“Mental disorders affect one in four people”, says the World Health Organization. It is when we come across such high statistics that we show concern about our own mental health. Sadly, it takes millions of people to get affected by mental illness for us to take care of our own mental health. Whereas, in any circumstance, mental health should be our priority! Wondering about why is it important to look after your mental health? Keep reading to find out!
Virtual feelings of a virtual world. Thanks to technology, we are connected to the whole world. Sitting in our bedrooms, we can enjoy the northern lights taking place in Alaska. We might be far away from our loved ones, we are still connected virtually. But amidst all the advantages, there are always drawbacks. In such virtual world, even our feelings tend to become virtual and surreal. We might have thousands of followers on Instagram and Facebook, but what we lack is emotional connection. We’ve started measuring our relationships with people in terms of number of likes. Even while being around people, we feel loneliness and lack of human contact. These things lead to a skewed self – image and on extreme end, it can also lead to mental health issues. So, in order to not fall into the trap of some online trends which can cause stress and disturbances in our lives, it is very important to be mentally sound and healthy.
More competition, less compassion. Eat. Compete. Sleep. Repeat. That’s how our lives look like today. From finding a taxi to getting promotion, we compete all day, everyday! In such competitive world, what we lack is kindness and compassion. We never run out of people who pass nasty comments and say ugly things. Such negative and hurtful feelings also result in youth unrest. During our low times, we expect someone to resonate with us and be compassionate and kind to us. Sadly, we are not always surrounded by such people. So it is necessary to be mentally healthy in order to have a positive outlook towards everything even during negative times.
A guide to your thoughts. Buddha said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” What we do, what we say and how we behave is purely a byproduct of our thoughts. The type of people we talk to, the shows we watch, the books we read, the social media posts that we like things are like food for our thoughts. But if we have unhealthy ways of living, all such things might also provoke us to think in a negative way. Once we fall into the spiral of negative thoughts, it is very difficult to come out of it. And at this point, mental health comes into play. If you are mentally sound and healthy, you will know exactly where your thoughts are leading you and how to withdraw yourself from negative thoughts. Thus, it is important to be mentally healthy in order to monitor our thoughts.
To accept the constant of life – change.
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. – Carl Rogers
‘Change’ is the only constant of life and when we learn to accept changes and adapt to them, we enrich our life experiences. Changes come in all forms like people, places, professions, lifestyle etc. Major changes have also taken place in our society like nuclear families in place of joint families, changes in marital laws etc. At times, changes are also resisted by everyone but most of the times ‘changes’ turn out to be a blessing in disguise. In today’s fast paced world, if we are unable to accept changes, we might lag behind in whatever we are doing. So it is very important to take care of our mental health in order to accept changes and be at the top of our game.
To have a positive self – image. ‘You remember who you are and the game changes.’ Mind has a tendency to create an image about our own self. This image is often reflected in what we do and what we say. For example, when you fumble on stage while giving a speech, later on either you think ‘I tried to handle myself well’ or you think ‘I am worst at giving speeches’. These things try to make us more harsh on ourselves and at this point, mental health comes to our rescue. A mentally sound person will not allow his failures to develop a negative self – image, never underestimate his capabilities, will never allow his skepticism to limit him and he will always remember his actual worth, will be confident and stay positive even during tough times.
Today we’ve become so engrossed in achieving materialistic success that we don’t have much time for self – introspection. We mostly invest in material things but investing time and energy for our mental health ensures a lifetime return of happiness and peace of mind. Mental health is like a priced possession which we can treasure all our lives!
This article has been contributed by Zainab Gandhi, a class 12th student of Psychology from Gujarat and a trainee with the Psy-Coach program of The Emotional Wellness Initiatives. To know more about the Psy-Coach program, click here!