What is mental health?
Mental health is an absence of mental illness or a level of psychological well-being. It includes the ability of an individual to enjoy life and create a balance between life and effort to achieve psychological resilience.
In this article, we will reveal the fact about mental health, the importance of mental health, factors affecting mental health, the branches of mental health problems, an early sign of mental health problems, and how to improve mental health.
Facts About Mental Health
Our psychological health affects how we think, feel, and act. In order words, our thinking, mood, behavior. Mental health is significant at every stage of our existence, from childhood, adolescence through adulthood.
An excellent mental health function at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment; this simply means that how to handle stress and make choices is so dependent on our mental health.
There’s definitely no way we can talk about mental health and not talk about mental illness. Mental illness is a deviation from sound mental health. This psychological condition is also known as a mental disorder, and it is absolutely the opposite of mental health.
The World Health Organization, WHO emphasized mental health that “mental health is more than just the absence of disorder to disabilities.” High mental health is not only avoiding existing conditions but also looking after ongoing wellness and happiness. The problem of mental health is no respecter of age, sex, income, or ethnicity.
The Importance of Mental Health
A healthy psychological state of the body is very vital because it will help you to:
- Discover your full potential
- Be physically fit and healthy
- Make and have a good relationship
- Cope with the stresses of life
- Make an excellent contribution to the community
- Work effectively and productively
Factors Affecting Mental Health
The primary factor that contributes to mental illness in individuals, and we shall discuss it one after the other, includes biological factors and lifestyle choices. Other times the family history of mental health problems can also play a massive part in the mental health factor.
Some biological and genetic factors affect specific people more than others. For instance, older adults are biologically exposed and susceptible to much poorer health than adolescents. This is due to the effects of aging.
There are many determinants of mental health biologically, and these include age, sex, and inherited conditions. Several biological factors for mental health disorders include:
- Chemical and chromosomal abnormalities: this is also triggered by environmental factors. Likewise, mental health is caused by a chemical imbalance or dysfunction in the neural pathways that facilitate these chemicals to disperse in the brain, like in the case of anorexia nervosa (a malfunction in the serotonin pathways in the brain is known to be a contributing factor to the development of anorexia nervosa).
- Genetic predisposition: there are specific genes that meant to trigger mental health disorders. DISC1 GENE is one of the genes, and it is associated with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that makes someone incapable of thinking or behaving normally, and often, such a person experiences delusion.
- Medical illness.
- Poor sleep: sleep heals the brain by making all the tissues and organs in the brain rest and makes use of any supplement needed to preserve its quality. But if the mind and body are denied rest, it drains the brain, and mental health is also the brain’s health.
Life Choices and Experiences
A healthy lifestyle can be favorable for an individual’s mental health. Thus, recognizing and living a lifestyle that promotes psychological well-being reduces the chances of mental health disorders.
Living a healthy lifestyle could simply mean getting yourself involved in physical activities that enhance mental health. These activities could be regularly exercising, eating healthy food, refraining from smoking, limiting oneself from alcohol consumption, and managing stress.
In a review of many research and studies, physical activities were identified as active and protective factors against the risk of developing depression. In some cases, patients with chronic medical conditions exercise training intervention to reduced symptoms of anxiety.
Family History of Mental Health Problems
If someone in a family has a mental health problem, others should be worried about developing the problem. Most people with psychological issues may not have relatives with such sickness, and with many research and studies, it has not been suggested that mental illness can run in families.
Here are Five Ways Family History Affects Mental Health
The trait transferred from parent to offspring consistently from generation to generation alter mental health.
Growing up in a home with mental problems exposes an individual to stress. Moving with the stressful situation from family members throughout the lifetime could damage a healthy mental state.
The increase in the chances of developing depression or anxiety when subjected to growing up in stressful home life is unavoidable.
This is a new field of genetics that reveals that our habits and emotions can profoundly alter our biology and cause changes in the trait/gene that are transferred to the next generations.
For instance, if the parent was dieting poorly, exposed to environmental toxins, or didn’t get healthy prenatal nutrition, it changes their genes and also that of their offsprings. There is an excellent chance of the individual likely to express mental health problems.
If the family member self-medicate with toxic substances or by engaging in a bad habit, such behavior is likely to be adopted. These attributes constitute mental health problems in children- childhood trauma, which reset the brain’s activity to a higher than average level.
Lack of Love
In a family without love among themselves, the members of the family experience trauma and emotional breakdown.
It makes it hard to love and live a healthy lifestyle in the family, which puts your brain and mental well-being at perilous risk.
Branches of Mental Health Problem
There are three branches, and they identify the forms of the mental health problem we undergo individually.
This is characterized by a severe change in a mood that causes disruption to life activities. Mood disorder has three stages: depressive, maniac, and bipolar stages. Symptoms are depression, thought of suicide, sadness, etc.
This feeling of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities. They are hard to control, are way too elaborated than the actual danger, and can last longer. Symptoms are Restlessness, fatigue, tense muscle, interrupted sleep, phobias, etc.
Schizophrenia alters the way you think, feel, and act. It usually starts between ages 16 and 30. Symptoms are a hallucination, delusion confused thought, disorganized speech, trouble concentrating, movement disorder, lack of pleasure, etc.
Early Signs of Mental Health Problems
There is no specific sign to explicitly say this is a mental illness, but I recommend that you look out for these signs:
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and colleagues
- Avoiding activities, you usually enjoy
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Eating too much or too little
- Feeling hopeless most of the times
- Having consistently low energy
- Using mood-altering substances including alcohol and mixture frequently
- Displaying negative emotions
- Being confused
- Being unable to complete a daily task such as finishing up a domestic job like cooking a meal
- Having persistent thought or memories that reappears regularly
- Hearing voices
- Experiencing delusion
How to Improve Mental Health
Maintaining Your Physical Health
Since your physical and mental health has a connection, it is advisable to exercise regularly. Exercise reduces feelings of depression and stress, it will also improve your mood. Getting enough sleep reduces anxiety. Eating a healthy meal with good nutrition will help to get the needed amount of nutrients recommended for your body.
Connecting with Others
It is indispensable to keep a good and healthy relationship with others, and having support from people protects against harm and stress. Besides connecting with family and friends alone, you can also get involved with your community or neighborhood.
This is a mind and body practice to learn how to focus your attention and awareness on positive vibes. Meditation keeps you filled with positive emotion and leaves you with a sound mind. Meditations usually involve
- A tranquil place with as little distractions as possible
- A comfortable posture. (lying down, sitting, walking, etc.)
- A focus of attention, such as on an object, breathing, set of words
- An open attitude.
Having positive emotions- balancing between positive and negative emotions. Taking a break to avoid negative information.
Mental health should be sought after and maintain, your health is your wealth. Look out for people around you and keep a healthy community.