Mental health is your emotional, psychological and overall wellbeing. It affects how you think, feel and act. It also helps in establishing how you handle stress, relate to other people, and make choices. Your mental health is not in a static state and requires your attention throughout your entire life.
If you have poor mental health at any point in your life, your thinking, mood, and behaviors could be affected. Family history, life experiences and biological factors such as brain chemistry can contribute to mental health issues.
Importance of positive mental health
When you care for your mental health, you’re caring for your overall wellbeing. Positive mental health promotes productivity at work and school, maintains your connections and relationships, and helps you to cope with the stresses of daily life.
There are many ways to maintain positive mental health.
- Connect with others often
- Be physically active regularly
- Volunteer or help others
- Get proper sleep
- Eat nutritious meals
- Talk about your thoughts and feelings
- Create coping skills for stress
Early signs of mental health issues
There are early warning signs to look for whether it’s in your own life or someone you care about. While this isn’t an all-inclusive list, experiencing one or more of the following could indicate a mental health problem:
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Self-isolating from people and normal activities
- Changes in energy levels
- Showing signs of apathy or disinterest
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Any unexplained aches and pains
- Unusual irritability
- Severe mood swings
- Using substances more frequently (alcohol, smoking, drugs)
- Inability to perform daily tasks
Quick note: If you need professional help, don’t be afraid—reach out. Discuss recommended courses of action with your healthcare provider.
Those with poor mental health or a diagnosed mental illness have increased chances of physical health issues such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Your mental and physical health go hand in hand and are integral to your overall wellbeing.