Mental health matters. Taking care of our mental health aids in our resilience and recovery from anything that happens.
Anyone can have a bad day, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad life. How we respond to it and take care of our mental health are what’s important.
Mental health is important at every stage of our lives. It encompasses our overall wellbeing and affects our lives in many ways.
Why Is Mental Health Important?
Research shows that one in five adults in America – 43.8 million people – experience mental illness, which is 18.5% of our total population. This means that mental health issues frequent our population and affect everything we do.
According to HealthyPeople.gov, “neuropsychiatric disorders are the leading cause of disability in the United States.” Left untreated, mental illness creates widespread disability. It stops us from showing up to each day, stifles our abilities, and slows our pace.
Unfortunately, suicide rates rise when mental health is neglected. Mental health is important because it affects everything. It affects our ability to cope, adapt, and solve problems. It also affects our ability to be happy, productive, and well adjusted.
Mental health is a topic that gets stigmatized so often in our society. If someone is having a mental health issue, they are less likely to get help because of that stigma and shame.
But there’s nothing to be ashamed of. The wirings of your brain are not your fault. Yet, we act like it is our fault and discount its importance.
Mental illness also gets misunderstood by those who have never experienced it. It becomes up to us to advocate for our needs and educate others about our issues.
We become experts of “lived experience.”
There is a spectrum of how we experience things. We may sometimes lose control but regain it overall. Or we may experience the extremes of high and low emotions and not be able to cope. We may fall somewhere in between.
Things unravel when left untreated. But that doesn’t mean that it becomes too late. Anything’s possible. When we remember that, we give ourselves a fighting chance again.
There are three reasons why mental health is so important.
1. Mental Health Affects Physical Health
If someone had cancer, we would not blame them for this disease in their bodies. So why do we place stigma and blame on mental health issues in the brain?
Mental illness matters just as much as any disease, and it can take one’s life as easily as any other.
Depression, for example, can lead to suicidal ideations and if untreated, suicidal attempts. We are not balanced people if we only focus on physical health.
The mind and the body are connected. Many mental ailments cause stress, which lowers the immune system. This means more frequent sickness and inability to cope.
Stress and anxiety can take a toll on our physical health. According to WebMD, “worry causes the body to release stress hormones that speed up your heart rate and breathing, raise your blood sugar, and send more blood to your arms and legs. Over time, this can affect your heart, blood vessels, muscles, and other systems.”
When stress infiltrates our body, we start to shut down. How we cope with stress is everything. Untreated mental health issues can lead to further falling apart.
Many people turn to drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms, affecting their overall health and stability. When they don’t treat themselves right, it becomes a cycle of destructive behavior. This affects their physical wellbeing and can continue to snowball.
One’s stress affects one’s physical wellbeing and ability to take care of themselves, and this may cause destructive patterns.
When we reach this point, we sometimes only then learn that mental health is important. We must not ignore it, or other areas of our lives may suffer.
2. End Stigma and Shame to Lead Better Lives
It’s important to talk about mental health, so others can also come forward about it
Psych Central discusses how when we feel ashamed of ourselves, it is because we perceive we are broken or not normal. It affects our ability to cope when we think of ourselves so lowly.
Part of the process of healing is turning those feelings around. Our imperfections do not mean a lack of worth. When we realize that, we can also help others turn these feelings around and accept themselves.
Stigma begets shame. Shame begets destructive behaviors. Destructive behaviors beget a deterioration of the self.
Stigma spreads when we do not talk about mental health and its importance.
When it comes down to it, those who are mentally ill must need treatment. But without awareness and breaking the stigma surrounding their condition, they won’t feel comfortable reaching out to somebody for help. This enforces stigma and encourages more struggle and shame.
When we don’t get to say something, we give it more power.
In “Name It to Tame It”, a common exercise about emotions, we take the power of emotion away by naming it. Without talking about our emotions, they become more powerful and get more hold over us and others’ lives.
When we talk to each other, the problem becomes smaller with less hold over our lives. We can free each other by not being ashamed of mental health ourselves.
When we become authentic, we reclaim power over our lives. By denying the existence and importance of mental health, we deny ourselves. We lose our ability to solve problems and find solutions in our daily lives.
Without shame though however, we can say “I am not my mental illness. I am more than it. I am not afraid to talk about it because it is not my fault.”
