Mental Health has been on the up-swing lately, with more celebrities opening up about their use of therapists, the importance of self-care, and even television commercials reminding you to take care of yourself. But why is mental health so important?
Mental Health includes numerous aspects of our day to day lives - it encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It has everything to do with how we think, feel, and act, and has a big influence on how we relate to those around us, manage stressful situations, and overall make healthy choices.
Mental Health is equally as important as physical health when it comes to looking at the all-encompassing well-being of a human. Keeping our muscles strong and eating healthy can only do so much - but your mental health can also affect your physical health if you do not take care of it. As an example, depression can increase a person's risk for many physical problems - some quite detrimental and long-lasting, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Physical health affects mental health just as equally - the presence of chronic conditions can increase a person's risk for mental illness.
It is important to remember - your mental health changes over time! Just like your allergies in the spring and that unforgiving cough in the fall, mental health ebbs and flows with the rest of the changes that occur in everyday life. External factors can have both a positive and negative affect on your mental health - make sure that when things get stressful, you remember your mental health! When demands are placed on someone and they do not have the resources to meet those demands, say an employee is working too long of hours; has to take care of a sick relative; is experiencing economic hardship (all external factors most of us have experienced at least one of before - if not all three with the recent climate) - all of thee things can have a negative impact on a person's mental well-being, and overall mental health.
So how do we keep our mental health on the forefront so that we can make sure we are at our most capable for our lives? The path to success is not a series of set-in stone rules to follow, but there are many activities that can be good for your mental health. From remembering to eat breakfast, to petting a dog or taking 10 minutes out of your day to sit in the sunshine and breathe, it is important to remember to take a step back for yourself sometimes. The world has trained us to work, work, work! And the grind is important, but you have to remember that without your mental health, you won't be able to work as diligently, overcome challenges as efficiently, or continue your growth as a human in this world.