We live in the age of information and technology. Innovation advances our society by the second and no sooner as we get used to a new device such as an iPad, that device becomes obsolete and is replaced by something bigger, better and more efficient. Are we evolved enough to keep pace with the lightning fast changes by being adaptable and fluid, and at the same time manage the tasks of building stable families, excelling at our professions, careers and work? It is true that the technological advancements have made our lives infinitely better but at what cost? This question haunts us on various levels of psychosocial, physical and occupational well-being.
Mental Well-Being is, simply put, a description of how you are feeling, and of your ability to cope with the daily pressures of living. It is not a static state that once defined remains, but is dynamic and can change with time and experiences. So what does good mental health look like, you may ask and would you need therapy?
Good mental health can be described as follows:
- Having a positive personal relationship with yourself. Are you confident? Do you enjoy your own company? Do you feel fulfilled? Are you happy with yourself?
- Having a healthy range and expression of emotions.
- Having healthy, mutually satisfying relationships.
- Living a healthy and productive life.
- Coping with daily stresses
- Managing change well.
What affects our Mental Well-Being?
We all go through periods of low mental well-being and there are various reasons for such occurrences. These include:
- Unresolved childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, trauma or violence
- Ongoing social isolation, loneliness or discrimination
- Socio-economic challenges such as homelessness or poor housing
- Chronic physical illness
- Caring for dependents
- Trauma experienced in adulthood
- Poor or unsatisfying intimate relationships
- Having survived personal threat to self through crime
It is when there is a significant, prolonged period of low mental well-being that there is cause for concern and therapy can be one option to address this. This is when you may be at risk for developing a mental health difficulty. This may be experienced in the form of a depressive episode, anxiety, eating difficulties, sleep difficulties, significant weight loss or gain and disturbances in both occupational and social spheres of your life.
How can I Maintain Mental Well-Being?
It is important to note that no one is able to suspend or eradicate challenges in his or her life. Such challenges are inevitable and are not within our control. The buoyancy of your mental well-being is dependent on your internal relationship with yourself as well as your support structure on the outside. Therapy is one such support structure. It is imperative to be able to identify how you are feeling. This requires you to know yourself well. What are your dreams and aspirations for the future? What drives you? What makes you happy? It is also important to be able to express such personal things to a trustworthy person who is supportive of you. Talking about your experience to someone else does not get rid of the issue, but if it is the right person, like in a therapy session, you will feel as though you are not alone and the empathetic ear lightens your emotional burden.
As you can gather from the above, building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships creates a support system for you when you are in need. This limits the feeling of being alone where no one knows what you are going through.
Physical Well-Being is another important aspect of being able to cope with daily pressures. Look after your body and treat it with respect and reverence.
Exercise, eat healthily and get enough sleep.
Be sure to incorporate activities that you enjoy into your daily living or at least create time and space for such activities.
If you have tried some of the above strategies but are unable to get the results that you would like in creating the life that you want, book a therapy session with me and let's chat.