Why Is Mental Health Important?
Mental health is one of the most important elements of an individual's well-being. It determines your ability to function emotionally, psychologically, and socially. However, most people do not prioritize their mental health, with evidence showing that 1 in every 5 Australians struggles with mental health problems. Given the implications of mental health on quality of life, this article highlights the risks and signs of mental health problems. We also consider why keeping your mind healthy is critical for overall wellness.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health relates to people's psychological, social, and emotional wellness. It deals with how people act, feel, and think. Mental health also shapes how different individuals handle stress and communicate in relationships. Your mental health shapes every decision you make in life. A healthy mind is crucial at every stage of life, including childhood through to adulthood.
Although people use mental illness and poor mental health to refer to the same thing, the two phases are quite different. For instance, you could be said to be going through poor mental health without necessarily having a diagnosable mental illness. In the same way, one can be diagnosed with a mental health illness and may still experience episodes of sound mental health.
In this sense, mental illness implies physiological or psychological disturbance of the brain, affecting how one behaves, feels, and thinks. Such an illness makes it challenging to cope with daily life routines. Recent studies have started exploring the complicated factors underlying mental health illnesses, including traumatic experiences, brain structure, genetics, or other medical conditions.
According to recent surveys, mental illness impacts more than 20% of the adult population in Australia. The most common mental health problems are anxiety disorders, affecting 18% of the adult population, and panic disorders, affecting more than 10% of the adult population. You may have someone in your family, class, workplace, or club with a mental illness.
Unfortunately, only a small fraction of people struggling with mental illnesses seek and obtain competent treatment. Most mental illnesses can lead to huge costs, diminished academic performance, career problems, and elevated suicidal ideation if left untreated.
What Is the importance of Mental Health?
The question we need to answer for this article is " why is mental health important for an individual's well-being? According to evidence, a mentally healthy person reports better outcomes in other areas of their well-being.
However, the relationship between physical and mental health is complicated, as evidence shows that physical health problems such as chronic conditions, relate to adverse mental health outcomes. Here are some reasons why taking care of your mental health should be a priority.
One of the most important reasons we should all prioritize our mental health is its role in relationships. According to research, mental illness often affects how people interact with loved ones.
When facing mental health challenges, we tend to be passive-aggressive, irritable, or hostile, making it hard to participate in social engagements. The outcome of such negative attributes often leads to conflict. In other words, maintaining your relationship with your loved ones requires prioritizing your mental wellness.
While the mind and body are often separate entities, evidence shows that mental and physical health are closely intertwined. According to researchers, good mental health positively impacts our physical well-being. In the same respect, adverse mental health can negatively impact your physical well-being.
Mental health affects physical well-being in different ways. For instance, recent studies show that people struggling with psychological distress tend to face a hard time regarding a higher risk of strokes and heart disease. Evidence also shows that depression is connected to a higher risk of several chronic diseases, including asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. Other studies also link schizophrenia to an elevated risk of cardiovascular and respiratory health complications.
Furthermore, mental health illnesses make managing most chronic health conditions hard. This could be why the mortality rate is high among people with chronic illnesses while struggling with mental health problems.
Quality sleep is one of the most important things in any individual's life. On average, an adult needs about eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. According to research, getting restful sleep is critical for optimal productivity and health. However, most people worldwide are not getting the quality sleep they need.
Evidence shows that people struggling with mental health problems tend to also struggle with sleep disorders. You are more likely to have sleep apnea, or insomnia if you have a mental illness. Understand that insomnia makes it hard to start and remain asleep.
According to studies, nearly half of the people struggling with mental health illnesses also have sleeping difficulties. While only a small fraction of people in Australia experience sleep problems, the problem is still profound and demands immediate intervention. Unfortunately, sleep problems can also exacerbate existing mental health illnesses. Mental health complications also make it hard for people to seek professional care when they need it.
Another reason why it makes sense to care for your mental health is that it is related to your emotional wellness. The feelings we have daily depending on our level of physical health. Taking care of your mind will show in your range of emotions.
With a negative mind, you will be prone to negative feelings like irritability and feelings of disturbance. When you take care of your emotional wellness, you will become more productive at work and achieve more during the day. Since researchers link mental health to emotional well-being, maintaining track of your mind will also boost your emotions.
The bottom line is that your mental health affects your physical health, sleeping habits, dietary behaviour, and emotional well-being. A healthy mind allows you to interact with others appropriately in social situations. Your mental health will play an important role in your ability to handle challenging situations and cope with stress. Remember, the status of your mind will determine your level of productivity and ability to form and maintain healthy relationships.
How to Improve Your Mental Health?
You can improve your thinking, productivity, and motivation by making deliberate steps towards improving your mental health. Remember, mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. In any case, more than 50% of people are diagnosed with a mental illness at some stage.
The first important step towards improving mental health is learning to value yourself. Negative self-talk is your worst enemy when taking care of your mind. Treat yourself with love and respect. This means staying away from too much self-criticism. Create time for fun activities and seek support from your social support system.
Also, make sure to take care of your body. This means eating the right meals, avoiding too much caffeine and alcohol, and drinking lots of water. You also need to exercise regularly and get adequate sleep. Build your social support system with good people and find ways to manage stress. Most importantly, set aside time to relax and take care of yourself.
Nothing is quite as important as taking care of your mental health. Understand that seeking support is a sign of strength and will lead to improvements in other areas of your life. If you feel overwhelmed, try to find a counsellor or therapist.
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