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Benefits of Mental Wellness - An Overview

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Mental wellness refers to having good mental health and encompasses more than just the absence of mental illness. Read below to get more details.

Written by

Dr. Karthika Rp

Medically reviewed by

Aqsa Sharif

Published At May 15, 2023
Reviewed AtJuly 14, 2023

Introduction

Mental health possesses emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It influences how a person thinks, senses, acts, makes choices and connects to others. Mental health is more than the lack of a mental illness. Being emotionally stable, having social support, and having the ability to manage life's challenges effectively are all signs of mental wellness. It is important to note that mental and physical health are interconnected. It is vital to our overall health and quality of life. Self-care can play a role in maintaining our mental health and aid in supporting the treatment and recovery of people with mental illnesses.

What Is Mental Health?

It is a word we use daily, so it might amaze people that the term mental health is often misunderstood. Mental health is often used as an alternative for mental health conditions – such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, etc. According to the world health organization (WHO), however, mental health is "a state of well-being in which every person realizes his or her potential, can manage with the normal stresses of life, can work constructively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to her or his community."

What Are the Benefits of Mental Wellness?

The benefits of being physically and mentally healthy are mentioned below,

  • Serve community.

  • Work productively.

  • Caring family.

  • Identifying the full potential and working on improvements to lead a successful life.

We can achieve these with a positive mindset. To make our thoughts positive, we need to,

  • Stay active physically.

  • Interact with our friends and family.

  • Help others.

  • Be mindful.

  • Eat healthily.

  • Sleep adequately.

  • Develop coping skills.

Can Physical Exercise Help Improve Mental Illness?

The advantages attributed to physical activities on mental health are innumerable. Even though there are a lot of benefits, physical exercises can serve only as additional support for improving mental health. Exercise can enhance or create a good mood in a person. But, if they suffer from severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other depressive disorders, they should not be dependent on exercise regimens.

People affected by these disorders have trouble performing the exercises in a determined manner. If they are doing exercises irregularly or inefficiently, the actual benefits of those exercises will not be achieved. In such cases, a person needs help from a psychologist or psychiatrist to improve their mental health. Several therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy, and other psychotherapies are known to provide improving results when they are done along with regulated exercise methods.

Just half an hour of walking day-to-day can promote people's moods and enhance our health. Small amounts of activity add up, so be reassured if someone can not do 30 minutes at once. Regular exercising keeps us physically fit and reduces the ill effects of aging. It also helps to keep our mental health good and prevent mental illnesses like depression. Some other health benefits of regular exercise are mentioned below,

  1. Regular exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, which boosts our mood and improves our sense of well-being.

  2. Exercising regularly helps us sleep better.

  3. It also reduces the risk of developing cancer due to being overweight and having a sedentary lifestyle.

  4. Exercise reduces the risk of degenerative bone diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

  5. Regular exercising increases body immunity.

  6. Reduces type 2 diabetes risk.

  7. Reduces LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and increases HDL levels (high-density lipoprotein) in the body. It also maintains blood pressure, strengthens the heart muscles, and prevents the risk of developing coronary artery disease.

  8. Regular exercising helps us maintain a healthy weight and increases muscle strength.

  9. It also increases energy levels as muscles get more oxygen and nutrients.

What Are the Various Ways to Improve Mental Health?

It is natural to feel stressed, anxious, and depressed. But when this feeling persists and dominates, it affects mental well-being.

Thus various ways help eliminate anxiety and depression and thus improve mood.

  • Limit the use of the internet and social media.

  • Stay hydrated and follow a nutritious diet.

  • Maintain a proper sleep-wake schedule.

  • Focus on physical activity, meditation, a good walk, and spending time with nature.

  • Limit Alcohol Intake and Smoking - People have adopted it as a habit- whenever they feel stressed, they smoke. That is not the right choice as it does not solve the problem and may cause serious health issues.

  • Enroll in social activities and communicate with people - social activities and gatherings keep one occupied, their mind peaceful, and distracted.

  • Surround yourself with good company, and spend time with family and friends.

  • Self-pampering and spending time on things you love like reading, singing, music, dancing, exploring comedy shows, or anything of one’s choice. Laughter benefits both mental and physical health.

  • Understand the cause of the problem and deal with it.

  • Maintain a healthy work-life balance.

  • Medication and Psychotherapies - Medications such as antidepressants are a drug of choice to treat depression. One should start those only after consulting a doctor. As we know, mindfulness is one feature we gain through meditation. This mindfulness helps in a conscious way of enjoying food when hungry and eating healthy, which maintains a healthy body. According to many studies, it is seen that when a person practices meditation, the stress hormone cortisol levels go down, and the levels of endorphins increases, thus making an individual cheerful and happy. Always remember that we all have one life, so live your life to the fullest and do not let negative energy dominate you. You are in control of your mind, so do not let your mind control you. While meditating, tell yourself that you are beautiful, disease-free, fit, and healthy. See how smoothly your day progresses when you begin your day on a positive note.

Conclusion

It is of utmost importance that society is made aware and sensitized about mental health, as only then the great taboo would be nullified. Furthermore, better knowledge would encourage people to be unhesitant in seeking professional help, ultimately leading to a decline in complications associated with mental health. Additionally, promoting mental health awareness can foster a culture of compassion, empathy, and support, fostering a more inclusive and understanding society for individuals struggling with mental health challenges.

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Aqsa Sharif
Aqsa Sharif

Psychologist/ Counselor

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mental health
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