MENTAL HEALTH, PERSPECTIVEL

Why it's important to care for your mental health

July 15, 2021

Introduction

We cannot deny that the intellectual differences place humans ahead of any other creature on this planet. Even among humans, there are differences at an intellectual level. The boundaries between any two individuals and their lifestyles become broader and broader as time passes. I believe that ‘time’ carries a strong impact on everyone’s life by its very nature of uncertainty and also on how people utilize it for their habits, skills development, and planned practices. 

The planet Earth must have great answers on the human transformation from the stone age to today’s tech age. We, as humans, have made a tremendous progression in various aspects of life with time. But, where are we standing today in terms of ‘mental health’? 

In this article, we shall explore how important it is to take care of mental health by understanding the different mental states, identifying the mental issues at the right time, and the habits we can develop for a healthy lifestyle and positive mind. 

Definition of Mental Health

According to the World Health Organization, Mental Health is a “state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her abilities, 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.”

Understanding Mental States

A healthy mental state is one in which a person appears to be happy, regardless of how the circumstances around him are. The other way around it can be harmful to the same no matter how financially or physically fit they are.

Mental health is one of the most overlooked yet critically important health issues in today’s world. In this current pandemic situation, health organizations have brought to light the fact that people are suffering from mental illness more than they are from the pandemic.

Let’s look at it through the lens of a short story

A man lives in a small village along with his family. His house is made of mud, bushes, and stones just like any other village house. It rained so hard one day that his house began dripping from the roof.

In the middle of the night, he managed to gather some bushes splattered with all mud and a rope from nearby surroundings. He climbed on the house to repair it. He had no idea that there was a poisonous snake lurking in the bushes. He tied the snake with the rope while repairing the roof, and the snake bit him.

The rain continued for two more days, and the roof was temporarily fine. Nothing happened to the man after the snake bit him.

After a few days, when he got a chance to get raw materials to fix the roof, he climbed up again and this time, he sees a dead snake tied in the bushes. All of a sudden, he recalled the incident and it struck him that he felt some pain that day. Immediately, his body released the poison in the blood, and he died on the spot.

Though it is just a story, it conveys a clear message on the importance of mind-body connection and how mental reflexes play a crucial role in our lives.

A healthy person doesn’t necessarily mean physically fit; mental wellness is also very important. At times, physical issues like cold, headache, body aches, etc, are caused by a lack of self-awareness and self-care. These are after-effects of improper food timings, under-consumption of drinking water, overthinking, improper postures, and so on. By not understanding our limits, and by not allowing our minds to relax enough, we turn these into major diseases.

Mental Health at Workplaces

Many minds are working together, each with a different point of view but all aiming for the same goal. This causes a lot of thoughts and perceptions to collide. After much deliberation, we reach an agreement that pleases everyone and is the best fit for the target.

We must recognize that these are not issues with one another; it is natural for everyone to have differences. Do we not occasionally find ourselves helpless in the face of two opposing thoughts? 

When we are unable to make a decision, we seek the advice of someone more experienced or in a better mental state. Intellect differences aren’t the issue; it’s the consequences of those differences, and how we interpret them (our perception), that’s the issue. 

We are socially, emotionally, physically, geographically, biologically, politically, culturally, financially, and mentally diverse. We should be astounded by the adaptability of humans.

Examine our own State of Mind

The issue arises when ‘these differences create grounds in our minds, which are succinctly referred to as a ‘state of mind.’ Synonyms include attitude, viewpoint, outlook, and approach. 

The state of mind is not bad all the time; it is simply the various states in which our minds are active. It can change depending on who we are looking at or what we are observing, or it can change over time with the same person.

Why does a person’s mental state define illness or why does it even cause a problem? Mental states can help us manage, plan, execute, and learn in both our personal and professional lives.

The work-life balance is the perfect example of a state of mind, how we behave with our colleagues may totally be different from how we deal with our friends and relatives.

But the state of mind also brings stress, anxiety, frustration, depression (it’s major but sometimes misunderstood with ‘Generalized Anxiety Disorder’), hiding in the unnatural happiness, anger, expectations, and many more.  