When we do this, we empower ourselves and the world. We learn to listen to our triggers and warning signs so that we do not spiral, and we show greater compassion towards others experiencing it. This makes a more connected world overall.
“One day you will tell your story of how you’ve overcome what you went through, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide.” -Unknown
When we help ourselves, we also help others. We can pay attention to the world and make it a kinder, more loving place. We can determine what problems need to be solved by acknowledging our own, and we can share our stories in making that happen. We take away the shame.
3. Mental Health Affects Everything
Our mental health affects how we cope with life. Lack of treatment leads to hopelessness and sadness, worthlessness, feeling guilty, anxiety and worry, fear, and loss of control.
Our relationships may suffer. Our performance in any situation such as school or work may decline. Withdrawal and isolation may happen.
We may also lose interest in things we once enjoyed. Task completion and time management may fall apart. It may also become difficult for us to concentrate, or one may have rumination and focus on cleaning or organizing.
Our relationship with food may change. We may have ups and downs, and racing thoughts can happen more often.
Life may become overwhelming. If we are having severe mental health issues, we may start to lose touch with reality and even hear voices.
Self-harm may happen. Destructive patterns such as alcohol and drug use may strike, and suicidal ideations may be the final result. Overall, things will fall apart if we don’t take mental health seriously.
If you experience any of these issues, it’s time to reach out for help.
Mental health issues are important. It’s important to learn and care about them because if we don’t, all the aforementioned things could happen. We can’t function if we’re not doing well.
But when we turn this around and have good mental health, many good things can happen:
- We learn to cope again.
- We become healthy in all aspects.
- Our relationships no longer suffer.
- We find meaning in our day to day lives.
- We become more involved in our community.
- We are more productive at school or at work.
- We can be the person we are meant to be.
When we feel better, we do better.
Mental health affects everything. It affects our nature and how we interact with the world and ourselves.
Without good mental health, we are susceptible to not knowing our full worth and struggling with things that are beyond our control. When we ignore mental health, we ignore ourselves.
We must value our health and wellness as much as we value anything, if not more. We must learn that we are good enough – that we are worthy of compassion and that others are too.
This leads us to have higher standards. It helps us feel sad if we want to feel sad, accepting our state of mind. And it also helps us do something about it.
We don’t have to wait to feel better – we can feel better today simply by acknowledging our struggles as real and worth paying compassionate attention towards.
We don’t need to solve every problem, but we can ask for help if things get too much. Then and only then do we gain some sense of control again over our lives.
We all deserve to have peace of mind. Mental health is important because we deserve that.
If we only knew how worthwhile we were, we could take over the world. It’s our own limiting thoughts that hold us back, as we think that we are not normal or broken or not worthwhile.
The truth is that the mind can lie. It can hold us back. And yet it is also the source of everything good we experience.
It doesn’t make anyone less of a person for experiencing mental health issues. When we value mental health, we lead better lives. It doesn’t mean everything will be better overnight, but we can learn how to value ourselves so we can improve over time.
Mental health is as important as physical health. We must end the stigma because mental health affects everything. When we remember that, we can turn it all around. And it’s never too late to do exactly that.
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.
Tips on Improving Your Mental Health
What is success to you? How to be successful in life?
To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.
All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.
There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.
With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.
What follows is a list of 13 of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these tips are essential:
1. Think Big
From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.
Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?
Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
Instead be ambitious.
2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It
From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:
“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”
This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.
Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.
If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?
Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.
Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.
Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.
3. Learn How to Balance Life
From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:
“There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”
All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.
If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.
However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.
If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.
In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.
To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.
4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure
From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:
Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”
His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”
He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.
Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.
Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.
If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)
5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed
From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:
“I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”
This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.
If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.
Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.
6. Be a Person of Action
From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.
Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:
When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.
You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.
All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.
Applying this to you?
Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.
7. Cultivate Positive Relationships
From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “
The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”
The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.
People liked them. They wanted them to do well.
This is key to good leadership.
It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.
But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.
What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.
As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.
8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas
From Mark Twain, Famed Author:
“A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”
It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.
Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.
If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.
9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed
From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.
It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.
10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude
From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.
Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.
If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.
However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.
11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On
From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:
“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”
It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.
When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea. Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.
Watch this video and learn what to do even when others don’t believe that you’ll succeed:
If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too. This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It
12. Be Willing to Work Hard
From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:
“Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”
You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.
Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:
True success comes from work.
You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.
Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.
13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition
From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.
If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.
It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.
Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.
What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.
Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late