10 Components of a Good Mental Health
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. We take care of our bodies by exercising, but what about our mental health? How can we keep it healthy? Good mental health is not only the absence of mental illness. It is also about feeling good and functioning without any mental health issues. And there are many ways to improve your state of mind.
Difference Between Mental Health and Mental Illness
Your mental health is the state of your mind, feelings, and emotions. And like our physical health, it is also okay to have good and bad days. Your mental health can affect your physical health positively and negatively. Your life experiences and the type of community you live in can also affect it. Being mentally healthy allows you to think, feel, and act in many ways to help you enjoy life and cope with the challenges that come with it.
Poor mental health can result in unhappiness, overwhelming feelings in stressful situations, and difficulty thinking clearly. Resilience is your inner strength to help you cope with stressful situations. It is helpful and a big part of your mental health.
Being resilient means you can cope effectively with the ups and downs in your life. It gives you the strength to avoid being overwhelmed by these stressful situations. The more you build your resilience, the more confidence you have to get through tough times. It is vital to give your mental health care and attention.
On the other hand, mental illness is not the same as having the ability to function over a long period. It is not the same as feeling sad, stressed or unhappy because you lost a loved one or got fired from your job. It is the feeling of being distressed all the time and the feeling of being unable to control their lives. The most common signs and types of mental illness include:
- Mood disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD
It is challenging to have a mental illness, but it can also be treated. Typically, mental illnesses begin at a young age or during their teenage years. This involves mood, behavior, or thinking changes, but the symptoms may also vary.
Generally, a person with a mental illness experiences significant distress or cannot function over time. Some of the risk factors include:
- Family history of mental illness
- Stressful life events like the death of a loved one, divorce, or financial problems.
- Having a low social, economic, or educational status
- Unresolved abusive or traumatic childhood experiences
- Exposure of the fetus to drugs and alcohol during the early stages of pregnancy.
The Key Components to a Healthy Mental Health
So what does good mental health look like? As we know, mental health is more than just the absence of mental illness but a combination of feeling food and functioning well. It also has the following components:
- You can experience positive emotions like happiness, satisfaction, love, and joy.
- There’s a feeling that your life has meaning and is worthwhile.
- You engage with life.
- There are positive relationships between the people you care for and those who care for you.
- You have a sense of accomplishment.
- There’s a feeling of calmness, and you can manage your emotions.
- You can cope with life’s daily stresses.
- There is a positive feeling about your life and future.
- You feel energetic.
How can you keep your mental health healthy? By identifying your existing support system and using coping strategies that worked in the past. There are also ways that you can improve your mental health so you can cope with tough times. Here’s how you can do that.
- Have realistic expectations. The reality is no person on earth is always happy and cheerful. Setting realistic expectations helps you to be ready for what will happen next.
- Learn ways to relax. Try yoga and meditation to help relax and calm your nerves.
- Avoid overthinking and counteracting negative thinking. If you see that you cannot change a situation, let go. Overthinking will only stress you even more.
- Do the things you enjoy. It could be art, gardening, or checking out your bucket list will give you a sense of accomplishment.
- Help others. Just like pursuing your passion, helping others will also give you a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it’s a happy feeling to know you’ve made someone’s day.
- Find an exercise that you will enjoy. Besides meditation or yoga, you can also walk, swim, or run. Whatever makes you happy will keep your serotonin production going.
- Get enough sleep. Sometimes, we feel depressed or anxious when we are tired and don’t have enough sleep. Try to move your activities earlier so you can have a good night’s rest.
- Eating healthy food also helps your mental health in many ways. When you eat junk most of the time, your body will absorb all the toxins from it. Check the food you take in to keep your mental health positive.
- Learn different strategies to manage your stress. One of the best strategies is breathing exercises which teach you about conscious breathing so you can manage stress. You can also learn from others by consulting experts in this field.
- Maintain a balanced relationship by connecting with others. You can only sometimes be by yourself. While having time alone is essential, you must also meet up with friends and build more positive and meaningful relationships to keep your mental health healthy.