What influences the deterioration of mental health? What to do to improve mental health

Mental health is a state of complete psycho-emotional balance. It concerns not only the mental and emotional sphere, but also the physical and social spheres. In fact, the body and mind go hand in hand when we talk about health, because without the former, there is no latter, and vice versa.

In this article you will find out:

  • Mental health – what affects it?
  • What factors contribute to the deterioration of mental health?
  • When we need to reflect
  • What to do to improve your psychophysical state
  • Why it is important to take care of your mental health

We often mistakenly associate health with the absence of disease, infirmity or discomfort. Instead, it is about true harmony, the overall well-being of our body, mind and social “spirit”.

It is important to talk about mental health because, in the opinion of many, it is still a dogma. An example of this is the unreasonable fear and anxiety that many people experience before psychoanalysis.

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Emotional and mental suffering often leads people who suffer to go on with their lives in silence, preferring to mask their feelings instead of talking about them and expelling them.

Problems, if ignored, can be crippling in the long run. They can cause illness and disorders that can negatively affect our lives.

But there is a solution. You just need to overcome the obstacle of fear of vulnerability and know how to ask for help, because any psycho-emotional discomfort can be controlled and cured.

Mental health – what affects it?

“Good mental health allows a person to live a positive life. In fact, feeling good has a significant overall impact on most of the daily activities we do”.
  • Good mental health reduces stress levels and enables positive social relationships;
  • Good mental health allows us to make the most of our resources and potential;
  • Good mental health also ensures good physical health. Studies have shown that people with good mental health have a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.

On the contrary, poor mental health is often characterised by stress, sleep disorders and substance use.

What factors contribute to the deterioration of mental health?

Obviously, the state of mental health can change over time under the influence of certain factors that can affect us. There are many of them and, as you might guess, they are of different nature. More specifically, these factors can be psychophysical, social, cultural or even economic.

“For example, mental health can be affected by relationship breakdown, bereavement, overwork, economic hardship and much more”.

In general, anything that can affect our emotional balance:

  • Satisfaction: This means how satisfied you are with your life, including your job, your circle of friends, your family situation, your autonomy, your leisure time.
  • Resilience: refers to the ability to overcome obstacles along the way; everyone reacts differently when faced with adverse circumstances. Those who deal with them positively also have good self-awareness and self-esteem.
  • Support: socialisation is important in every area of human life, and in the health sector it is probably one of the most important. Indeed, it is important for each of us to have someone we can trust, someone who will be there for us, whether it is a family member or a friend. It has been proven that loneliness and lack of social support, caused by, for example, moving, divorce or general hardship, often lead to serious changes in a person’s emotional balance. That’s why it’s important to develop relationships, not necessarily in quantity, but in quality.
  • Rigidity: High expectations can often be a double-edged sword. Being too hard on yourself creates stress. The best thing to do is to live your daily experience as it comes, without trying to control the flow of events. It is important not to forbid yourself to experience new emotions, but not to suppress them out of fear of inadequacy.
  • Discrimination: Another factor contributing to poor mental health is discrimination that can be experienced because of age, race, ethnicity, disability or gender identity. Such unequal treatment can easily lead to depression and social anxiety.
  • Trauma: Traumatic experiences can also be a significant element when it comes to emotional balance.
  • Family history: it may be that the behavioural or psychological disorder has its roots in the family system.
  • Medical conditions: many illnesses can affect a person’s mental health. Very often, those who suffer from chronic illnesses suffer from their condition, and not only the body but also the mind is affected.
  • Self-esteem: Low self-esteem leads to a devaluation of one’s own personality. Low self-esteem distorts judgements about personal and physical characteristics and prevents the establishment of adequately deep social relationships.

When do we need to think?

“It is not always easy to recognise your psychological and emotional distress. That’s why it’s important to be able to recognise the signs of ill health, which eventually become real warning signs”.

