What is Mental Health?
Sometimes used as a synonym for ‘emotional health’ or ‘wellbeing’, mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Being on top of our mental health is just as important as maintaining good physical health. Everybody has mental health needs, and we need to take care of them to be the best version of ourselves we can be.
Good mental health means thinking, feeling and reacting in the ways you need and want to live your life. This is more challenging than it sounds, as we all have times when we feel down, stressed or anxious. Most of the time, however, those feelings pass.
But for 1 in 4 people, they can develop into something more serious.
So, what do early signs of a mental health problem look like?
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people around you and activities you usually enjoy
- Feeling numb or feeling like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual
- Having intrusive thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
These feelings can be scary and hard to deal with, but recognising you are struggling with your mental health is an essential step for getting better.
Taking care of your mental health needs means taking back control of your life, but you don’t have to do it all on your own. From your pastoral care support team to outside professionals, there are always people you can contact to work through your emotions and challenges, whatever they may be!