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Ways to Take Care of Mental Health

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This article deals with information on mental health and the ways to improve mental health.

Written by

Dr. Karthika Rp

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi

Published At March 1, 2023
Reviewed AtMay 2, 2024


Mental health possesses emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It influences how we think, sense, act, make choices, and connect to others. Mental health is more than the lack of a mental illness. It is vital to a person’s overall health and quality of life. Self-care can help maintain one’s mental health and support 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 Can a Person Do to Take Care of Their Mental Health?

Self-care means taking the time to do something that helps people live well and improve their physical and mental health. Regarding mental health, self-care can help manage anxiety, lower the risk of illness, and increase energy. Therefore, even small acts of self-care in the daily life can have a significant impact.

Some of the tips to get started with self-care are mentioned below.

  • Regular Exercise - Just half an hour of walking every day can promote people's moods and enhance health. Small amounts of activity add up, so do not be disheartened if someone can not do 30 minutes at once.
  • Eat Healthily, and Stay Hydrated - A healthy diet and plenty of water can enhance people's energy and help them concentrate throughout the day. Also, caffeinated drinks such as soft drinks or coffee can be limited.
  • Adequate Sleep - Always make sure to get enough sleep. Blue light from gadgets and screens can make it more difficult to fall asleep, so diminish blue light exposure from the phone or computer before bedtime.
  • Do Relaxing Activities - Explore relaxation or fitness programs, including meditation, muscle relaxation, yoga, or breathing exercises. Plan regular times for these and other healthful activities, such as journaling.
  • Goals and Priority Setting - Try to be conscious of what one has achieved at the day's end, not what has been unskillful to do.
  • Practice Thankfulness - Reminding oneself daily of the things they are grateful for. Be clear. Follow it in the future.
  • Focusing Positivity - Recognize and challenge the negative and unhelpful thoughts.
  • Stay Connected - Reach out to friends or family members who can give emotional support and practical help.

Self-care differs from person to person, and it is necessary to find what people need and enjoy. Finding what works best for an individual may take practice and error. In addition, although self-care is not a therapy for mental illnesses, understanding what forces or activates the mild symptoms and what coping approaches work for an individual can help manage one's mental health.

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 difficulty performing the exercises in a determined manner. If they are doing exercises irregularly or inefficiently, the 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 improved results when they are done along with regulated exercise methods.

Regular exercising keeps us physically fit and reduces the ill effects of aging. It also helps to maintain good mental health 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 a person’s mood and improves their 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.

Are People Concerned About Mental Health?

It is the mind that governs every aspect of life. Whenever a bodily ailment, like fever, occurs, it is taken seriously. But is the same done with the mind and its well-being? It is essential to realize that mental health is equally important. In this world of fast-growing scientific knowledge, it has been proven that mental illness or psychiatric illness has a biological basis. Mental illness is a relatively common problem affecting roughly 10 to 20 people out of every 100. Usually, awareness regarding mental illness is poor among many. Any change in the person's behavior from their usual self points towards the beginning of a mental illness.

For ages, mental illness has been seen as taboo in most places. A mentally ill person is highly stigmatized in certain countries, but in the present world, things are changing rapidly. It is time that psychiatric illnesses are considered as commonplace and change the view of society towards such people who have the ill fate of suffering from one. These are the people who require help, and they should not be deprived of medical attention. After therapy, these people do recover and can live a healthy life. Therefore, they should have the privilege of medical treatment. Certain things can be done to improve mental health to fight against mental illness.

Why Is Mental Wellness Important?

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

  • Work productively.
  • Serve the community.
  • Take care of one’s family.
  • Identifying the full potential and working on improvements to lead a successful life.

One can achieve these with a positive mindset. To make one’s thoughts positive, one needs to,

  • Stay active physically.
  • Interact with friends and family.
  • Help others.
  • Be mindful.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Sleep adequately.
  • Develop coping skills.

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 to help eliminate anxiety and depression and thus improve mood.

