Mental health is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or emotional wellbeing or an absence of mental illness. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, procure a balance between life activities, and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.
Mental health can be seen as a continuum wherein an individual’s mental health may have many different possible values. Mental wellness is generally viewed as a positive attribute, such that a person can reach enhanced levels of mental health, even if they do not have any diagnosable mental health condition.
This definition of mental health highlights emotional well being, the capacity to live a full and creative life and the flexibility to deal with life’s inevitable challenges. Many therapeutic systems and self-help books offer methods and philosophies espousing strategies and techniques vaunted as effective for further improving the mental wellness of otherwise healthy people. Positive psychology is increasingly prominent in mental health.
Mental health can also be defined as an absence of a major mental health condition.
Here are some tips on how to preserve your mental health.
Try to stay open-minded and positive
Negative, rigid and inflexible attitudes decrease your ability to deal with the stresses of life and prevent you from enjoying yourself. Being positive all the time prevents you from having a break-down, and you will be able to deal with problems more easily.
Get enough sleep
Be sure to get an adequate amount of sleep every night. Fatigue can interfere with the information you have already stored and your ability to learn new things.
Stress – free solutions
To combat stress, go outside for a brisk walk instead of smoking a cigarette. Reach for your running shoes instead of the TV remote or the chocolate bar. Regular physical activity, at least 30 minutes a day for most days of the week, help you to better manage your stress. We all have stressors in our lives but learning how to deal with them when they threaten to overwhelm us will maintain our mental health.
Need a boost in the mornings? Time your coffeemaker so that the aroma of coffee coincides with your alarm. Sing in the shower. Use lotions with stimulating scents such as mint. Plan at least one fun thing to do each day. Eat breakfast. Listen to a radio station that makes you laugh – laughter is one of the best energizers around!
Build your confidence
Try to identify your abilities and weaknesses together, accept them, build on them and do the best with what you have. Learn also to be at peace with yourself. Get to know who you are, what makes you really happy, and learn to balance what you can and cannot change about yourself. This will preserve your mental health for sure.
Many of us have difficulty accepting kindness from others but we all need to remember the positive strokes when times gets tough.
Make Time for Family and Friends
These relationships need to be nurtured; if taken for granted they will not be there to share life’s joys and sorrows and you may even end up alone.
Give and Accept Support
Friends and family relationships thrive when they are “put to the test”. It is as easy as that…if you show the others that you are there for them when they need it, they will surely be there when you need them.
Create a Meaningful Budget
Financial problems cause stress. Over-spending on our “wants” instead of our “needs” is often the culprit. Try to spend your money in a reasonable way, without showing off, as you may find yourself broke and that will affect your mental health in a very negative way.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to serious and irreversible physiological and psychological problems. Get your intake from foods of animal origin like meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.
Exercise your brain
We all have little lapses in memory like leaving the keys in the door, forgetting someone’s name or missing an appointment, but rarely do we think that we are getting old or senile. Most times it’s due to too much going on in that brain of yours. You have too much on your mind or you’re stressed out. Maybe you didn’t concentrate enough on what it was you were supposed to remember. Research shows that brainpower can increase with mental activities in older people. Aging does not mean automatically losing mental capacity.
No matter what your age, exercising your brain may make the difference between using it and losing it. Or if you are young and have older family members or friends who seem to be losing memory, encouraging brain activity can help.
Activities such as doing crossword puzzles, playing word games or cards strengthens the synapses between brain cells in memory transmission areas. Physical exercise can increase mental abilities 20% to 30 %, according to recent studies. Journal writing and working with your hands to build or create can help as well.
For older adults who sense memory loss occurring, use mental helps such as calendars, calculators, list making, and group discussions. And relax. Worrying about what you’re going to forget can cause a mental block.
Mind and Body
The body and mind are interconnected and emotions play a big part in determining one’s health status. Stress and its negative effect on the immune system remains the major challenge to good health. The immune system with its holistic nature is significantly affected by its close associations with psychology, neurology, endocrinology, nutrition and the environment. Recent studies show 70-80% of all physician visits are stress related; 80% health problems are stress related; 100 million people “out” everyday due to stress; and 40% employee turnover due to stress. Chronic stress depletes the body’s resources and ability to adapt. Over a long period coping functions are compromised and illness results.
A comprehensive approach to maintaining good health includes increasing self-responsibility for wellness, healthy lifestyle choices, health-promoting diet and a positive mental attitude. The concept of “Don’t Worry. Be Happy,” is not new. By the end of the 1970’s several studies had shown that negative emotions suppress immune function
When we love, the stress in our bodies is reversed within seconds, the electromagnetic energy generated by the heart changes from a state of chaos into an ordered, harmonic pattern of waves.
Many systems in our bodies that were operating independently of each other begin to function together in a state of order and harmony called entrainment.
The ANS that runs the unconscious functions of the body changes from a state of conflict and imbalance into an ordered, efficient, balanced state.