Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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Practical ways to improve your mental wellness

What is the focus of wellbeing?

Well-being is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as —

 “The state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.” 

Wellbeing is a much broader concept than moment-to-moment happiness. Well-being focuses on assets in functioning, including positive emotions and psychological resources as key components. 

 

What is the focus of mental health?

According to the World Health Organisation, mental wellness is defined as —

“A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. 

It affects how we think, feel, and act. 

It helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. 

Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood, adolescence and right through adulthood.

 

What is the correlation between mental wellness and wellbeing?

Wellbeing and mental illness are correlated with depression and anxiety, which are associated with low levels of wellbeing, or mental disorder caused by —

  • Personal Factors such as childhood experiences, lifestyle, self-esteem and  health issues.
  • Physical factors such as the condition of one’s home or the quality of their neighborhood. 
  • Social environment factors such as the quality of relationships with family, friends and the community.

 

World Mental Health Day is celebrated in October every year, here is a personal account of Actress Deepika Padukone, and how she used her mental health situation to help community by coming out in the open, freeing oneself of stigmas attached to mental health, seeking professional help to cope with mental health and lending her voice to encourage people to treat mental health like any other illness. It can be coped with, lived with and even cured when you seek help.

“On 15th February 2014, I vividly remember waking up with a hollow feeling in my stomach. I felt empty and directionless. I had become irritable and would cry endlessly. For someone who loves to multitask, making decisions suddenly felt like a burden. Waking up every morning had become a struggle. I was exhausted and often thought of giving up.

“My mother who recognised that something was amiss insisted I seek professional help, and I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

“The love and support of my family, counselor, and psychiatrist encouraged me through those dark days.

“Through my journey to recovery, as I began to understand the stigma and lack of awareness associated with mental illness, I felt a deep need to save at least one life. It was this very need that motivated me to go public with my illness and set up The Live Love Laugh Foundation.

“Mental illness has presented us all with a very tough challenge. Now more than ever before, we need to prioritize the needs of every individual including those affected by mental illness.

“My love-hate relationship with the illness has taught me so much. To be patient for one, that you are not alone, but most importantly, that there is Hope.”

Deepika Padukone’s LiveLoveLaugh aims to give hope to every person experiencing stress, anxiety and depression.The Foundation combines knowledge and domain expertise to create awareness about mental health, reduce stigmas associated with mental illness, and provide credible mental health resources.

So in the current state of affairs around the globe, the rise, fall and uncertainty of the pandemic, life has left us more stressed than ever before (or may be not) 

Being a confidant to many, I used my lockdown time to empower myself with a diploma in personal counseling and I am now able to understand more effectively why some people behave in certain ways and some find that same behaviour totally foreign.

Yes it is time to be selfish about your mental health and wellbeing.

 

What are you practising?

What can you add to your list of practice?

 “We get better at the things we practice most. We need to create a brain that’s an optimist. It turns out being an optimist adds years to your life. Mindfulness helps us tilt more towards being positive, and happier:”

– Joe Burton, CEO of Whil

 

  • Look for positives; train yourself to do that, its difficult in the beginning, so do keep at it and don’t give up.
  • Take care of yourself with self-healing activities such as, meditation, massages to relax, soothing music whatever you find peace and calm doing, don’t wait to be stressed, instead make time for it every single day, I say even multiple times a day.
  • Exercise daily, it produces happy hormones ‘Endorphins’ it takes twenty minutes for the burn to kick in, when you are feeling low, or maybe even lazy, push yourself to start and within minutes you will find yourself pumping adrenalin and the happy hormone will release itself.
  • Eat by choosing healthy options, foods that heal, with a few cheat days and sleep well, it is imperative to shut out the world and leave your body, both physical and mental to rest, it rejuvenates the mind and body.
  • Develop relationships with family and friends who can be your confidant, and spare time to help you cope on ‘bad days’ . I cannot stress more on how important this is. ‘Man was not made to be an island,’ people need people, friendship is all about chemistry, find the right mix for you.
  • Professional help should not be put off, in fact the sooner you seek it the quicker you will grab a hold of yourself and will cope with life better. 
  • Vacation with nature, nothing more uplifting, nothing that transports you with such ease to another world. It heals the soul. 

 

Mental wellness has become a major buzzword in the health community and people world over. It is now understood to be as important as both physical and medical health. 

Positive mental health helps people live happier, healthier and longer lives. 

 “No matter what comes our way, believe that tomorrow will be a better day and that this too will pass.”

Practice mental wellness daily.

Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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