In short, this pandemic has tested both our mental and physical limits.
With so many young people dying without any pre-existing disease during the COVID epidemic, the question arises – Is being physically healthy enough ?
While physical fitness is important, medical experts (me included) stress the fact that more than our physical health our mental health is more important in the pandemic. Today in this post we shall discuss about mental health, what it means to have sound mental health, why mental health is important and how to achieve this body-mind balance.
What is Mental health?
To understand why mental health is important , let us first understand what do we mean by the term Mental Health ?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. By well-being we could also mean adjustment. As human beings grow, we struggle through different life experiences and try to find the mental framework that can help us cope with new situations and experiences.
When we experience an emotional and psychological harmony with our environment, family, and society, you could say we are in a good mental state. That means we can cope with the challenges and change in our atmosphere.
Our mental status affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determines how well we can handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Our lives are in constant transition and that is why mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence to old age.
What determines our Mental Health?
Many factors determine our Mental well-being
Genetics and Heredity as precursors of Mental health
Our family passes on the genetic material that determines whether we could suffer from schizophrenia or depression. These are factors beyond our control. Though advances in genetic engineering offer hope in the distant future, that we may be able to split out the genes that code for these diseases.
Life experiences as determinant of Mental Health
We undergo so many ups and downs in life, those experiences shape our thinking and also affect our mental state.
Physical disease affects Mental Health
Disease especially chronic, debilitating, and long-lasting ones like Rheumatoid Arthritis, advanced lung disease , Cancer etc. can also affect our emotional and mental health in life. It affects how freely we can pursue our hobbies and passion, meet and socialize with our friends and family and affects the general outlook in life.
Drugs that affect Mental Health
It is important to consider some drugs and medicines that can negatively impact our mental health.For instance Xanax (alprazolam), is used to treat anxiety, but in rare cases, it may also cause depression, manic symptoms, memory impairment, or difficulty concentrating. Sudden withdrawal may provoke signs of physical dependence and even seizures in patients.
Beta Blockers, commonly prescribed for hypertension and anxiety can cause depression.
Estrogen in Hormonal Replacement Therapy or Birth control pills that are progestin-only can cause mood swings, depressed mood, etc. (Ref- Very Well Mind )
Why is Mental Health important for us?
Mental Health is everything – The Mind governs our body . The Hypothalamus, located in our brain is the master gland of our body. It is responsible for everything from appetite, sleep, neurological functions, it regulates the hormones that control our metabolic functions and sexual function, etc. Stress, anxiety, and depression directly impact the secretion of hormones from the hypothalamus and cause major changes in the way our body functions.
A healthy mind resides in a healthy body but vice -versa holds truer!
4 Key Benefits of Positive mental health
1.Good mental health can help us to achieve our full potential
2.We cope better with the stresses of our life
3.Our productivity increases with more focus and less procrastination
4. A productive and happy person in turn contributes more to their communities
How can one achieve positive mental health?
2.Maintain a positive outlook in life
3.Become more physically active
4.Practice compassion and help others
5.Get enough sleep to recharge those neurons and synapses
Get professional help if you need it, staying in doubt or denial will only make it worse.
” This post is a part of Blogchatter’s initiative #CauseAChatter ”
Learn More About Mental Health
(Image credits -Canva , Pexels )