Mental Health Awareness Month
Summer is coming, so it’s time for the sun, sun, and more sun! Alongside the summer-y May, we take part in the Mental Health Awareness month, a time to raise the awareness of what mental health is, how it affects us, and what we can do with our mental health.
As important as physical health may be, mental health is also as important.
Mental health is the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of a person. Our mental health can affect the way we think, feel, and behaves. It also affects our ability to cope with stress, challenges, building relationships, and to recover from setbacks and hardships in life.
Anyone can experience a form of mental/emotional health problem and over a lifetime, most people will. However, despite how common mental health problems are, most of us do not make any effort to improve our situation. Why is this?
It is common for us to ignore the messages we receive from our brain when something is wrong. More commonly, for men (including me), we try toughing it out by distracting ourselves. Others tend to resort to alcohol, drugs, or even behaviours which can be self-destructive. And then there are those who simply give up, telling their selves that it is “just the way we are.”
An individual with a solid mental health does not mean they will never go through a bad time or experience problems, mentally or emotionally. Everyone will go through disappointments, losses, and change because these are normal parts of life which can cause sadness, anxiety, and stress.
Being mentally healthy isn’t just the absence of mental health problems. In fact, being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. Instead of the absence of mental illness, mental health refers to the presence of positive characteristics.
The following list consists of ways that I identified as to how we can cope and stabilise mental health:
- Having a sense of contentment in life
- Striving to live and being able to have fun
- Being able to deal with stress and the ability to recover from an adversity
- Feeling a sense of purpose in their activities and relationships
- A balance between work, social life, rest, etc.
- Building and maintaining fruitful relationships
- High self-esteem and confidence
Everyone is different. The way people cope with their mental health can vary from one another and often it depends on what makes the individual feel better about their mental health.
What’s important is making consistent efforts to improve your mental and emotional health, as well as being aware of what mental health is. Not only can this help us manage our own wellbeing, it may also help us recognise when a friend or relative might be going through something tough. A simple conversation about how they are feeling may help and make them feel that they do not need to go through it alone.
Let’s be aware for our own mental health, so we can also be more aware of others!