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The Importance of Mental Health: Essay

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Mental health is very important at every stage of our life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood and even until we get old. Mental health is the state of an individual who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment. It affects how we think, act and feel. Also, it helps to determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Over the course of your life, if you are experiencing mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected in many significant ways. The three main factors that can affect our mental health include our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being have different variables that contribute to mental health problems, which are biological factors such as genes, or brain chemistry, life experiences such as abuse, and family history of mental health problems. That is why the importance of mental health is the main topic of this essay.

When it comes to our mental health, our emotional well-being plays a big part. Our emotional well-being consists of being confident, optimistic, and able to cope with the ups and downs of life. Anger, resentment, fear, anxiety, and frustration are emotional states that a lot of people can experience regularly but try to avoid as much as possible. If an individual keeps having negative emotions this can affect their mental health in the long run. These negative emotional states can create extra stress in your body and mind that can lead to health issues if the stress becomes chronic or overwhelming. If an individual is emotionally suffering then physical health can suffer too. For example, research shows that emotional distress creates susceptibility to physical illnesses like digestive disorders (gastrointestinal problems), sleep disturbances, and general lack of energy. It can even increase susceptibility to viral infection, and stress from lack of control in the workplace or from life events which can even create susceptibility to cardiovascular disease. The implications of decreased emotional well-being are related to mental health concerns such as stress, depression, and anxiety. Sadness and anxiety are normal emotions that help alert us to, protect us from, and cause us to react, which is in fact absolutely healthy but What is not healthy is when these feelings become excessive, ongoing, irrational, distressing, and interfere with our daily life.

Moreover, individuals who face a high amount of negative emotions can even turn to drinking, smoking, and the consumption of high-fat foods (obesity) to relieve emotional distress. Being emotionally healthy does not mean you are happy all the time. It means you are aware of your emotions. Some may have periods of negative emotions which may be temporary or fluctuating (up and down), and others may have longer-term or consistent difficulties. To always feel negative, are usually not a temporary feeling if it is consistent, but instead is more long-lasting, and can have a huge impact on the individual’s day-to-day life. Not having control of your negative feelings can lead to isolation and, in severe situations, result in people self-harming or having suicidal thoughts. It doesn’t mean healthy people don’t experience negative emotions, healthy people still feel anger, stress, and sadness, it is how it is handled. Counseling, support groups, and even medications are solutions that can help people who have emotional problems. If an individual has ongoing emotional problems, it is advisable to talk to their doctor/therapist or seek help from a close person to help them get to the right resource for help. He or she can help find the right type of treatment to improve their emotional well-being because their health can be at risk.

The experience of painful emotions, such as disappointment, grief, and failure is a normal part of life, and being able to manage these negative and painful emotions is imperative for long‐term well‐being. Psychological well‐being is, however, very interconnected with emotional well-being. It is when negative emotions are extreme or very long-lasting and interfere with a person’s ability to function in his or her daily life. Our psychological well-being is a big part of our mental health as well. Psychological well-being is pretty similar to emotional well being which refers to positive mental states, such as happiness and satisfaction. However, with psychological well-being, it is more centrally focused towards your purpose and overall meaning in life. For instance, if I say that I’m happy, or very satisfied with my life you can make the assumption that my psychological well-being is pretty high. When emotions are not in control and very consistent, it can trigger to psychological disorders such as anxiety disorders, dementia, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and more which can lead to a mental illness. The concept of functioning effectively (in a psychological sense) involves the development of one’s potential, having some control over one’s life, having a sense of purpose (such as working towards goals), and experiencing positive relationships are important factors. Latest studies have revealed that people with higher psychological well-being are more likely to live healthier and longer lives. They are also more likely to enjoy a better quality of life.