In a broad sense, there are certain behavioural abnormalities that may indicate or signal the onset or presence of a mental health problem:

  • Sleep problems: for example, you sleep too much (hypersomnia) or too little (insomnia).
  • A sudden change in mood.
  • Social isolation: avoiding friends, family and social activities is a sign that may indicate mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.
  • Changes in appetite and weight: excessive appetite or loss of interest in food can be symptoms of depression or other eating disorders.
  • Substance misuse: Abusing alcohol, drugs or medication can be a way of coping with mental health problems. On the contrary, it can make things worse.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Difficulty concentrating or making decisions can be another sign.
  • Changes in behaviour and habits: Significant changes in behaviour and habits, such as loss of interest in enjoyable activities or poor personal hygiene, may indicate a mental health problem.
  • Physical symptoms without a clear medical cause: persistent physical pain or other physical symptoms without a clear medical cause may be related to mental health problems

What to do to improve your psychophysical state

“If you are experiencing more than one of these symptoms, don’t be alarmed. There is a way and a time to respond positively”.

Here are some important tips on how to stay mentally healthy:

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A healthy, balanced diet can have a positive impact on your mood and mental health. Try to eat nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.

In fact, some nutrients, such as omega-3s, are known to have mental health benefits. Eating fresh, whole foods can help keep your mood and energy stable.

Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress, improve mood and boost mental health. Try to integrate physical activity into your daily routine.

“Exercising allows your body to release endorphins, mood-boosting brain chemicals, and reduces stress hormones”.

Even a short walk can make a difference. Find a physical activity that you enjoy to encourage yourself to do it regularly.

“Sleep is essential for mental and emotional recovery. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule and sleep at lea

“Sleep is essential for mental and emotional recovery. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule and sleep at least 7-9 hours a night.” цітата

During sleep, the brain processes emotions and recharges. Therefore, it is important to maintain a regular sleep schedule and create a comfortable sleep environment. One of the tips is to avoid using digital devices before bed as much as possible.

Learn stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga or mindfulness. These practices can help you relax and reduce anxiety.

Maintaining meaningful social connections with friends and family can contribute to your emotional well-being. Try to spend time with people who support you and make you feel good.

A very good alternative is group therapy, which is very useful for reducing stress and can help those who suffer from eating disorders.

Learn to set boundaries and say no when necessary. Don’t overload yourself with commitments or responsibilities when you don’t need to. This good habit can help reduce anxiety and stress levels that usually arise from too much to do on a daily basis.

“Take time for yourself to do what you enjoy. Cultivate hobbies, passions or interests that make you happy and relaxed.” цітата

This will help you enjoy your passions and recharge your batteries.

It is not necessary to have a company. It is also useful to learn how to live alone with yourself. Because being happy alone and loving yourself means being able to love and be happy with others.

“Take care of your body and mind. This includes personal hygiene, skin care and other practices that help you feel good.” цітата

Taking care of your body and appearance can boost your self-esteem and overall mental wellbeing.

Too much time spent in front of a screen can have a negative impact on mental health. Try to limit the use of devices and spend more time in live interaction.

Spending time in front of a phone, tablet or computer can increase stress and anxiety. It is a good habit to take regular breaks from digital devices.

A good way to do this is to set time limits in your smartphone settings.

Seek help from professionals

If you are struggling with mental health issues, do not hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional. Therapy or counselling can be effective tools for overcoming such challenges and managing problems better.

Take time every day to reflect on what you are grateful for. This practice can improve your emotional well-being. This habit can improve your optimism. One tip is to keep a gratitude journal to record the positive things in your life.

“A structured daily routine can give you a sense of stability and control in your life. This is especially important when you feel overwhelmed.” цітата

One tip might be to write down commitments, appointments and goals to keep your mind free and organised.

If you feel isolated or lonely, reach out to friends, family or a support group. Isolation can make mental health worse. Virtual contact can also be important. The key is to feel close.

Substance abuse can have serious mental health consequences. If you have a problem with addiction, seek specialised help. Drinking, smoking and using drugs increases stress, anxiety and depression.

Set goals that are realistic and achievable. This will give you a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Setting goals that are difficult to achieve and having high expectations usually leads to having to deal with failures. And this, of course, has a bad effect on emotional balance.

Why it is important to take care of your mental health

Mental health directly affects the way we think, feel and act. It determines how we react to stress, how we relate to other people and how we make decisions. That is why it is as important to take care of it as it is to take care of our physical body.

“Did you know that mental health conditions such as depression increase the risk of physical illnesses such as diabetes?” цітата

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