Healthier Mind : How to Achieve It?

by Dyah Puspitaningtyas

According to WHO, mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with normal stresses in life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Mental health is as important as other health aspects in life – regarding to the fact that it’s mentioned in Law No. 36 of the year 2009 along with physical, spiritual, and social health.
Now that we talk about mental health, some of us might wonder, what does it has to do with our daily life, and does it affect our physical health – something that has always been emphasized among all? Well, the link between mental and physical health actually remains unclear until now. Nevertheless, based on various studies conducted in England ranges from year 2007 to 2011, people with severe mental illness have higher morbidity and mortality rate compared to the general population. This is most likely due to the unmet of their health needs, since their voices are often unheard. It is also found that people with long-term physical health conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, and respiratory diseases, are between two to three times more likely to develop mental illness than the general population.

Let’s bring up one mental illness that’s commonly found in adolescents: depression. How do we know whether a person is having a depression or not? Its main characteristics are low mood, reduced energy, loss of interest and enjoyment. Some may also experience poor concentration and altered appetite as well. Sadly, the management of people with depression are still far from ideal, mainly because of the public negative attitude towards them. Most of us tend to think of depression as something that’s not likely to happen unless something devastated comes by. But, then again, don’t we all have various perspectives about that ‘devastating’ event? Like, even though you’ve been living with your best friends for years, you could still hold an opposite opinion about one thing (well, possibly more). I think us human beings should accept the fact that people do have different standards regarding a lot of life aspects, and we should respect each other as long as we don’t hurt anyone.

So, how to keep our mental health remains healthy? The most common advice would be staying away from negative thoughts, meaning that you’ve got to have distractions. But first, ensure that your physical needs are fulfilled. Feeling drowsy? Get yourself a proper sleep. Not hungry? Grab your favorite meal to boost your appetite. Feeling unhealthy? Perform light, short-interval exercises. Then, you can start creating up your own ‘distraction’ activity (it could also be a thing, or whatever it is). Most of people wanted to label themselves ‘productive’ when performing their ‘distractions’, so I think I could give some tips: split complex tasks into achievable components, and reward yourself for those achievements. Remember to set your own achievement standard! Whether it is a dream-big or puny type of standard, make sure that by the end of the day, those will make you become more positive. On the other side, talking to other people whom you trust is always a good alternative! Spilling your guts is not a idea, as long as you’re not forced to do so. Receiving sympathy from your beloved ones would always be a blessing. One last important thing, remember that there’d always be ups and downs in life. You don’t have to worry that much. You know yourself best. You can pick yourself up. Your life is worth it. You do matter.

Happy World Mental Health Day!