Better psychological well-being is interconnected with fewer social problems within society. For instance, research has found that people with high psychological well-being are less likely to engage in criminal activity or abuse drugs and alcohol. Many individuals turn to bad behavior because their psychological well-being isn’t high. It is important the need to distinguish between the different approaches towards improving psychological well‐being. It is important to treat a disorder when it is present, prevent the disorder from occurring and enhance well‐being. In addition, positive psychological well-being tends to predict higher-earning and more prosocial behavior, such as volunteering and donating. They are happy with their life and want to continue delivering results whether it’s with family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. Overall, psychological well‐being is associated with flexible and creative thinking, pro‐social behavior, and good physical health.

When it comes to our social being in mental health, it plays a very significant role in our lives. Researchers have found that isolation is linked to negative health impacts. On the other hand, having social connections, friendships, and relationships with others helps shape who we are and how we behave. Social well-being is also one of the most significant influences on health and wellbeing. Good social support may offer greater protection from chronic diseases and illnesses like cardiovascular disease, depression, and anxiety. People who are socially well, enjoy great benefits and might even live longer. A healthy social life can enhance the immune’s system ability to fight off infectious diseases. According to mhnews.org, “social isolation or having few social contacts has significant health implications on one’s overall health. Research has shown that the health risks of isolation can make the individual more prone to smoking, high blood pressure, and even obesity. A strong social network is associated with a healthier endocrine system and healthier cardiovascular functioning. Even having a healthy social life can enhance the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases.

Sometimes it is hard to know if your relationship is healthy or when to let go of a relationship, but talking to someone you trust or a health professional is important to your social well-being. There are strategies that can help your social health, which is making connections, building healthy relationships, and getting active together. Making connections is helpful to work on by making meaningful connections with family, friends, partners, and others in life. You can also make friends at work and inactive groups such as a Zumba class or yoga. Building healthy relationships is making connections and nurturing them over time. Although building bonds takes work, a social support network has many benefits to one’s mental health and happiness. Positive relationships are what help make the good times better and tougher times easier. By getting active together, you are nurturing your relationship by improving both your physical and mental health, which is great.

In conclusion, the arguments stressing the importance of mental health are provided in this essay. Experts say we all have the potential to develop mental health issues, no matter how old we are, if we are male or female, rich or poor, lightweight or heavyweight, or our background/race, it doesn’t matter because it can happen to any of us. It is shocking when we hear politicians and celebrities have problems with their mental well-being because they have access to the best healthcare systems and the best doctors yet they aren’t able to cope or recover. Mental health problems can happen to anybody. According to the World Health Organization, almost 1 in 5 Americans experiences mental health problems each year (18.5 percent). In the United States, in 2015, an estimated 9.8 million adults (over 18) had a serious mental disorder. That equates to 4.8 percent of all American adults. We have to always remember that we matter and take action in self-care not only physically but mentally as well. The three factors that can affect our mental health include our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our emotional well-being deals with coping with our negative emotions with positive ones. Our psychological well-being deals with our purpose and overall meaning in life. Our social well-being deals with our daily interactions with others and building lasting relationships. The bottom line is to simply take time for your happiness. Allow yourself to enjoy life, excitement, and relaxation and be thankful for what you have, and enjoy it. Life is too short.

References

  1. Health Effects of Social Isolation and Loneliness. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.aginglifecarejournal.org/health-effects-of-social-isolation-and-loneliness/.
  2. Top of Form Mental Health Myths and Facts https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/mental-health-myths-facts
  3. Mental Health Care Services by Family Physicians Position Paper. American Academy of Family Physicians Web site. http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/policy/policies/m/mentalhealthcareservices.htm. Accessed February 11, 2013. [Google Scholar]
  4. Newman, T. (2017, August 24). Mental health: Definition, common disorders, and early signs. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154543.php.
  5. Bottom of Form Rodriguez, B. D., Hurley, K., Upham, B., Kilroy, D. S., Dark, N., & Abreu, E (n.d.).Happiness and Emotional Well-Being. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/understanding/index.aspx.
  6. World Health Organization. The Global Burden of Disease, 2004 Update. Part 4, Burden of Disease, DALYs. http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GBD_report_2004update_full.pdf . Accessed January 10, 2013. [Google Scholar]

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