Not being able to control outcomes and manage our expectations leads to stress and anxiety which further leads to sadness and disappointment and worse case, depression, alerts mental health coach and Anu Krishna.
Floating clouds, melting icecaps, calm glimmering waves, surreal sunset… who wouldn’t want all this, right?
Yet, the reality is a far cry from these beautiful dreamy situations when someone finds it hard to do something as basic as get themselves out of bed.
Or get to work.
Or deal with the loss of a loved one.
Each one of us find our own ways of coping with challenging situations that life throws at us.
Yet there is a huge element that is mostly ignored (or maybe you conveniently don’t find time to pay attention to) — Mental Health.
When you are caring for someone who is unwell, obviously you don’t think much about your own emotions and it easily slides under your nose only to later manifest itself as health issues.
Every year on October 10, the World Health Organization celebrates World Mental Health Day to make you aware of the importance of good mental health.
The theme for 2022 is broader than the previous years — to make mental health and wellbeing a global priority for all.
When you are happy, healthy and positive, you might wonder: Why is mental health so necessary?
Why is everyone talking about it?
Why do we see corporates making mental wellbeing of their employees a necessity?
Why are actors, sports personalities and health experts sharing videos on taking care of mental health on the Internet?
If you think it’s because of the pandemic, the answer is NO.
The pandemic only helped us realize that life’s uncertainties can throw us off gear and that nothing is permanent on Earth.
Good mental health or emotional well being is just as important as physical fitness. The way we think and feel is crucial because it also determines the way we live our lives.
Not being able to control outcomes and manage our own expectations leads to stress and anxiety which further leads to sadness and disappointment and worse case, depression.
Apply this to any area of your life and you will see a pattern of how you are attached to an outcome and when that doesn’t happen or happen the way that you want, it makes you angry and sad.
If not dealt with on time, it can deepen within you leading to depression and other physical health issues.
Many people struggle with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder etc simply because it goes undiagnosed until it’s too late.
Hence it becomes imperative for anyone who is predisposed to this to seek treatment with no delays around it.
If you are someone who has been stressed or depressed in the past and sought professional help, then perhaps, you may be aware of some of the warning signs.
But if you are unaware, you must take note of the following red flags so can step in for yourself, a friend, a family member, or even a stranger.
The 10 warning signs of mental health deterioration:
- Feeling sad or low for a long period of time
- Constant fatigue
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- A loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- Frequent health issues like headaches, fever due to compromised immunity
- Self-imposed social isolation
- Confusion with the simplest of activities
- Frequent bouts of highs and lows with emotions
- Ruminating over fears leading to anxiety and panic
The reasons leading to poor mental hygiene can be many — ranging from ill-health to failure at an exam or a job interview to rejection in a relationship, frequent squabbles within the family, the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, money, or property to name a few.
But that certainly does not mean that you must continue to suffer alone and in silence.
You have a choice of picking your priorities and it starts with you, your home, your family, your workplace.
So what can you do to improve your Mental Health or keep it at its peak?
These simple strategies can help:
- Live in the moment.
- Be in gratitude for what IS rather than what should be or could have been.
- Be with people who help you find your strengths and celebrate you.
- Spend time being in Nature.
- Meditate in the way that works for you.
- Do something charitable every few months as a way of contributing.
- Indulge every day in something that you love doing; a hobby perhaps.
- Journal every night about your day’s happenings.
- Spend time with animals when you can.
- Smile. The world isn’t a bad place after all.
Just like happiness, challenges aren’t permanent either. And to know that, you can begin by doing some of the above activities.
This should empower you to take charge. Because if you want things to change, you must take the first step — take charge of your life, because no one else will.
At the same time, no one can force you to do something that you don’t want to.
Remember, there is no taboo on seeking professional help from experts who can support you through that journey.
Your mental health is your responsibility.
A small jump start might inspire others to follow suit as we together can make this a priority and raise the efficacy of wellbeing globally pitching in as responsible humans and kind contributors to this world.
- Read all ofAnu Krishna’s columns here!
Anu Krishna is a mind coach, author and co-founder, Unfear Changemakers LLP.
She’s an NLP Trainer (National Federation of Neuro Linguistic Programming, NFNLP, USA), Energy Work Specialist (Institute for Inner Studies, Manila), Executive Member, Indian Association of Adolescent Health and Member, Quality Circle Forum of India.
She has authored the self-coaching book: The Secret of Life — Decoding Happiness.
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