Introduction to Mental Health
What is Mental Health?
Your health is made up of BOTH physical and mental health.
When you are physically healthy, you feel full of energy and can work better. However, when you are physically unwell, you need to see a doctor. If not, you may end up with more serious health issues.
Mental health is like physical health. When you are mentally healthy, you will feel good. However, when you are mentally unwell, you need to seek help too.
Mental health refers to how we think, feel and behave as we cope with our lives. A person who is mentally healthy would feel good and not be overwhelmed by emotions such as fear, anger, jealousy, guilt or anxiety. They can handle life’s demands and handle the problems as they arise.
If a person becomes overwhelmed by negative emotions such as anxiety or fear, these emotions may cause one to become mentally unhealthy. If left untreated, they could suffer from mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety disorders.
Just like how anyone can catch the flu or cough, anyone can also experience poor mental health when going through a stressful or anxious period in their lives.
What is Mental Wellbeing?
Mental wellbeing is a state where one can cope with normal stresses of life, work productively, and make positive contributions to the community.
What is Stress?
Stress is normal in our daily lives. We can feel stressed when we are behind a deadline for work, or when we find ourselves lacking money to last till the end of the month.
However, stress can be both GOOD and BAD for us.
- Gives us a burst of energy (e.g. when we are behind a deadline)
- Helps us meet daily challenges and motivates us to reach our goals
- Helps us complete tasks more efficiently
If we are under the same stress for many weeks or months, it can be bad for us by:
- Affecting our mental health (e.g. become overly worried that prevents us from sleeping well)
- Affecting our physical health (e.g. weakening our immune system)
How do I know if I am facing too much stress?
Our body helps to tell us if we are starting to struggle with too much stress. Look for these warning signs:
- Constant headaches
- Body aches and pain
- Falling sick more often
- Difficulty in concentrating or completing tasks
- Constantly thinking about what worries you
- Become irritated with everyone and everything around you
- Become quick to get angry
- Become more anxious than usual