Ever since the latest news of a Bollywood star’s suicide surfaced on the internet, social media platforms have been flooded with articles and quotes about the importance of good mental health and having a positive mindset. But then the most basic question which arises is, “what exactly do we mean by mental health?”
Is it about being happy and cheerful, going to parties, having money and living a life full of fun? No, it is not. Even a person who seems to be laughing and is happy can be depressed from within. The perfect example of such a person was Charlie Chaplin, a man who loved his work and was loved for what he did, with no evidence of financial problems, yet he went through the phase of terrible mental health. Why is that so?
What do we mean by the word “Mental Health?“
According to mentalhealth.gov, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.”
The working of our mind, emotional cycles, and thoughts has always been a mystery, even to the most knowledgeable scientists who have the ability to build the entire human body in a laboratory. The things that are in control of our mind are our actions, personality and behaviour. Everyone has a tendency to act in a certain way when presented with a particular situation. The reason for the thought process behind those actions is what we call as mental health. For example, when someone is in trouble and one reaches out to help them, some do it out of empathy, others do it because they feel like it’s the right thing to do, and yet another category of people do it to prove to the society they are good human beings.
Here, the action is the same in all the three scenarios. What makes a difference is the reason behind their actions, which also reflects the mindset of that particular person. It isn’t difficult to understand which one of them has a good mental health and which one doesn’t. However, it is pertinent to bear in mind that not having a positive or healthy mindset does not mean that that person is mentally ill or going through depression.
Nonetheless, living in a state of unbalanced mental health for a long duration can result in problems such as anxiety, over-dramatic attitude, insomnia, stress, depression, etc. This depression is what leads to suicidal thoughts. Now that we know all of this, why not start working on ourselves before things get out of hand?
How to invest in yourself for betterment of self?
According to the WHO estimates of 2016, around 8,00,000 people commit suicide every year. Therefore, it is very important to analyze our own situation and work upon it. This is where the term, “Labyrinth” comes into play. It is like a maze of our own thoughts and reasons. In order to solve this maze, one has to walk deeper towards the centre of it and only then can we understand the entire puzzle and find our way out of it. The same applies to mental health as well.
We need to constantly ask ourselves questions sans pretension and try to realize the reason behind every action. We need to make the smaller, most basic changes in our life first and then proceed towards the bigger ones. Some simple steps to do so are:
- By setting a routine for our self:
- Waking up early in the morning and not staying up late at night.
- Having a set time for the most basic activities like bathing, exercise, breakfast, lunch, etc.
- By exercising on a daily basis as, “In a healthy body lives a healthy mind”.
- By setting small goals daily.
- By stepping out of our comfort zone and doing something productive.
- By analyzing every situation that we come across daily and writing down all the positive points so that we can deal with it appropriately. It should be done in a way, so that by the end of this activity we know how that situation will help us to grow mentally.
- Writing a journal (not necessarily on a daily basis, but often) at the end of the day and letting out your thoughts and feelings as it will help us go back to those moments and analyze them later. It will also prevent the building up of emotions inside us and hence, no sudden outbursts.
- Reading is very important and reading good books is even more important. What we read is what we try to apply in our lives. Some such books are:
- The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy
- Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life: Stop Wishing Your Life Were Different and Make it Happen by Arlene Harder
- IKIGAI: The Japanese Secret to long and Happy Life by Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia
- By engaging in different activities. The focus should be on learning and mastering arts as the more we learn, the better we grow.
- By making a list of all those qualities that we think a person should have and are good for humanity and then working towards inculcating them one by one.
- By trying to come to peace with our own thoughts and recognizing the ones that are negative and ease them from your mind.
These are some suggestions that can easily help in providing our mind a healthy environment. It is important to remember that no one can keep their body healthy until and unless they decide to make an effort and start eating in a healthy manner. In the same way, only we can make sure that we have a good mental health. In the end, it is us, who have to will and dare on an individual level and once we do, success is sure to follow. So what are you waiting for? Go and start setting up a healthy environment for your mind.
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