Because of the salient challenges our society faces these days, including still living in a pandemic, geopolitical upheaval, increasing gun violence, inflation, climate change, and social unrest, the concept of one’s “mental health” has coming up a lot in the news and especially social media. So let’s get down to basics to understand what exactly is a person’s mental health, and how can it be nurtured and taken care of, or damaged.

Mental Health refers to a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. When a person’s mental health is troubled it will affect how that person thinks, feels, and acts. Mental health is crucial to a person’s overall health and happiness.

There are many factors that can affect a person’s mental health. Some factors can include:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health related problems
  • Lifestyle, such as diet, exercise, and substance abuse

Being mindful and educated about these factors is the first step in bettering mental health. Without understanding the factors that can alter or affect a person’s mental health, one cannot overcome problems that arise.

Some early signs that a person may struggle with mental health can include, but are not limited to:

  • Not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling like nothing matters
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than normal
  • Feeling forgetful, angry, upset, nervous, scared, confused or on edge
  • Being unable to perform daily tasks in life
  • Thinking of harming oneself or others

So… Why does this matter?

Understanding factors that can affect mental health and understanding the early signs to look for in yourself, friends or family members is the first step in improving mental health.

If you find yourself needing help maintaining positive mental health, try:

  • Surrounding yourself with people who make you happy
  • Staying positive
  • Seeking professional help if needed
  • Talking about your feelings with someone you trust
  • Taking care of your body by staying healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep
  • Doing something that makes you feel good

Mental health is important and affects us immensely, so stay positive and smile!

For more information on early warning signs and the importance of mental health please visit the resources below.

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