We all know how important it is to have a fit and healthy body. We exercise, adopt a nutrition-rich diet, and indulge in physical activities to be healthy and active. But how many of us pay as much attention to our mental health? Most of us don’t. According to WHO, one in four people in the world are affected by mental disorders at some point in their lives, and approximately 450 million people are currently suffering from mental health conditions.
Just as physical fitness helps our bodies stay healthy, mental fitness helps us cope with stress and improve our quality of life. Despite this fact, most of us tend to take our mental wellbeing for granted. We ignore the importance of our emotional and psychological health, which in turn impacts how we think, feel, and behave.
Mental health is fundamental to leading a healthy and balanced life. But a lot of times, misconception and half-baked information lead us to make mistakes that can have a lasting impact. Here are a few lesser-known facts about mental health that you should know.
Mental health issues don’t just vanish
Many times, we fail to identify mental disorders correctly. We treat it as “a low phase” and convince ourselves to sleep it off, or just wait for it to go away on its own. That is where we make the first and the gravest mistake. Mental disorders don’t just go away. They need to be acknowledged and dealt with in a benevolent manner and the best way to do so would be to seek professional help.
People with mental illness are not a threat
For a lot of people, interacting with someone suffering from mental illness can be overwhelming. A mentally disturbed person is often seen as a threat since people generally associate mental disorders with aggressive behaviour. Such is not the case. According to the Association (APA), only 7.5 percent of crimes are related to any form of mental illness. Normally, those who suffer from mental illnesses are the ones who end up as victims. Instead of perceiving them as a threat, we should try and remove the stigma around mental issues.
You are what you eat
Research shows that what we eat not only affects our physical health but also influences our mental wellbeing. A recent study proves that following a well-balanced and nutritious diet can lead to a reduction in hyperactivity and mood fluctuations. A proper diet can not only uplift your mood but also prevent mental disorders. For instance, Mediterranean cuisine is known to lower the risk of depression, at least, by 33 percent. Also, a Washoku or Japanese cuisine is known to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 36 percent. Similarly, consuming food that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants fuels and nourishes the brain and protects it from stress.
Mental illness starts earlier than you would expect
Do you know what causes disability in young people? One of the leading causes is mental illness. According to a study, about 10 percent of pre-teens and teenagers are diagnosed with mental illness. Needless to say, this affects one’s adult life adversely and needs to be addressed in a healthy and planned manner. Early treatment is the key here—it is extremely crucial and the only solution to provide these young minds with a healthy future.
Social media can affect your mental health
The world is getting more connected virtually with each passing day. Nowadays, we prefer to text our friends instead of meeting them in person. The joy of forging real connections and being physically present has been taken over by the need to verse in emojis. Hiding behind your social media accounts and intentionally or unintentionally living a socially isolated life can give rise to several mental disorders. A study proves that every 10 percent of negative experience on social media gives rise to 13 percent of loneliness among people. And those under 25 are more likely to testify to this fact considering their level of engagement on social media.
Coping mechanisms don’t always help
There are many measures we employ to cope with mental issues. For instance, consuming copious amounts of caffeine, or turning to excessive medication or alcohol. While caffeine and alcohol can further push you into the darkness, medication is only effective when suggested and monitored by a medical professional. The best coping mechanism, according to research, is physical exercise.
Exercising can increase blood circulation to the brain, which in turn plays an important part in improving your mood and reducing stress levels. A modification in lifestyle accompanied by a fair amount of physical exercise can greatly benefit those suffering from mental illnesses.