What Is Mental Health?

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Mental health describes your psychological state of well-being. The American Psychological Association defines mental health as “a state of mind characterized by emotional well-being, good behavioral adjustment, relative freedom from anxiety and disabling symptoms, and a capacity to establish constructive relationships and cope with the ordinary demands and stresses of life.”

But your mental health doesn’t just impact your mood and cognition; it also affects your physical health. Poor mental health can cause digestive issues, headaches, insomnia, fatigue and other physical symptoms.

Different Factors of Mental Wellness

Everybody has mental health, just like everyone has physical health. Mental health is important at every stage of life. It can change over time, as it’s influenced by numerous factors, including:

  • Stress
  • Burnout
  • Grief
  • Physical or mental fatigue
  • Financial hardship
  • Physical health
  • Work-life balance

Although mental health may look different for everyone, it’s often measured by one’s ability to:

  • Cope with stress, change and adversity
  • Maintain healthy relationships
  • Participate in productive activities (e.g., school and work)
  • Realize full potential

Warning Signs

Poor mental health can develop into mental illness if symptoms are unmanaged, which can cause distress and the inability to function in everyday activities. It’s important to understand the early warning signs of mental health problems. Watch for the following feelings or behaviors:

  1. Eating too much or too little
  2. Sleeping too much or too little
  3. Having unexplained aches and pains
  4. Having low or no energy
  5. Pulling away from people and your usual activities
  6. Lacking the ability to perform daily tasks (e.g., getting to work)
  7. Using substances (e.g., alcohol, tobacco and drugs) more than usual
  8. Feeling helpless, hopeless or like nothing matters
  9. Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, upset or worried
  10. Yelling or fighting with loved ones
  11. Thinking of harming yourself or others

In Conclusion

Mental health is a fundamental aspect of overall well-being that encompasses emotional, cognitive and behavioral aspects of your life. Its impact is not limited to mood and thoughts, as it also has a significant effect on physical health. Maintaining good mental health is essential at every stage of life, as it can change and be influenced by various factors such as stress, fatigue and financial hardship.

Taking care of your mental health is vital. Contact your doctor or a mental health professional if you’re concerned about your mental health.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional.

© 2023 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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