Mental health is one of the most grossed topics for the sanity of our minds. Intentionally or unintentionally, we often forget to take it seriously. However, the strike of the pandemic gave a major spark to this issue. Moreover, the global distress, tragic deaths as well as lonely lifestyles, etc. made the world understand the reality. Mental health is not only a critical aspect of our lives but also a necessity.
“Now what is mental health? If someone’s mental health is ‘critically low’, is that person mentally ill? How to know if someone is mentally exhausted? Meanwhile what all could be done to reduce the consequences?”. These are the most common questions that swirl through all our minds. Firstly, the misconception that ‘being mentally weak is a disease’ needs to be abolished. Mental health revolves around a person’s psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It is not wrong to feel emotionally overwhelmed or a little anxious. It is however unacceptable to take neglect these draining feelings.
What all forms the cluster of mental health?
Mental health refers to how we feel and how we act, how we react, and most importantly how we perceive! Some of the examples are:
Numerous situations and real-life instances can directly or indirectly erode our mental peace. For instance, a child is in a toxic household and is witnessing a fight. He would often feel sad and lonely. Furthermore, he would be found all by himself. His social circle would probably be minimal. The child would start blaming himself. He would have extremely low self-esteem. Eventually, the lack of self-belief would make him feel abandoned and unlovable.
What else could affect mental health?
- Negligence: A person would start feeling worthless. Eventually, overthinking in these stages makes one lose their purpose for life as they start doubting their own existence.
- Anxiety: Getting little jitters while facing a crowd or performing is normal. However, if something makes you all cold and shivering or too restless; it must be addressed.
- Trauma: We all have our shares of disappointing experiences. On the other hand, these traumas get fixated in our minds. Eventually, we start connecting every aspect of our lives with the past. This gets us even more paranoid.
- Upbringing and social lifestyle: Our behaviors and actions get influenced by a lot of factors. What influences us the most is the surrounding that we live in. A toxic environment would degrade healthy mental growth.
- Addiction: Addiction to drugs, alcohol, and other chemical substances could lead to a huge mental downfall. As a result, a person becomes more demanding, needy, and moody. The higher the intensity gets, the worse gets the mental health.
- Overuse of medication: Many chemical medications have a number of side effects. If overused, it can fatally affect the functioning of the brain. Self-medication increases the risk rate even more.
Is there a way to analyze mental health?
It is important to check in on your loved ones and even yourself. Scientific researchers have given this field a lot of effort. We now have numerous situations and patterns (emotional and behavioral) to predict a person’s mental state. There are certain general symptoms that indicate a downfall in mental health. These include the following:
- Extensive mood swings
- Serious and frequent existential crisis
- Feeling Guilt too often
- Suicidal thoughts
- Impulsive actions and reactions
- Lack of appetite or a sudden increase in appetite
- Easily triggered aggressive behavior
- The feeling of numbness
- Social circle suddenly decreasing too much
How to overcome these barriers?
Mental health highly contributes to having a peaceful and healthy life. Unpredictable tragedies, insecurities, fears, and lack of confidence can disrupt our lives. Similarly, not being able to cope with stress can also have a huge impact on our lives. Following are the ways to lessen the burden of these intense feelings:
A United Effort
- Therapy: Take professional help who expertise in emotional and psychological changes. There is no shame in seeking help when you need it.
- Acceptance: People’s mentality plays a pivotal role while dealing with mental health. They need to understand that the concept of mental health is not an illusion. It affects our lives in multiple ways. In addition to it, we must spread more awareness about the same.
- Medication: There are professionally prescribed medications for various mental disorders. However, it is best to not let them overpower you.
Talk and Listen more!
- Heart-to-heart talk: Have a deep and honest talk with your loved ones. Talk to them about your insecurities and problems. Realizing and accepting your feelings is the first step to finding stability.
- Make use of the internet: Maybe you also have a zero social circle. But hey, there are so many people online waiting to listen and help! It is time to make smart use of science and technology.
Get out of your comfort zone
- Hobby: Most people don’t have a hobby. They say that nothing interests them. But this is what the true challenge is! Venture out to find what you are passionate about. It lets you escape from overthinking as well as numbness.
- Gross motor activities: Gross motor activities include running, dancing, exercising etc. It can help manage stress and increase your energy.
- Self-Love: We all compare our lives with others. It is important to accept the fact that someone is slimmer, richer, more popular than you. However, it is totally okay! You don’t have to be like them. Try to appreciate who you are. Focus and mold yourself.
- Jot it down: Writing a journal. Note down dreams or goals. Furthermore, add what you would like to change about yourself. This would help keep track of your past and present self. This would eventually help to evaluate the needs of your future self.
- Help others: It refers to being more empathetic as well as optimistic. Try to be a good listener. Instead of judging and assuming, try to understand why people do what they do. Gradually, you will find that you are not alone in this battle.
It is Never Too Late to Try!
Life is a rollercoaster ride of good and bad days. Sometimes we all go through some disappointing experiences. It often makes us feel helpless and hopeless. After that, we end up cursing these human emotions. “I wish I did not have any feelings” is what we would say to ourselves. However, there is nothing wrong with feeling intense emotions. Above all, our purpose must be to embrace them in a healthy way. It must not dismantle anyone’s life. If it does end up getting affected, then we must not hesitate from making amends because it’s never too late to try. Consult a mental health professional to seek help and know more.
-Amitha A Nair