Mental health is the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive wellness of a person. It comprises questions like how a person is behaving, feeling, and thinking. Generally, the meaning of the term mental health is when a person doesn’t have any mental disorder. Today, we’ll discuss what is mental health, early warning signs, factors impacting it, and how to improve mental health.
Mental health plays a significant role in our lives, and it could impact our physical health, relationships, and daily routine. Many factors disrupt our MH like physical, relationships and interpersonal connections, and the lives of other people.
Life is all about maintaining a balance between your activities, responsibilities, and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Anxiety, depression, and stress also disturb your life routine and impact your MH.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is more than just without disabilities or mental disorders. It means you not only have to avoid MH conditions but also look after yourself in order to achieve happiness and well-being. Therefore, it’s significant to restore MH individually and in various societies and communities across the globe. According to the definition of mental health by WHO (World Health Organization);
“Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his/her own abilities, can cope with stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
According to a study by the National Alliance of the US on mental illness, approximately every 1 in 5 US persons face MH issues every year. According to another study by NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), roundabout 11.2 million people in the USA faced psychological conditions in 2017.
Some of the main elements that suggest your mental health are as follows;
- Making a significant contribution to society and community
- Doing productive work
- Effectively dealing with stressful circumstances
- Recognizing your full potential
Factors Impacting Mental Health
MH could impact anyone regardless of one’s age, gender, ethnicity, or income level. Mental disorder is one of the main causes of disability in the USA. However, many factors shape our MH like lifestyle choices, biological factors, social, and economic factors.
Sometimes, more than one condition and factor cause MH disorder. Therefore, it’s significant to find a balance in life for the sake of MH, because various factors in life could disrupt the balance and cause MH disorder. Some of the main factors impacting mental health are as follows;
If you belong to a mistreated ethnic group and have limited financial sources of income, then it amplifies the chances of MH disorder. Research in 2015 studied the conditions of 903 Iranian families, and it discovered that socio-economic factors like living in the slums of big cities and poverty are the main causes of MH conditions.
The study also explained the improvement in the MH conditions of a certain group by modifying the socioeconomic factors over time. Other factors that you can’t modify are permanent in nature. Some of the main modifiable factors relevant to MH are as follows;
- Quality of Housing
- Education level
- Social Interaction with others
- Availability of employment opportunities in the local area
Some of the main factors that you can’t modify are as follows;
Studies have put gender in both modifiable and non-modifiable categories. Researchers have also found that MH conditions are approximately 3.96 times lower among females. However, MH conditions are also higher among poor people.
Researchers at the NIMH say that a family genetic history and gene variants could increase the possibility of MH condition. Many other elements are involved in the development of MH disorder.
For instance, a person has genes of MH disorder like schizophrenia and depression, and then it is not definite that MH condition would develop in him/her. However, some people are facing MH issues without having a history of genetic MH conditions.
Traumatic life experiences like abusive relationships, violent attacks like rape, murder, or any other experience would cause MH disorders.
Warning Signs of Mental Health Issues
After discussing what is MH and the factors impacting mental, now the question is that how you know that your MH is in jeopardy. Some of the main warning signs of MH in terms of behavior and feelings are as follows;
- Difficult to finish your daily chores like job, school, or taking care of yourself
- Planning to harm yourself or other people
- Listening to voices in your head and believing in things that aren’t real
- Consistency of thoughts, ideas, and past experiences in your head that you can’t get it out
- Serve mood changes that are badly impacting your relationships
- Fighting, raising voices and yelling at your friends and family members
- Feelings of being fearful, scared, worried, upset, angry, on edge, forgetful, and confused
- Using drugs, drinking, and smoking more than usual
- Feelings of being hopeless and helplessness
- Unusual pain and ache in your body
- Numb feelings and don’t care about anything
- Either lower or no energy at all
- Getting away from people and social activities
- Sleeping and eating either too much or too little
How to Improve & Maintain your Mental Health
You can improve and maintain your mental health by following steps;
- Working on your coping and stress management skill
- Having sufficient sleep in your routine life
- Helping out other people
- Doing exercises and remaining physically active
- Having a positive mindset and attitude
- Connecting with other people
- Reach out to any professional if you need help
Conclusion: What is Mental Health?
After an in-depth study of what is mental health, the factors impacting MH, and the ways to improve it, we’ve realized that mental health is very important regardless of your profession. If you’re feeling the minor abovementioned symptoms, then follow and practice the suggestions. If things are aggravating, then you should consult with a mental health professional.
Ahsan is an accomplished researcher and has a deep insight in worldly life affairs. He goes Live 3 days a week on various social media platforms. Other than research writing, he’s a very interesting person.