Good mental health

15 Mar 2017

Mental health includes our psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. It is about how we feel and think as we go about our daily lives.

Mental health determines the choices we make, how we handle stress and how we relate to others. Having good mental health is brought about through self-esteem and confidence and a sense of self. It’s important to have good mental health at every stage of our life, from childhood, through to adolescence, moving forward into adulthood.

The World Health Organisation (“WHO”) says mental health is a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities and potential.” When we come to realise our own abilities, we get to cope with the normal stresses of life; will start and continue to make positive contributions to our lives and will work productively.

According, to estimates, sadly only about 17% of US adults are considered to have optimal mental health. Mental illness contributes to problems with behaviour, thinking and moods. Mental illness may be genetic, but life experiences can also bring us to this place. A family history of stress and abuse, both physical and emotional can contribute to mental health issues.

When interactions between the mind, body and environment begin to interfere and undermine our abilities to cope with simple situations, then we know we’re potentially looking at mental illness. Factors that contribute are acute or long-term stress, emotional abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, family breakdowns. Those with positive mental health will automatically cope with stress and will continue to make meaningful contributions to their lives and to other people’s.

They will realise and see their full potential. It’s important for us to maintain and work at our health. We cannot assume we will always have mental health, but by us choosing to connect with other people, we will continue to strengthen our own resolve and perhaps at some point go on to help other people.

If anyone is dealing with mental health issues, it’s important they continue to try to develop coping skills; remain in a good solid routine; make sure they’re getting enough sleep, remain physically active and talk about how they feel.

8 Responses to “Good mental health”

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  1. Tim 15. Mar, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

    I am not surprised that only 17% of US adults have optimal mental health. Life style behavior like unhealthy eating, lack of exercise and very little sleep may have something to do with that.

    Perhaps we should find a way to live in this world and not be completely of it.

    • Ilana 15. Mar, 2017 at 7:01 pm #

      Thanks Tim. Yes, lifestyle behaviour although isn’t the cause of mental health issues, they are all symptoms of mental health issues.

      Also, the less we are in control of our mental health; the more we will struggle to deal with lifestyle choices, including unhealthy eating, lack of exercise and little sleep.

    • Tim 15. Mar, 2017 at 6:38 pm #

      Thanks Ilana. I used to carry heavy baggage, mostly because I couldn’t close certain chapters in my life, which made good mental health unimaginable for me.

      But your site, along with correcting a few bad habits, has removed a little residue from my past. What remains is small, but at least I get to write about it.

    • Ilana 15. Mar, 2017 at 5:22 pm #

      Thanks Tim. Yes, I can resonate with you. Emotional baggage is the biggest reason we struggle with mental health.

      I’m so pleased that my site has helped you ‘remove a little residue from your past.’ It’s also done the same for me. I’m smiling because we both get to write about it and help each other.

  2. Randy 15. Mar, 2017 at 4:16 pm #

    Good mental health isn’t exactly something I know a whole lot about, seeing as I haven’t ever really had it on top of having parents who both had mental health issues.

    My dad was a very depressed alcoholic and my mother enjoyed the prescription plan, so without treatment it was hard to define their issues. Needless to say I was kind of screwed from the beginning and didn’t go for treatment myself when I should have, since I didn’t want to be like either one of them.

    In the end I turned out to be so much worse, once I dissociated and ended up living on the streets; because I didn’t want to live, but couldn’t seem to find the will to kill myself either. I’m still not sure of why I’m even here, but I imagine I will find out eventually.

    Now my daughter may actually need me so that is one good reason. I’m almost 50 and she just turned 27, but in all actuality we’re more like the same age mentally. Part of my mind is stuck permanently as a teenager. who doesn’t know how to handle the world seeing as I didn’t have very good role models.

    My daughter is pretty much in the same position, seeing as her mother never really pushed her to do things on her own, so she doesn’t have the life experience. The reality is that her mother may end up dying from cancer, so my daughter is going to need someone to show her how to deal with the world.

    I’m learning how to do this in better ways through DBT and therapy, so we will end up being able to learn together. I just don’t want her to have to learn how to survive the hard way like I was forced to as a child.

    • Ilana 15. Mar, 2017 at 5:39 pm #

      Thanks Randy. You’re a good guy that didn’t deserve the life you got. I hope you know how much you are wanted and loved.

      There are people who although they don’t know you, know through your responses and words how tough life has been for you and I am sure they will also be rooting for you too.

      I’m pleased DBT and therapy is helping you. I believe you already know why you’re still meant to be here. You have had so many challenges, but you were meant to come through those, because you have so much knowledge to impart through your many experiences.

      When you’re ready to move on with your life, when you’re feeling stronger you can help others through your experiences.

  3. Brad 16. Mar, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

    Good mental health must surely be the most singular, important part of our lives.

    We all have our baggage, but equally we can all improve our lifestyles to improve our mental wellbeing and hopefully with it, our level of happiness.

    • Ilana 16. Mar, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

      Thanks, yes I would say good mental health is THE most important part of our lives. without good mental health, we will struggle to cope on all levels.

      Lifestyle choices do help with good mental health, but our baggage must be dealt with first, in order for us to be able to succeed and find happiness you talk of.

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