June 24, 2020
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As per the Wikipedia, World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization.
Okay, we have a World Mental Health Day. Fantastic. Now what? What are we really doing to build our own mental health? It is common to go for a run to lose weight and build our physical health. Or to go for a regular dental check-up. But there’s never any discussion over building your mental health. That has to change. Your mental health influences how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. It is an integral factor of a “healthy” person.
A lot of people have a misconception about sound mental health. It is FALSE that only those with mental health issues need to work on building their mental health. Good mental health isn’t just the absence of mental health issues. Always remember that a sound mental health is characterized by presence of positive characteristics.
We don’t exercise only when our body falls sick. We do it regularly in order to maintain our body’s health. Same goes with Mental Health! Here’s what you can do to build/maintain your mental health-
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We often underestimate the importance of socializing and making human connections. The connection that two humans feel even in a casual conversation can be a great mental exercise. Your mental and emotional health improves significantly when you are in desirable company. Because humans, by nature, have emotional needs for relationships and positive connections to others. Even in all our shyness and introvertness, we crave companionship.
Secondly, just as body cannot function without healthy mind, the mind can’t function perfectly without a healthy body. An improvement in physical health automatically leads to building if better mental health and emotional well-being. So, be active and exercise regularly.
A lot of you would say that it’s not something you can control. Which is true, in a way. But you can always keep your stress levels in check by dedicated efforts. Managing stress doesn’t mean avoiding stress completely, but it means finding a balance. There are many hacks of finding that balance. For starters, you can TALK. Talking to a familiar face can really help you release some stress. Give yourself a break! Sometimes, you are stressed just because you are getting too involved into something. So take a break and watch a movie or do whatever you like to do in your leisure time. Every mind works differently. Some of us feel better after listening to a song. Others, feel better after a good meal. Find out what works for you and do it when required.
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You cannot build any kind of health without good sleep and good food. Your physical, mental, as well as emotional health depends on these two crucial factors in every human life.
An unhealthy diet can take a toll on your brain. Lack of sleep can severely affect your mental health. Avoid things like Caffeine, Alcohol, Trans Fats, Fried food, sugary items etc. Eat more of stuff like nuts, fruits, leafy vegetables etc. Adopting this diet will really help your mental health. Give your body an ideal sleep of at least 6-7 hours. Start by giving your brain some time to unwind at the end of the day by taking a break from all sorts of screens like cellphones, laptop, TVs etc.
Do all of these and more to build your mental health. I say more, because again, every mind works differently. Find out what’s good for you and take care of your brain.
And of course, do not hesitate from seeking professional help if things don’t go as planned. The moment you feel that your mind isn’t functioning optimally, just go and consult a professional. It’s not a big deal! It’s just as normal as going to a physician for a viral fever.