I can’t speak for everyone, and I can’t talk for professionals in the field, but this is what Mental Health means to me and my site, my advocacy, and my expertise/ experience/ advice.
When I talk about mental health, I’m talking about mental HEALTH. The health of your mind! Not mental ILLNESS, per se. Not mental health ISSUES or STRUGGLES or PROBLEMS, per se. Just everyday advice and tips on how to care for and witness the health of your mind. Simple.
So, when you see articles pop up about mental health, that’s not for you to dismiss thinking, “I don’t have an illness; I don’t have anxiety or depression“. It’s for you to click on and take notice because you do have a mind and that mind deserves to be healthy.
Not mental illness
Mental Illness is depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, autism, schizophrenia, eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, obesity, body dysmorphic disorder etc.), borderline personality disorder, self-harming, suicidal thoughts, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, multiple personality disorder, and more.
But Mental Health is: the health of your mind.
Just like your physical health can decline, leading to injury, disease, sickness, bruising, limited life expectancy, poor mobility, and so on; a decline in your mental health (regardless of who you are) can lead to some pretty bad things, too.
- Sleeping problems
- Relationship problems
- Loss of interest in things
- Excessive or irrational anger
- Low immunity (vulnerable to sickness and disease)
- Irrational behaviour
- Poor thoughts
- AND MORE
So, pay attention to your mental health. Care for it.
The statics on mental illness (you know, the 1 in 4 suffer thing) doesn’t really matter. 1 in 1 people has a mind and mental health to look after, that is if you don’t want to suffer the consequences.
Strong & Healthy mind
What I talk about on my site will always be in the hope of helping you (and me) nurture and care for our minds. To cultivate a strong, healthy mind. But what is a strong, healthy mind?
Firstly, it’s Resilience. I love this word. If you can be resilient, you are strong. Life will through a lot of bad things your way, things that are just unfair and wrong. But if you can be resilient, you will always be ok. Resilience is strength; resilience is perseverance. And that comes from a healthy, strong mind.
Secondly, it is Perspective. Again, love that word. Those of us who can alter our perspectives, be aware of our perspectives, and gain perspective whenever needed, have strong, healthy minds. It takes a strong mind to be able to step back and realise that it was causing its own suffering. It takes a healthy mind to look at the bigger picture and change one’s outlook.
Strong, healthy minds are:
- Witty and clever
- Confident and calm
- Aware and awake
- Flexed and exercised often
*Someone with mental illness can still cultivate a strong, healthy mind aside from their struggles. In fact, they are stronger than us all for fighting every day against things we don’t have to.*
Good mental wellbeing must include emotional balance. People think the mentally ill are just those who can’t handle their emotions. This is, of course, incredibly ignorant, but that’s beside the point. I think we’ve all got it wrong. Our emotions aren’t something to be mastered, or fixed, or suppressed, or “handled” at all.
Our emotions should be given the space and time to do what they come to us to do. All emotions, be they “positive” or “negative”, have a job to do. And those with good mental health understand that and allow the right amount of time for an emotion to do its thing.
Our emotions should be balanced. Not too much of this or that; no overflow of time given to emotions that don’t serve us. Emotional intelligence is very important, and my mental health posts touch on this.
My posts touch on the importance of understanding your mind. Your mind is the most important part of you, after all, so ignoring it or being unaware of what it’s doing is just plain foolish!
It is important to cultivate a healthy relationship between your mind, body, and spirit (soul). To understand the need for Holistic Health: the combination of better health techniques which nurture the mind, body, and spirit as a whole.
Every aspect of health will aid in the wellness of every part of the Self. So, caring for the mind actually helps the body; helping the body helps the mind. Caring for them all makes you very strong and healthy indeed.
I am a big advocate for self-awareness. I think that any pursuits – goals, dreams, health, growth, relationships, emotions, whatever – all comes from self-awareness first.
Aware of thoughts and feelings. Aware of actions. Aware of speech and body language. Aware of where our energy goes. Aware of what we want, what we do, how we work, and more. There is information in awareness, and information gives us the power to make well-informed changes.
We all have beliefs that will sit deep inside of us and govern how we live our lives. They affect what we see, how we act, how we speak, and how we feel – all without us even realising it.
How scary is that?
But with self-awareness and care for your mental health, you can witness these beliefs and begin to question them. Core Beliefs are very powerful and if you’re not careful, they could lead to a limited life.
Let’s not forget that our minds are the home of our intelligence. If you want to be an intelligent person, you can’t ignore your mental health. Poor mental health does not a clever person make! As in, how can you expect your mind to work at its best and be on your side when you regularly overwork and neglect it?
Mindset and mentality
Everything starts in the mind. If you want to be successful (in whatever it may be) you must look to your mindset. Our mentality will determine our success. It will determine how our lives manifest. And yes, you guessed it: our mindset and mentality are influenced by our mental health.
Factors resulting in mental health decline & illness
Of course, I do like to discuss mental illness in some of my posts, too, as someone with one myself. I have Social Anxiety and I’ve suffered from Depression many times. Through retrospect, I can see now how depression came creeping into my life.
If I’d known how to better care for my mental health as a general, natural, everyday healthcare routine, I probably wouldn’t have become depressed at all.
This is not to say that it is avoidable for everyone. Everyone suffers differently and for their own reasons. But I do think that I could have prevented it, or at least have better cared for myself when I was in it.
Prevention is better than cure.
My aim is to aid in that prevention. To change the way everyone looks at their mental health, so that less of us have to suffer; or when we do, we’re not knocked sideways because we know how to continue caring for ourselves.
Things that can severely impact your mental health:
- Death of a loved one
- Big life changes
- Unexpected outcomes or changes
- Financial situation
- Social pressures
- Stress and overwhelm
Lifestyle impacts and implications
It’s not just the obvious stuff, either, that can impact your mental wellness. It’s the choices we make, too. Like choosing not to do what we want to do, instead doing what others want us to. Like taking on a mountain of projects all at once and juggling them alone.
Lifestyle impacts on mental health:
- Dependency (being dependent on people, vices, places, or other to an unhealthy level is not good for your mental health)
- Hiding your true self or pretending to be who you are not
- Lack of exercise or activity
- Isolation or surrounding yourself with the wrong people for you
- Not feeding your mind with good information (choosing reality TV reruns over documentaries!)
- Causing your own financial difficulties and not fixing them
- Refusing to grow or change or step out of your comfort zone
The bottom line is, our minds are shaped by so many things, influenced by so many things, harmed by so many things, and downright broken by many things. I aim to talk about these things alongside ways to heal, strengthen, and feed the mind for health, strength, and happiness.
If you want a successful, abundant, happy life, you must, MUST take care of your mental health.
If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.
If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to like, comment, or follow my site if you enjoy my content 🙂 and check out my other posts while you’re here!