6 Signs Of Good Mental Health
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Mental health is an integral part of our overall health.In India, WHO estimates the burden of Mental Health problems of 2443 DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years) per 100,000 population and age-adjusted suicide rate per 100,000 population is 21.1. The estimated economic loss due to mental health conditions is estimated to be 1.03 trillion from 2012-2030.
Let’s begin with understanding the following two questions:
- What is mental health?
- When is the person said to be mentally healthy?
- cope up with the normal stresses of life.
- work productively.
- realise their potential.
- contribute to the community.
- HOW ARE YOUR EMOTIONS?
Are you laughing, smiling, content, satisfied with your situation or position?
If not, then how are you handling it or trying to solve it? Do you have a positive outlook to the problem and see the problem as an opportunity? Or do you see the problem as an obstacle?
A positive perception despite all the problems is the key to positive emotions. It is the capacity of a person to embrace conflicting aspects about himself or herself. It is also the capacity of a person to embrace even negative emotions like sorrow, anger, anxiety, fear and causing these emotions to be a part of his or her life without causing chaos. Additionally, it’s the capacity to be happy in one’s own skin and accept the way one is.
2. HOW ARE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS?
Do you see yourself smiling, happy, enjoying the company of those you love- family and friends? Can you see yourself helping, comforting, and offering support to those who need it in your family and friends?
Any relationship whether with family or friends is always a mutually beneficial relationship. It involves ‘mutual respect’.
A person with good mental health will embrace the above and will also accept other people as they are and will NOT try to change them. The person will get along with others, despite various differences between them and would be flexible.
The hallmark of a person with good mental health is- ‘How he or she treats others’. If you treat other people with compassion and kindness, then you are doing ‘emotionally well’.
Lastly, keep in touch with others, catch up with friends and family, make phone calls or chat with them. Always keep communication channels open.
3. DO YOU HAVE GOALS OR A PURPOSE IN LIFE?
People with good mental health have a direction/plan/goal to achieve. They do something every single day, to get a few steps closer to their goal.
Having goals, achieving them, making new goals, keeps one motivated.
When you complete your goals, no matter how big or small they are, there is a reward, which in turn makes you happy, confident, improves your self-esteem, and thus, your mental health improves.
4. DO YOU TAKE TIME TO RELAX
‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, we all know this proverb. But, are we applying it in our lives? Are we able to leave work behind? Can we clear our mind, relax and be mindful? It is important to do some form of meditation, or breathing exercises.
Spend some time alone. Unwind. Learn to let go of things. Spending time and energy in recreational activities or hobbies like, listening to music, lowers stress and boosts mental health.
5. HOW IS YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH?
Is it good? Is it bad? Is it ok?
- Always be active.
- Eat healthy
Eat healthy and nutritious food; consume a well-balanced diet.
- Drink sensibly
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking adequate water. Avoid alcohol, drugs, caffeine, tea, aerated drinks, et cetera.
Junk food, addictive drugs, and alcohol make you feel good for short-term, but in long-term they cause more harm, both physically and mentally.
6. DO YOU PRACTICE GRATITUDE?
In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating everything good in life, whether it is big or small. For example, appreciating the clear weather, being thankful for a good breakfast, et cetera.
Be thankful for not only positive experiences, but also for negative or difficult situations. This helps us introspect as to how the negative situations have helped us recognise our potentials and shortcomings.
Every day, sit down and think through five to ten things you are grateful for. This will rewire your brain to be naturally more grateful, and you’ll start feeling happier and content. Don’t keep this gratitude to yourself. Let other people know that you appreciate them and their help.
Conclusion: This is how good mental health looks like. Do this little ‘extra bit’ and be mentally healthy.
Dr Jankhana Hakani is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Counsellor. She is also a Health Council Member at Healthhunt.