According to the World Health Organisation, “Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Like our physical body is subject to a plethora of harmful and toxic agents, our mind is similarly exposed to a great number of negative and irrational thoughts. These thoughts are produced by various circumstances, for example, poverty, job insecurity, death or other tragic incidents. Each and every one of us experiences such thoughts. Such thoughts do not mean that our mental state is amiss; it is when we harbour and give them undue attention that we let our mind go out of control. The gradual accumulation of such thoughts and feelings lays the foundation of a perturbed mind. A person may begin to experience several mental issues which can manifest in the form of depression, excessive worry, or anxiety disorders. Of all mental disorders, depression is the most common. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. At its worst, it can lead a person to suicide. As per a WHO report, about 8,00,000 people die every year due to suicide. It is not their physical body that induces them to go for suicide, but their depressed and anxious mind.
It is okay, in fact, normal to worry over your problems related to health, job, family and society. There is nothing wrong in thinking of and sharing such problems. One’s mental attitude is determined by how one responds to those problems. In today’s world, which is fraught with stress and hectic activity, looking after our mental state is of paramount importance. Below are some tips that have been found to be helpful in keeping the mind healthy:
1) Accept the mental problem you are suffering from. Whether it is anxiety, worry or depression, by merely accepting it for what it is, you are lessening its effect. Moreover, sound mental health never means that you are completely devoid of any mental distress.
2) Try not to be alone. By this I do not mean that one should not enjoy solitude, but that one should not sit idle and permit negative thoughts and bad feelings to occupy the mind. Keep yourself busy so as to not let mood swings and anxiety creep in.
3) Spend time with family members. Visit your friends and relatives. This serves two purposes: your bond with them is strengthened, and it lessens the burden on your mind.
4) Reduce your social media time. Minimise it. Use social media wisely and only when needed. Seeing all day tragic, grievous and woeful accidents and news can cause discomfort to your mind.
5) Enjoy your hobbies. A hobby is considered to be one of the best stress busters. Our life is nowadays so busy that we have little, if any, time for our hobbies. Reduce your social media time and spend it on your hobby, which may be gardening, writing, or simply a walk outdoors.
6) Share your emotions. There is nobody in the world who does not experience mental problems. Every one of us suffers from mental disturbances at some stage of our life. Share your feelings and problems with others. It will calm your worried mind.
7) Stay active by doing exercises. Whatever exercise you like, do it. Regular exercise is good for both physical and emotional health. It relaxes you and provides immediate relief from anxiety and stress.
8) Pray. Prayer is the best medicine to do away with anxiety and other mental problems. Once you start performing it with a conscious and calm heart, you will reap the benefits in form of reduced anxiety. It will give you a soothing, peaceful and tranquil experience.