  1. Limit the use of the internet and social media. Take an example from the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the lockdown, everybody was scrolling through television, social media, the internet, etc. Negative news from any corner was like salt sprinkled on a burn. This news elevated stress and anxiety and created an aura of sorrow and vain. Therefore, taking a break from social media and the internet helps improve in certain aspects.
  2. Staying hydrated, following a nutritious diet, eating well, and staying fit. Including plenty of fruits and vegetables as part of a routine diet has health benefits. Avoid oily and junk food and plan a nutritious diet. Mental health has an impact on the digestive tract. Stress, anxiety, and depression kill the appetite and promote sugar cravings. Thus maintaining a healthy diet will work in such circumstances.
  3. Maintain a proper sleep-wake schedule.
  4. Focus on physical activity, meditation, a good walk, and spending time with nature.
  5. 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.
  6. Enroll in social activities and communicate with people. Social activities and gatherings keep a person occupied, their mind peaceful, and distracted.
  7. Surround oneself with good company, spend time with family and friends, reach out to friends, and talk to family members. A good listener and empathizer always calm down stress and anxiety. Also, it suppresses the vibe of loneliness. One feels surrounded, guarded, and happy.
  8. Self-pampering and spending time on things a person loves. Sometimes, self-pampering helps counter the situation. Spend time reading, singing, music, dancing, exploring, comedy shows, or anything of one's choice. Laughter benefits both mental and physical health.
  9. Understand the cause of the problem and deal with it.
  10. Maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  11. Medication and psychotherapies, such as antidepressants, are a drug of choice to treat depression. However, one should start those only after consulting a doctor.


It is of utmost importance that society is made aware and sensitized about mental health, as only then the great taboo will 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.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Steps Can One Take To Maintain Mental Health During the Pandemic?

In order to maintain mental health during the pandemic, one may adopt the following measures:
 - Create a structured routine that includes activities like work, exercise, hobbies, and relaxation to practice daily to have a sense of purpose.
 - Maintain connections through phone calls or online platforms with family and friends to avoid feelings of loneliness or isolation.
 - Practice self-care. Engage in activities that promote well-being, such as exercise, healthy eating, quality sleep, and relaxation techniques like deep breathing or mindfulness.
 - As part of self-care practices, engage in activities that promote well-being, such as healthy eating, adequate sleep, and relaxation techniques like yoga, deep breathing, or mindfulness.
 - Stay informed but avoid excessive exposure to news and social media that can contribute to anxiety and stress.
 - Reach out to trusted friends, family, or mental health professionals at the earliest through teletherapy or online platforms if found struggling with mental health conditions.


What Does Positive Mental Health Mean?

Positive mental health means having a healthy and balanced state of mind. It involves feeling good about oneself, being able to handle life's ups and downs, and having positive relationships with other individuals. Positive mental health is also about feeling happy, confident, and having a sense of purpose in life.


How Serious Is Mental Illness?

Mental illness can vary in severity depending on the specific condition and individual circumstances. Some mental illnesses can be relatively mild and manageable, while others can be more severe and significantly impact a person's daily functioning and have a lasting impact on a person's overall well-being. It is important to recognize mental illnesses and provide appropriate attention, diagnosis, and treatment, regardless of their severity, in order to help recover and improve their well-being.


What Are the Advantages of Practicing Self-Care?

Practicing self-care offers several advantages for overall well-being. It improves physical health, boosts mental and emotional well-being, enhances productivity and focus, and strengthens the ability to face any life circumstance with utmost courage and confidence. Additionally, self-care promotes a positive self-image, improves relationships, and helps prevent exhaustion, both physically and emotionally.


What Steps Can Enhance a Child’s Mental Well-Being?