How to Identify

It is easy to identify it at the initial level. For example: when someone is repeatedly doing the same mistake, expressing fear for the future, thinking about the past all the time, shaking legs or fidgeting things in hands, shouting with anger, silence while we ought to speak, and many more. Also, one thing we should be very clear is that any mentally unstable person cannot be a problem until they start harming others physically. I mean only in the critical cases where we see that situations are out of control. Otherwise, we should behave normally. Any observation cannot be the cause of bigger problems every time, it’s very uncertain and that’s why it is called a state of mind and not madness.

The word ‘Mental Health’ should be taken positively. One’s state of mind can be good or bad for another person, it can be more or less, long term or short term, effective or ineffective. It defines the very basic line of human rights, bringing all humans to the same scale and also the study of differences between human minds are just natural phenomena if it is maintained properly and accept everyone as they are.

How to be mentally strong in difficult situations

Why It's Important to Care for Your Mental Health

In this pandemic situation, most people who have never experienced sitting in one place for an extended period of time, lockdowns, or quarantines have made their lives extremely stressful by overthinking and stressing about various situations. This lockdown was appropriate for me because my mental state provides me solitude, self-reliance, and positive perceptions. However, this may not be the case for everyone.

We should manage our emotions, cognitions, and perceptions with more awareness.  

The nature of the mind is to work restlessly, always active all the time, and a huge number of thoughts. One can imagine an ocean as consciousness and the waves as thoughts. These bunch of thoughts are nothing but the mind itself. 

We need to learn to convert our negative thoughts to positive, focus on the present moment, utilize the power of the mind by working on things, making lifestyles effective & easeful, increase the efficiency of resources, make ourselves in sync with nature, make our better future, etc. 

To make ourselves strong, just utilize a small practice, which can be one of your choices. Also, making sure that both the body and the mind are working together to balance both. 

Choose one or a few tasks to perform daily in a disciplined manner. It can be physical exercise like jogging, running, yoga, gym, indoor/outdoor games, house cleaning, repairing, or recycling something creatively. 

Also, what you can do is focusing on the breath, observing nature, sitting quietly for a period of time, reading books, watching inspirational videos/movies, study something deep into work-related topics, painting, talking with the loved ones, play with your pets, plant trees and taking care of them, sitting with the grandparents, feed hungry people, help the poor, etc. 

How to plan it

The most basic method is to set small, specific milestones for your goals. The strategic plan is always effective. Work on your laziness to train your mind, such as when we make a new year’s resolution to start exercising but fail after a few days. To avoid boredom, you should begin right away.

Let me keep it simple: we will need to work hard at first, and it is better to force ourselves to step outside of our comfort zone. You will undoubtedly enjoy your work once you begin it.  

Consider farming: it requires a lot of inputs to develop a stage for the first time, as well as protection from something harmful. We must always set boundaries and provide support until it is self-dependent. 

We must do the same for ourselves. Use the 21/90 formula; it will have a significant impact. For 21 days, make a habit, stating once more that it requires more willpower to work on it in a disciplined manner.  

However, after 21 days of perfect practice, one will become habitual of the same, and within 90 days, it is said, it will become a lifestyle.  

Why It's Important to Care for Your Mental Health

It is acceptable to live with your mental state as long as it does not bother other people or nature. 

Mental health does not aim to make us more intelligent, to assess our skills and intellect, or to determine how great our minds are; rather, it is simply an acceptance of who we are right now. 

We try to become something else which we should not. Just be generous, spread love and happiness, live peacefully.

Final Thoughts

What causes you to be anxious, fearful, concerned, or unhappy? and how would you handle these? 

What small actions give you courage, happiness, peace, or balance, and how would you sustain them for a longer period of time? 

Make a list and think about it, and you’ll figure it out on your own.

The best way to heal people suffering from mental illnesses is to talk to them. Simply listening to them, without judging them, and allowing their bucket to empty while sharing it with you is enough to help and support them. 

This reduces negative thoughts and may solve the majority of their problems.