The 10th of October marks World Mental Health Day. Studies show that overall mental health is deteriorating among all age groups. While this may be due to many factors, the fact is that many people are not receiving the care and support they need.
Mental wellbeing is not the same thing as mental health, although the two can influence each other. Mental wellbeing is about thoughts and feelings and how you cope with the ups and downs of everyday life. mental health
Long periods of low mental wellbeing can lead to developing mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.
So, what does good mental wellbeing look like?
Good mental wellbeing is not the absence of negative thoughts and feelings. We all face difficult and challenging situations that cause us to feel angry, sad, overwhelmed and everything in-between. mental health
Instead, it’s about being able to understand and manage those feelings, so that generally you’re able to:
- Feel confident in yourself
- Build and maintain positive relationships
- Have a sense of purpose
- Live and work productively
- Cope with the normal stresses of day-to-day life
Our mental wellbeing is often affected by big life events that we have little or no control over like illness, losing a job or the death of close ones. In these situations, how we respond will determine the impact on our mental wellbeing.
Do we tend to reach out for support or just withdraw into self-isolation? Do we assume the worst or remain open to new opportunities? Do we lose our self-confidence or try to overcome obstacles? mental health
It’s here that our level of resilience comes into play. Resilience is your ability to cope with change and adversity. By strengthening your resilience, you’re better able to maintain good mental wellbeing through all of life’s ups and downs.
Here are some tips on how to handle stress and build your resilience:
- Take time-out to practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
- Do breathing exercises every day to help prevent panic attacks and relieve them when they are happening.
- Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals and keep energy-boosting snacks on hand.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. mental health
- Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
- Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health.
- Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
- Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it as bad as you think?
- Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Try to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Get involved. Volunteer or get active in your community, this creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
- Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious and look for a pattern. mental health
- Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed and let them know how they can help you, or talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.
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