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Time to make your mental health a priority.

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we cope with stress, relate to others, and make choices. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry, life experiences, such as trauma or abuse, and family history of mental health problems.

Your mental health affects everything you do from day-to-day basic tasks to how physically healthy you are. Undoubtedly, most people do not take the time to work through mental issues as there are societal stigmas attached to seeking help. Research suggests that: “Roughly 25 percent of adults in the U.S. over 18 are suffering from a diagnosable mental disorder. Surprisingly, only half actually seek treatment or help,” says Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, a neuropsychologist in New York City and faculty member at Columbia University. “Mental illness is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States today.”

Here are a couple of reasons why your mental health should be prioritised:

If affects your physical health

Your mind has more power over your body than you may realise. Your mind and body work together. How you think affects how you see yourself and physically your body responds to these thought processes. Poor mental health can cause serious diseases and illnesses. A study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovasucuslar Quality and Outcomes suggested that men who had high levels of psychological distress had 30% higher risk of heart attack than those with better mental health. Prioritising your physical health is therefore critical. Do some Pilates, run, walk, move, exercise, and do something to keep you mentally strong and physically healthy.

Sleep, lack of sleep, sleeping patterns

Not addressing your mental health can lead to a lack of sleep, poor quality of sleep or too much sleep. This can affect how productive you are in the day and doing day-to-day activities. Even if you do manage to get enough sleep, letting mental health issues go unchecked can still drain your energy reserves. According to the Cleveland Clinic, both emotional stress and mood disorders like depression can affect your energy levels, making you feel tired and sluggish every day until you receive proper treatment or address mental issues. Look at your sleeping patterns - this can help you make an informed decision as to where your mental state is.

A lack of energy and motivation (yawn!)

If you are unstimulated, unable to tackle day-to-day challenges and even feeling uncreative in your thinking it is best to look at how you are able to make changes to get healthier results out of yourself. Make a list of what you are feeling and why, and what the solutions are around that. Then prioritise making positive changes one day at a time. Be kind to yourself as you walk this journey. Getting professional assistance can support this journey making it easier to find your motivation and joy.

It can affect productivity

Being productive is challenging enough already. When you add untreated mental health issues you are basically setting yourself up for failure before you have even started. A study done by Hafeez suggests that. “Every year, more than 200 million workdays are lost due to depression alone. This figure doesn’t even include anyone who struggles with anxiety and stress, who are also likely to take sick leave repeatedly.”

Bad habits

Your mental health can lead to excessive alcohol, food, drugs etc or not a healthy balanced lifestyle. This can also steer you away from the fact that you are mentally struggling and not give you the opportunity to make time and space to seek guidance. It can also lead to sabotaging relationships. All of which can affect your quality of life.

It can put a strain on relationships

If you think your mental health only affects you, think again! Mental health issues affect loved ones, family, friends and people around you. More often than not, people struggling mentally isolate themselves rather than spending time with meaningful people in their lives. This is typical because of feelings related to a lack of understanding of what they are going through and or motivation or energy to give to those meaningful relationships. This undoubtedly puts enormous pressure on relationships.

It can impact your weight

Weight may suddenly increase or drastically decrease when stress levels and mental health issues are left untreated. This affects both the mental and physical states of the body and adds a further dynamic and challenge if left untreated. One 2010 meta-analysis published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry found that having depression can significantly increase your chances of developing obesity later on and vice versa. That’s because, when you’re in a bad mental state, you’re often less invested in eating healthy meals and working out regularly.

Everyone deals with several transitory periods and changes within their lifetime. If you work at keeping your mental health in good standing over the years, those transitions and changes will be much easier to manage. Making time and space to deal with any mental challenges that you may be experiencing is important for your overall health. Find ways of dealing with these issues by staying positive and speaking to someone, writing, doing art, exercising or anything that is therapeutic to you.

This blog was inspired by the article, “10 Reasons Why Your Mental Health Is So Important which can be found at: ”



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