In order to enhance a child's mental well-being and to help the child thrive, one may consider the following measures:
 - Create a supportive environment by providing love, understanding, and open communication at home and maintain connections with family, friends, and peers.
 - Encourage regular physical activity, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep to promote overall well-being.
 - Teach emotional intelligence skills, such as recognizing and managing emotions, problem-solving, and empathy.
 - Support the child's interests, hobbies, and creative outlets, and provide encouragement while setting realistic expectations.


What Factors Influence Mental Health?

Various factors can influence mental health:
 - Genetic predispositions and imbalances in brain chemistry.
 - Living conditions, stressful life events, and exposure to trauma.
 - Relationships, social support networks, and the quality of interactions with others.
 - Thought patterns, coping skills, self-esteem, and courage to face life circumstances.
 - Inadequate sleep, sedentary life, unhealthy nutrition, and substance use (drugs).


What Is the Difference Between Mental Health and Mental Hygiene?

Mental health refers to an individual's overall psychological well-being and functioning. It encompasses the emotional, cognitive, and social aspects of mental well-being. Mental hygiene, on the other hand, emphasizes the practices and behaviors aimed at maintaining and promoting good mental health. It focuses on preventive measures and self-care strategies to support mental well-being.


What Measures Can Be Taken to Prevent Mental Illness?

The following measures may help in preventing mental illness:
 - Participate in activities that contribute to positive mental well-being, such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, stress management techniques, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
 - Maintain positive social and family relationships, and seek support from friends, family, or support groups during challenging times.
 - Develop healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and seeking professional help when needed.
 - Consult with a mental health professional once one recognizes early signs of mental illness or when experiencing persistent or worsening symptoms of mental distress to receive appropriate guidance and support.


Is Anxiety Considered a Mental Health Issue?

Yes, anxiety is considered a mental health issue. Excessive worry, a sense of fear, and distress can significantly impact an individual's daily life. Symptoms of anxiety can vary in intensity and duration, often leading to emotional and physical discomfort. For proper diagnosis, treatment, and management of anxiety, consult a doctor to experience relief from the symptoms and to improve overall mental well-being.


What Is the Duration of Mental Health Conditions?

The duration of mental health conditions varies. Some mental health conditions may be temporary or episodic, while others can be chronic. Factors such as the specific condition, treatment, and individual circumstances influence the duration. Consulting a mental health professional is important to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. With proper support, most individuals can experience earlier improvement and better management of their mental health.


Can One Treat Mental Health on Their Own?

While individuals can take steps to support their mental well-being, it is advisable to seek help from mental health professionals for treating mental health conditions. Mental health professionals have the expertise to provide appropriate diagnoses, personalized treatments, and necessary support. Mental health professionals can offer therapies and medications that may be accessible only under their guidance.


What Are the Factors That Can Cause a Mental Breakdown?

Specific factors contributing to mental breakdown may vary among individuals. Common factors that may contribute to a mental breakdown include:
 - Excessive and prolonged stress, whether from home or work.
 - Exposure to traumatic events, such as abuse, violence, or accidents.
 - Individuals with pre-existing mental health disorders may be more vulnerable to experiencing a mental breakdown.
 - Neglecting self-care practices, such as not getting enough rest, neglecting emotional needs, or failing to seek appropriate help for mental health concerns.


Can Crying Be a Symptom of a Mental Breakdown?

Yes, crying can be a common manifestation during a mental breakdown. Crying may serve as a way to release intense emotions and relieve emotional tension experienced during a mental breakdown. The overwhelming nature of a mental breakdown can lead to uncontrollable crying as a response to emotional distress. While crying can be a characteristic of a mental breakdown, it is not necessary that everyone experiencing a breakdown will cry.


What Does Poor Mental Health Mean?

Poor mental health refers to a state of compromised emotional and psychological well-being. It can involve symptoms like sadness, anxiety, low self-esteem, and difficulty concentrating. It affects relationships, works or school performance, and overall productivity in life. Factors such as genetics, life experiences, and stress contribute to poor mental health. Seeking help and support from family, friends, and mental health professionals is important for addressing and improving mental well-being.
Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi
Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi



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