My Take on Mental Health

Let’s begin with a simple definition of Mental health..

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. 

Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including –

* Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry

* Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse

* Family history of mental health problems

Psychological stress arises when people are under mental, physical, or emotional pressure.everyone knows that stress can take a toll on a person physically and psychologically.

Low self-esteem can affect mental health too. 

 • Poor Relationships-

As humans, we strive to interact with others and the relationships we have with those closest to us help define us as people. So negative relationships ultimately equal negative feelings and a negative perception of ourselves.

 • Addiction- 

Studies indicate that low self esteem in childhood and early adulthood can be a predisposition to addiction in later life. Many addicts use substances such as drugs or alcohol to help ease the negative feelings they have about themselves. But over time this method of escapism develops into an addiction and of course this has detrimental effects on their already depleted self-esteem levels.

 • Depression and anxiety- 

Low self-esteem tends to work in a vicious cycle with other mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. It’s hard to say which comes first, only that the combination is both common and troublesome. Someone who already lives with a mental illness may find that low self-esteem develops due to the social stigma surrounding mental illness. Stigma can perpetuate the feeling that they have somehow failed.

Effects of stress and mental health issues are innumerable! It can lead to dermatologic problems, such as acne, brittle nails or even hair loss.

The lockdown has resulted in stress for a lot of people – stress of being cooped inside for weeks together; the uncertainty at large has taken a toll on mental well being of almost everyone. 

Stress cannot be hidden; it is seen right on your face. 

The first tell-tale signs of stress are reflected on your face as pale skin and mild eruptions. 

Stress causes hormonal imbalance which leads to acne, rashes, hair thinning and fall, and various other skin break-outs. It is imperative that people follow good skin care hygiene while they’re locked indoors. 

Staying inside does not necessarily mean you can forego or overlook skin and hair care. These are prone to more damage owing to stress. 

Hair is non-essential to physical survival and so it will always be the first part of you to suffer when something is off-balance in your body. 

But maintaining it is equally important. Nourish your hair with basic steps – oil your hair regularly, brush & comb hair – staying at home isn’t a license to not comb your hair, shampoo and condition your hair at least thrice a week. These are simple steps that can help you take your mind of the current situation and at the same time it will help maintain the health of your skin and hair.

 While for skin, the stress is quite evident in various forms like redness of skin, acne, etc. If there are skin breakouts and eruptions – it is advised to avoid exfoliation and stick to cleansing your face thrice daily. Similarly, those who are on the drier side should aim to wash their face only twice a day with a foaming cleanser. Should your skin need a little boost, indulging into Vitamin C will help combat the loss. 

Lastly, loving yourself. 

Building Self-Esteem

It is crucial. When we learn to love ourselves, we strive for a better life—a happier relationship, a more fulfilling career or recovery from an addiction.

But changing the deep-rooted feelings we have about ourselves isn’t easy and often experts recommend some form of therapy- usually Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to get to the underlying reasons behind our negative thoughts about ourselves.

The key then is to challenge and adjust these negative thoughts into more positive ones. 

Learning to value and care for your mind and body through a healthy lifestyle is also important. 

Good diet, exercise and meditation can be the first stepping stones in reclaiming physical and emotional confidence. 

Fully engaging with those we love is important. Feeling loved and supported (and being able to offer love and support in return) is a wonderful way to start increasing self-esteem. 

If you don’t have any immediate friends or family then consider joining a support group or even volunteering. Helping others is a great way to help yourself.

That’s what I feel.