Joanna from California saw an alarming change in the anger levels in her husband Corey. Though there was no outward trigger to this change, Joanna was concerned. With patient prodding, she came to know that Corey had been placed on notice period and was unable to find alternative employment, which had marked the onset of depressive disorder in him.
This is a classic case of mental illness affecting entire families in addition to the person suffering from it.
A simple definition of mental illness is provided by the American Psychiatric Association as the alteration to behavior, emotion or thinking. These are typically triggered by problems that a person faces. These place severe stress on the regular functioning of the person in social, family, or workplace circles.
Be it PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorders), phobias, bipolar disorders, anxiety, or depressive tendencies, these disorders can all be classified as mental illnesses. Even eating disorders or schizophrenia are categorized as mental illness.
Who is affected by mental illness?
There is no specific group or class of people who can be afflicted with mental disorders. It is seen that such cases are more prevalent in families that have a history of mental illnesses. Studies say that one in five Australians (20%) between ages 16 and 85 may experience mental illness. The same study also says that 45% of Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
One good news that emerges from this grim scenario is that mental illness is treatable. While there is a range of treatment plans and medications available, there are also some activities that can help improve mental well-being.
Interested to see what these activities are? Then read on and be informed.
What activities can improve mental well-being?
1 – Manage stress
We find that stress may be unavoidable in today’s fast-paced life. However, it is vital to know what causes stress and how you can best cope with it so that it doesn’t impact your mental well-being.
If an overwhelming schedule is causing stress, then make sure to make a list of to-do or check your booking calendar. This will help you ascertain that you need to look at only one single activity at any given time.
If you are facing a huge or complex problem, try to break down the problem into smaller parts and try resolving each of the smaller parts one by one. This will help you eliminate stress and yet be effective at work or at home.
2 – Take care of your body
It is important to maintain optimal body weight and have the right diet and nutrition intake for your body. This will help you cope with unwanted triggers that may lead to the onset of mental illnesses.
Exercising helps people to be calmer and relax. You can join a fitness center to get personalized workout sessions aligned to your specific physical condition and health goals you may be targeting.
When you join a good fitness center, you also get guidance on the diet to be followed in order to have a fitter body, which in turn, improves the state of mental well-being. This is because a healthy mind is a by-product of a fit body.
When you induce activity in your life in the form of gyms or cycling, it provides a sense of achievement. It also releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good about yourself.
3 – Talk it out
Feel like venting out your anxiety and frustration? It’s best to talk it out with your friends. When you express your innermost fears and troubles, you feel lighter, as if an enormous load has been lifted off your shoulder.
Some great ways to communicate in order to keep mental illness at bay include talking with a therapist or being a part of self-help groups in attending the sessions.
Having a 2 am friend that you can talk to at any time, can make a significant difference in ensuring total mental well-being. They can check on you periodically to discuss how you are feeling so that they can lend a helpful ear when you need it the most.
4 – It’s ok to ask for help
It is vital to recognize the instance of feeling low or depressed. It is only after you know that there is a problem that you will be able to overcome the problem. It is important to know that there is no shame at all about seeking help.
It is absolutely ok to ask for help when you need it. With right guidance at the right time, you will be more effective in eliminating mental health disorders
5 – Avoid smoking and drinking
Alcohol and cigarettes can have a severe impact on your mental health. It not only disorients you but also reduces thinking capacity. If you consume alcohol in excess for long then it leads to thiamine deficiency which can lead to memory problems, confusion, and issues in coordination.
For smokers too, the period in between smoking can lead to poor coping with low mood and increase in anxiety. This can also cause depressive disorders.
6 – Do more of what you enjoy doing
All work and no play indeed make Jack a dull boy. This maxim holds true in case of mental illness. If you do not take meaningful breaks and vacation to do what you enjoy, you might end up feeling stressed or irritable. Be it reading, listening to music, or pursuing a hobby, make sure you get some ‘me’ time exclusively for yourself.
Mental health is vital to ensure that you perform at optimal levels at your work, in social circles, and in your family. With mental health, you can better perform daily tasks and activities and cope with adversity. These tips will help you manage mental issues better and achieve a better state of mental well-being.