Mental Health, What Is It and How Does it Affect Us?
We all hear about taking care of your mental health and mental health resiliency. But what is it really, at its core?
MentalHealth.gov describes it like this:
“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. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”
MentalHealth.gov, updated 08/29/2017
Veterans Affairs Canada similarly describes it like this:
“Mental health is a state of psychological well-being characterized by continuing personal growth, a sense of purpose in life, an ability to focus, prioritize and plan effectively, self acceptance and positive relations with others. Our mental health is expressed through how we think, feel and act in response to the challenges of daily life.”
Veterans.gc.ca, updated 04/04/2018
From my experience, these definitions are accurate and in an idealized state, help us to realize our full potential in life. A healthy mental state will allow us to feel fulfilled with the life we chose to live and help us to make positive changes to better ourselves and those around us. Consequently, it gives us the ability to feel belonging and connections with others and our environment.
Unfortunately, this aspect of our health has been something that, for so many years, people have not considered as important as physical health, but they go hand in hand. One effects the other. It is only now, after so much media talk and unfortunate events, that organizations and the public are taking it seriously. Those of us in the midst of “mental health issues”, have understood the seriousness of it all along, though we may not admit it to ourselves or to others. But it’s about time for us.
To learn about PTSD, read the post I’ve written here.