Although many people often downplay mental health, emotional well-being is an important part of the overall health of the human being. Just as physical health is exercised and cared for, it is necessary to have habits that promote the control of good thoughts, feelings and behaviors in the face of the challenges of life.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual is aware of his or her own abilities, can face the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is capable of to make a contribution to their community. ”
“Mental health is a complete and optimal state of physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being of the human being,” says psychiatrist Juan Delgado.
“Good mental health allows us to live with good quality of life, makes it possible for us to be able to take care of ourselves and those around us, allows us to accept differences, tolerate our limitations and that of others, and helps us to be flexible and seek solutions to problems, “says psychiatrist Denis Vargas.
Today is World Mental Health Day and in 2018 the theme is: “Young people and mental health in a world of transformation”. The WHO notes that half of mental illnesses begin before the age of 14, but most cases are not detected or treated.
He points out that in adolescence and the first years of adulthood there are many changes that for some are exciting, but for others they can cause stress or apprehension that if in some cases they are not recognized and controlled, these feelings can cause mental illnesses .
In addition, the WHO explains that the increasing use of online technologies – which undoubtedly brings many benefits – can also generate additional tensions, since the connection to virtual networks is increasing at any time of the day or night.
Vargas explains that mental illnesses or disorders are alterations that occur in an individual, of an emotional, cognitive or behavioral type, in which different processes are affected such as thought, perception, emotion, motivation, cognition, consciousness , the behavior and others; causing difficulties to the person in their adaptation to the cultural and social environment in which they live, in addition to subjective discomfort.
The specialists point out that there is no specific cause that produces the appearance of mental illnesses, most of them are triggered by the sum of multiple factors: genetic, biological and psychosocial that refers to events or circumstances of life that can produce important stress in a person, and intervene in the appearance of these diseases in these subjects already vulnerable due to the presence of other factors.
Worldwide, depression is one of the most frequent mental disorders and, according to the WHO, is one of the main causes of disability that affects some 300 million people in the world.
In Cochabamba, depression is also one of the mental disorders that occurs most frequently. “Disorders due to the consumption of alcoholic substances are very frequent, and we have seen with concern that their incidence and prevalence has increased in recent years, each time in younger people, including adolescents,” says Vargas.
Explains that in many cases it is difficult to realize when mental health begins to decline, especially because the changes are gradual and insidious, but there are some signs that can give the alert according to the North American organization Change Direction.
Changes in personality:
Someone changes his personality gradually or suddenly and behaves in ways that do not conform to his way of being. It does not behave as it normally did.
Being unusually cranky or nervous:
Irritability and strong character can be signs that something is wrong. In extreme cases, these characteristics can prevent the affected person from sleeping or causing uncontrollable fits of anger.
Isolate yourself socially:
If someone who used to be very social starts to spend a lot of time alone, stops doing activities or moves away from family groups or friends, it’s worth paying attention. It should not be confused with the normal behavior of an introverted person, but it is the change in a person’s sociability.
Begin to drink more, consume drugs or leave personal hygiene aside.
If someone who used to be an optimist does not find reasons to be well, has a very negative look, thoughts of uselessness, sadness, guilt or even suicide is a sign that something is happening.
Therefore, it is important to develop and encourage the practice of habits that help maintain a balanced mental health and that promote a healthier life.
1. Take care of rest habits, food and use of technology
It is necessary to sleep well, seven to eight hours a day, because lack of sleep can make it difficult to regulate emotions.
It is important to have a healthy and balanced diet that includes more fruits, vegetables and foods that are beneficial to the brain (such as nuts and spinach) and the body. They also advise limiting the use of cell phones, tablets and computers.
2. Perform physical activity
Daily physical health stimulates the brain to produce endorphins or natural hormones. Both will make you feel good, will be less prone to depression and much more communicative. The trick is to “grab” the taste of the exercises. Try to do physical activity every day according to your possibilities.
3. Share your problems and do not isolate
Many people prefer to isolate themselves and not share their problems to avoid gossip. Although it is not advisable to tell all personal problems, commenting them to a friend or trusted family member is very beneficial. The advice you can give and hugs or words of comfort are very beneficial to health.
4. Improve interpersonal relationships
Share time with family, friends, neighbors and empower interpersonal relationships. Support and help others.
5. Have moments of leisure
It is necessary to relax and invest time in leisure activities such as going to the movies, reading a book, participating in a concert, walking or pampering.