Mental Health Is Health
Everyone wants to be healthier, fitter, and happier, but a lot of people forget that mental health is part of that equation too. As winter sets in and days get shorter, mental health is especially important to consider. I read an article las week about how the number of anxious first year students has risen from 50 to 62% in the span of 6 years. This cannot be a coincidence.
What is Mental Health?
The World Health Organization defines Mental Health as, “Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” It also adds that, “"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." In other words mental health has to do with your ability to balance all of life’s stresses and is the bridge between physical and social well being.
Mental Health Facts
800,000: The number of people who commit suicide every year
2nd: Leading cause of death worldwide of people age 15-29
10: The percent of young people who will suffer from a major depression issue
6.3 Million: The number of teens who suffer from an anxiety disorder
70%: Of mental health disorders having their beginnings in childhood or adolescence
Mental Health Is Health
In one of my Five Fitness Articles, My good friend Matthias touches on Mental Health by saying that it is critical to being well rounded. I used to struggle with this fact. I remember the days that I would beat myself over not working out or doing enough work. I felt that I was always stressed and it finally culminated when I had an anxiety attack at night my sophomore year and had to go to the ER. Sure, I had sketchy energy drinks and got really drunk the night before, but it was ultimately stress that crashed down on me.
5 Ways to Boost your Mental Health
Quiet Your Mind: Make sure to take the time to slow down and relax. Schedule that time like you would any other meeting or important event. For example, every Wednesday night at 6:30 PM you meditate for an hour. Whatever it is, be sure to slow down and take time for yourself.
Break Up The Routine: Routines are great and all, but we are human beings, not robots. We need change every so often.We are creatures of habit (I totally am!), but we slight differences can make for a much needed mental break. Instead of walking home from the train down the main boulevard, switch the game up and head down some side streets or stroll by that café you’ve been meaning to check out. Take the extra 5 minutes and relieve some stress.
Learn To Handle Stress: Instead of ignoring stress and hoping it will go away, find a way that works for you to combat the feeling of being overwhelmed. Take a deep breath, relax, and taking a short walk does wonders for my mind. Find something that works for you.
Sleep In, Ditch The Schedule: Our whole lives are ruled by our schedules. Get up by this time, finish this by the afternoon. Sometimes we need downtime. It can even make us more creative and productive if we do it in moderation. We are not meant to have every second of our lives planned. But thanks to the rise of social media, we feel more and more pressure to keep up with everyone else. Speaking of social media…
Disconnect From Technology: I was having breakfast the other day at a diner and saw that most people had their phones out on the table next to them while eating with others. I disagree with that.I go by the motto, “If it wasn’t around 100 years ago, it probably isn’t good for us.” this includes all forms of technology. Whether it be your computer, phone, or social media, find some time to unplug and be present with yourself and others. Maybe that time is when having a meal with friends or family.
While mental health can’t be seen in a mirror, it can be seen in the way one acts and in the way one feels. I think everyone puts an emphasis on being “fit” and “healthy”, but most of the time no one acknowledges that mental health is apart of that equation. It’s okay to not always be happy, to be mad, to be upset. In fact, it’s completely normal. Do yourself a favor this winter and take some time to work on your physical and mental health.
CarryOnTravelFitness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. All of the thoughts and opinions expressed on my site our my own and I was not paid for or mandated to provide a positive review.