visits by up to 90%. Left untreated, excessive anxiety issues and stress lead to physical ailments such as ulcers, colitis and heart disease.