- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
Mental wellness can be summed up by what state your mental health is in. Included in mental health is your psychological, emotional and social states. Your mental wellness should be top priority because it can affect your day-to-day life.
When you start a new job or are at your job for a while, you qualify for company paid “sick leave” or paid time off. It is common to take days off when we come down with a sickness or our children are sick. However, there are no “mental health days” being offered at companies. Our body can be incapable of physically doing things when we are sick and that includes when our mental wellness is needing some attention.
Breaking down what could go into affecting your mental health are a variety of things: genetics, the chemistry in your brain, any trauma that you have experienced and any mental health disorders that run in the family.
It is easy to take care of the physical problems you are facing before you take care of the mental ones. Taking care of your mental wellness should be right beside your physical health. It can be the same as taking some cold medicine when you start coughing or having a cast on because you broke a bone.
People tend to brush off mental wellness because it is not something you can see. Despite that argument, studies have shown that the brain activity and chemicals vary in those that suffer from mental disorders and those that do not.
WHEN YOU NEED TO RECHARGE
Your body will give you hints when it is time to take a mental health day. Depending on the severity of the need to recharge, your body and mind will do different things. Some signs that you could need to take time to recharge are:
- Over eating or not eating enough
- Disassociating yourself from friends
- Missing or cancelling activities
- Experiencing a feeling of emptiness
- Your body aches with no explanation
- Unexplained irritation and lashing out at others
- Arguing with others
- Being unusually forgetful, paranoid, anxious or angry
- Having problems in relationships because of unexpected and severe mood changes
- Partaking in heavy substance abuse
- Not feeling like yourself
- Thoughts cross your mind about hurting someone else or yourself
- Apathetic about life
THE PILLARS OF MENTAL WELLNESS
There are many parts or things that attribute to the status of mental wellness but there are main factors that can alter it.
When your actively counteract your negative thoughts with positive ones, this will help your mental wellness. It is important to speak positively to yourself because it is easy to get caught up on the negative.
Your emotions contribute to your mental wellness significantly. If you allow yourself to be angry or sad the majority of the time, you get stuck in those emotions. Being able to cope and move through the emotions will help keep your mental wellness at its best.
Your body will react even before you know what is going on. Examples of this could include chills, shaking, shortness of breath and anxiousness. Once you can acknowledge it, you may be able to work through this and out of it — or help yourself next time.
Behaviors are the response to the environment and events going on around you. You may not be able to control the events happening but you can control how you react. Some helpful behaviors could include recognising an issue and working through it a little bit at a time, asking for support from a family member or friend or practicing relaxing physical activities.
MAINTAINING MENTAL WELLNESS
Overall good mental wellness has a positive effect on you and those who are around you. It is important to take time to mentally decompress, lose yourself in a hobby, and overall just have a moment. When your mental wellness is good you are more likely to succeed in things you do, be able to healthily manage normal stress and be able to be productive.
Taking the time to maintain a positive mental wellness can include things like reaching out to those around you, remaining positive, having a healthy lifestyle and seeking professional help when needed. There are little things that can be done throughout routines to help recharge as well. Instead of sinking into the sofa with your phone to scroll through social media after work, head outside to take a walk or just soak in the sun. Even though a rough week calls for being a couch potato sometimes, do not let it take up the whole weekend. Take a day to catch up with a friend or family member. It may help them too.
While it is tempting to move all communications online, especially given the current circumstances, social media should not be the only source of socialising that is done. It is easy to pick up the phone and send a text message or Snapchat but it does not replace the bonding and chemical reaction the brain gets when someone is with you.
It might help to fill in some time that you have with picking up a new hobby or learning new things. When you learn new things and put them to use, your self-esteem gets a little boost and it helps make you feel like you have something to do. Time constraints can be tight and money can be tighter but even mundane and free activities can help even the tiniest bit.
Having good and balanced mental wellness means that you are good in the emotional, physical and mental aspects of yourself. It might do some good to take a check of yourself at the end of the day to make sure you are in a good spot. Validate what you seem to be feeling and ask why that emotion might be there.
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Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell