Mental Wellness refers to one’s emotional, psychological and social health and wellbeing. It influences how we relate to others, work productively, cope with the pressures of day-to-day life, and how we make sense of the world around us.
Just like your heart, lungs, bones and skin, your mind is a part of your body. When it is kept healthy, your whole body is strengthened.
While some aspects of our minds are genetic, most of the things that shape mental wellness are found around us in our everyday lives. These influences include our personal relationships, the environments we live, work, and play in, our diet and exercise habits, coping mechanisms, and other routines and patterns of thought.
Just like your heart, lungs, bones and skin, your mind is a part of your body. When it is kept healthy, your whole body is strengthened. However, when it is ignored or neglected, the health of your body will begin to decline — and vice versa. In fact, when a person’s mental wellness is strained, this pressure can lead to anger, anxiety, depression, or chronic stress. These symptoms will then begin to impact that person’s physical health, causing side effects such as headaches, bowel problems, life-threatening chronic diseases and even heart attacks or strokes.
Just like with physical health, it is important to remember that mental wellness is not just the absence of a disease. Your mind requires exercise, attention, and care to stay healthy, just like your body does. In return, it will offer you peace and understanding as you journey through life’s obstacles.
What can I do to take action?
Because so many things in our lives affect our mental health, there are a variety of things we can do to improve and maintain mental wellness — and most do not require major lifestyle changes. Keeping connected with others, volunteering in your community, getting enough sleep, and making time for exercise are just a few ways you can improve your mental health.
On the other hand, there are also certain behaviors and habits that can be harmful to your mental wellbeing when they interfere with everyday life. Some examples include:
While it may require dedication or support from others, these kinds of harmful behaviors should be avoided as much as possible.
Help is available
Achieving mental wellness is not something you have to do on your own. Help is available in our community for those who need support or encouragement. If you think you could use some help, get started by talking to your regular doctor or another trusted healthcare professional. If you or someone you know is in emotional stress, local help can be accessed immediately by calling any of the following helplines:
315-376-5200 (nights and weekends)
St. Lawrence County
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