The Complete Guide and Tips for Maintaining Your Mental Health
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. WHO defines mental health as mental well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and can make a contribution to his or her community.
It will affect the way a person thinks, feels, and acts. Mental health also helps you determine how to deal with stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.
Therefore, to improve overall well-being, you can not only focus on physical health, but mental health also has a big role in everyday life. Mental health is your ability to manage your feelings and deal with everyday difficulties.
By making these changes, mental health will certainly be able to affect all aspects of life. By paying attention to and maintaining mental health, you will also experience some positive benefits, such as an improved mood, building resilience, and helping to enjoy life in its entirety every day.
What is mental health?
Mental is all things related to the mind and human character. In other words, mental health is a condition when the human mind and character are in a normal, peaceful, and calm state so that a person can carry out all activities and enjoy his daily life.
To understand more deeply, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mentions that mental health includes the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of humans. These things will help humans to think, feel, act, deal with stress, relate to other people, and make the right decisions.
Conversely, someone with poor mental health conditions will find it difficult to control emotions, and stress, and cannot think, feel, act, and make appropriate decisions. People with poor mental health tend to have bad relationships with those around them or often withdraw from their daily lives.
However, the CDC also emphasizes that poor mental health conditions and mental illness are two different things. A person can experience poor mental health conditions, but not necessarily be diagnosed with a certain type of mental disorder. On the other hand, someone diagnosed with a mental illness can experience periods of good mental, physical, and social well-being.
Why is mental health important?
Mental health is an important component in every level of human life, starting from childhood, adolescence, to adulthood. It is often said that mental health conditions in childhood can affect a person’s mental development into adulthood.
Therefore, you need to have a healthy mentality since childhood. By having a healthy mentality, you can experience various benefits in carrying out your daily life, including:
- Better able to cope with stress levels and pressures of life
- Physically healthy
- Can build good relationships with others
- Can contribute to society
- Able to work productively
- Aware of your own potential
Not only that, mental and physical health are closely related. A person who has mental disorders, especially depression, can increase the risk of various physical problems in the future, such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
On the other hand, chronic physical conditions can increase the risk of mental disorders illness) to someone. Therefore, maintaining mental and physical health is very important to do to prevent various diseases that will certainly interfere with your life later.
What things can affect a person’s mental health condition?
A person’s mental health can change over time. It depends on the many factors that you encounter or experience during your life.
Generally, this mental state change occurs when you are faced with various demands or burdens that exceed your resources and abilities. In this condition, your mental condition can worsen and you will become vulnerable to stress.
Not only that, other things can cause you to be mentally disturbed. The following are some conditions that may affect a person’s mental health, including:
- Biological factors, such as genetics or chemical imbalances in the brain
- Bitter life experiences, such as trauma, violence, or abuse
- Family history of mental disorders
- Lifestyles, such as diet bad habits, lack of physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, or drug use
Although it can turn bad, you can also improve your mental state. This can be done in several ways such as meditation, relaxation techniques, or perhaps undergoing certain therapies and medications, especially if they are related to mental disorders (mental illness).
How do maintain mental health?
As explained in the previous section, maintaining mental health is very important for everyone, including you. By maintaining a mental health condition, you can live and enjoy everyday life and avoid various diseases in the future.
For those of you who find it easy to experience stress or even mental disorders (mental illness), here are some simple ways you can do to improve your mental health.
Your body will release endorphins that will help get rid of stress and improve your mood both before and after exercise. Therefore, exercise is one of the most effective ways to combat stress, anxiety, and depression.
If you are someone who rarely does sports, then you can try some of the following simple methods, such as taking the stairs or walking to a nearby place. To get the optimal benefits of exercising, you can exercise at least 30 minutes every day outdoors because exposure to sunlight in the morning can also help your body produce vitamin D, which will increase the serotonin hormone in your brain.
2. Controlling stress levels
Controlling stress levels is also another way to maintain your mental health. One of the steps you can take is, it is important to recognize what is the source of stress. Events such as the death of a loved one, starting a new job or moving house can certainly make you feel stressed or depressed.
However, most of the stress usually comes from within. How you can interpret something like a conversation, a performance review, or even a glance, determines whether something is a stressor.
Negative self-talk, in which you focus on pessimistic self-criticism and over-analysis, can turn innocent comments into a major source of stress, so understanding where your stress is coming from is critical to helping you take an action or decision.
The goal of managing and controlling your stress level is to provide a “relaxation response” cue. It is a physiological and psychological calming process that the body goes through when you sense that danger, or a stressful event, has passed or is over.
3. Take an enough rest
When the whole job feels like too much, then you can take a break, at least until you can feel a little better. You can try the following simple breathing exercise: close your eyes and take ten deep breaths. For each inhale, count to four while inhaling, hold for a count of four, and exhale for a count of four. This will work well to help you deal with your stress level.
4. Write down what you are grateful for
Speaking of gratitude can be associated with increased well-being, mental health quality, and happiness. One simple way that you can increase your gratitude is to keep a journal and write down various things you are grateful for each day.
In general, reflecting on gratitude is also effective, but you also need to practice journaling regularly for long-term benefits. From now on, find everything you are grateful for and enjoy that feeling in your heart.
5. Focus on one thing at a time
Focusing on one goal can release negative emotions that you have from past experiences that burden you. Start by building awareness even when you’re doing simple things like showering, eating lunch, or walking home. Paying attention to the physical sensations, sounds, smells, or tastes of this experience will help you stay focused. When your thoughts fly away causing you to be overthinking, then you can bring back to what you are currently doing.
After reading this article, you already have an understanding of what mental health is, the importance of maintaining mental health, what things can affect a person’s mental health, to 5 simple tips you can do to maintain mental health. All of these things are not difficult to do, but you just need to apply them gradually and with patience so that you get benefits in the long term.