The Importance of Mental Health

Mental health is important at every stage of our life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Mental health is the state of an individual who is ‘functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment’. It affects how we think, act and feel. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Over the course of your life, if you are experiencing mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected in many ways. The three main factors that can affect our mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our emotional, psychological and social well being have different variables that contributes to mental health problems,which are biological factors such as genes, or brain chemistry, life experiences, such as trauma or abuse and family history of mental health problems.

When it comes to our mental health, our emotional well-being plays a big part. Our emotional well being consists of being confident, optimistic and able to cope with the ups and downs of life. If an individual keeps having negative emotions this can affect their mental health. Anger, resentment, fear, anxiety, and frustration are emotional states that a lot of people can experience regularly but try to avoid as much as possible.

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These negative emotional states can create extra stress in your body and mind (which is uncomfortable) but also can lead to health issues if the stress becomes chronic or overwhelming. If an individual is emotionally suffering then the physical health can suffer too. For example, research shows that emotional distress creates susceptibility to physical illness like digestive disorders, sleep disturbances, and general lack of energy. It can even increase susceptibility to viral infection, and stress from lack of control in the workplace or from life events which can even create susceptibility to cardiovascular disease. The implications of decreased emotional well-being are related to mental health concerns such as stress, depression,and anxiety. Sadness and anxiety are normal emotions that help alert us to, protect us from, and cause us to act which is absolutely healthy. What is unhealthy is when these feelings become excessive, irrational, ongoing, distressing or interferes with our daily life.

Moreover, individuals who face a high amount of a negative emotion can even turn to smoking, drinking, and the consumption of high fat foods (obesity) to relieve emotional distress. Studies are beginning to credit the widespread public belief that physical disease may be the consequence of emotional distress. However when it comes to your emotional well being, it means you are aware of your emotions and you can deal with them. Being emotionally healthy does not mean you are happy all the time. It means you are aware of your emotions. Some may have periods of negative emotions which may be temporary or fluctuating (up and down), and others may have longer-term or persistent difficulties. Some people may even have emotional health conditions that can be recognized and diagnosed. However, these conditions are usually not temporary feelings if it is consistent but are more long-lasting, more debilitating, and can have an enormous impact on the person’s day-to-day life. They can lead to feelings of isolation and, in severe situations, result in people self-harming or having suicidal thoughts.

Emotional problems often result in serious consequences, from illness to relationship problems to harmful behavior. It doesn’t mean healthy people doesn’t experience negative emotions, healthy people still feel stress, anger, and sadness, it is how it is handled. Counseling, support groups, and medicines are solutions that can help people who have emotional problems or mental illness. If an individual have ongoing emotional problems, it is advisable to talk to their doctor/therapist or seek help from a close person to help them get to the right source of help. He or she can help find the right type of treatment to improve their emotional well-being because their health can be at risk.

The experience of painful emotions (such as disappointment, grief and failure) is a normal part of life, and being able to manage these negative and painful emotions is imperative for long‐term well‐being. Psychological well‐being is, however, compromised when negative emotions are extreme or very long lasting and interferes with a person’s ability to function in his or her daily life. Our psychological well being is big part of our mental health as well. At the most basic level, psychological wellbeing is pretty similar to emotional well being which refers to positive mental states, such as happiness or excitement. However with psychological well being, it is more focused towards your purpose and overall meaning in life. If I say that I’m happy, or very satisfied with my life you can be pretty sure that my psychological wellbeing is pretty high. The concept of functioning effectively (in a psychological sense) involves the development of one’s potential, having some control over one’s life, having a sense of purpose (such as working towards valued goals and ambitions), and experiencing positive relationships. Studies have discovered and revealed that people with higher psychological well-being are more likely to live healthier and longer lives.

They are also more likely to enjoy a better quality of life. Better psychological well-being is also associated with fewer social problems within society. For instance, research has found that people with high psychological well-being are less likely to engage in criminal activity or abuse drugs and alcohol. Many individuals turn to bad behavior because their psychological well being isn’t high. It is important the need to distinguish between the different approaches towards improving psychological well‐being. It is important to treat a disorder when it is present, prevent disorder from occurring and enhance the well‐being. In addition, positive psychological well-being tends to predict higher earnings and more prosocial behavior (such as volunteering). They are happy with their life and want to continue delivering results whether its with family, friends, acquaintances or strangers. Overall, psychological well‐being is associated with flexible and creative thinking, pro‐social behaviour, and good physical health.

When it comes to our social being in mental health, it plays a very significant role in our lives. Social connections, friendships and relationships with others help shape who we are and how we behave. They are also one of the most significant influences on health and wellbeing. Good social support may offer greater protection from chronic disease and illness like cardiovascular disease, depression and anxiety.

People who are socially well enjoy huge hebenfits and might even live longer. A healthy social life can enhance the immune’s system ability to fiht off infectious diseases. According to mhnews.org, “social isolation or having few social contacts has significant health implications on one’s overall health (p.24). Researcg has shown that the health risks of isolation can make the individual more prone to smoking, high blood pressure and obesity. A strong social network is associated with a healthier endocrine system and healthier cardiovascular functioning. As well as having a healthy social life can enhance the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases.

Sometimes it is hard to know if your relationship is healthy or when to let go of relationships, but talking to someone you trust or a health professional is important to your social- well being. There are strategies that can help you social health which is making connections, building healthy relationships and getting active together. Making connection is helpful to work on making meaningful connections with family, friends, partners and others in life. You can also make friends at work and in active groups such as Zumba class or yoga. Building healthy relationships is making connections and nurturing them overtime. Although, building bonds takes work, a social support network has many benefits to one’s mental health. The positive relationships are what helps make the good times better and tougher times easier.By getting active together, this will come after creating a bond. Be getting active together, you are nurturing your relationship by improving both your physical and mental health.

In conclusion, experts say we all have the potential to develop mental health issies, no matter how old we are, whether we are male or female, rich or poor, our background, it doesn’t matter because it can happen to any of us. It is shocking when we hear politicians and celebrities have problems with their mental well-being because they have access to best the healthcare systems and the best doctors. However, mental health problems can happen to anybody. Almost 1 in 5 Americans experiences mental health problems each year (18.5 percent). In the United States, in 2015, an estimated 9.8 million adults (over 18) had a serious mental disorder. That equates to 4.8 percent of all American adults. The three factors that can affect our mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our emotional well-being deals with coping our negative emotions into positive ones. Our psychological well being deals with our purpose and overall meaning in life. Our social well being deals with our daily interactions with others and how it can benefit our life in the long run. The bottom line is to simply take time for your happiness. Allow yourself to enjoy life, fun, and relaxation. Be thankful for what you have, and enjoy it. Life is too short.

References

  1. Mental Health Myths and Facts https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/mental-health-myths-facts
  2. Rodriguez, B. D., Hurley, K., Upham, B., Kilroy, D. S., Dark, N., & Abreu, E. (n.d.). Happiness and Emotional Well-Being. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/understanding/index.aspx.

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The Importance of Mental Health. (2022, Aug 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-importance-of-mental-health/