Decoding Mental Health
The importance of building a mental health plan
Last Friday (April 7th 2017) was officially World Health Day, marking the launch of a one-year campaign that inspires people with depression to seek help and reach out. Taking this into consideration, we, from Enabled, decided to share a few insights and tips on the topic.
According to the World Health Organization, depression will be the biggest health burden on society in 2030 and, consequently, suicide will be the leading cause of death. However, depression and other mental health disorders are still a silent — but global — epidemic that has limited solutions. Part of this is intrinsically related to the fact that Mental Health is not legitimately recognized in all circles and is still surrounded by stigma and prejudice. Thus, such ailments are less likely to be tackled and/or promoted in discussions.
Besides the lack of awareness, there is also a lack of belief that there can be a future without depression or mental illness. If as a society we believe that we can fully solve cancer, AIDS or polio, why can’t we picture a future without mental health diseases?
Therefore, because we need to find a starting point to solve this problem, today we will be sharing a few practical suggestions for you to take care of your mental health. Just like you build a customized fitness plan to get in shape and keep a healthy body, you can also build a Mental Health Plan for a healthy mind.
The Mental Health Plan
A Mental Health Plan is not a professional document, but rather a tailored guide for your mental well-being and mental strength on a day to day basis. With a Mental Health Plan, you can become your best self because it helps to establish a baseline for growth, and to create the stepping stones to a new mental paradigm of self awareness, character development and strength.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”
In order to build your plan, you need to have the following:
Medical Check Up
A Medical Check Up is highly important to understand your present disposition and gain awareness of main concerns and issues. It is essential to be fully honest with yourself on this stage. Describe your health history, pressing issues, medications and lifestyle.
One of the main aspects of a Mental Health Plan is to diligently ask yourself the reason you are feeling a certain way. The better you are at deducing the origins of mental maladies, the better your recovery, growth and development as an individual.
You need to investigate what triggers specific negative feelings and emotions, in other words, the things, places, persons and events that can spark a new episode of illness. After some time experiencing a certain disorder, you will see patterns emerging that show you those triggers for unsolicited feelings.
Another extremely important aspect of mental health is being fully aware of your warnings. Warnings are symptoms and signs that something is wrong — the physical reaction in your body and mind caused by your trigger. If you are aware of those symptoms and signs, such as a fast-paced heart beat or sweaty hands, you will be more prepared to deal with the situation.
To Cope or Not to Cope
To cope, of course! To avoid a crisis or effectively cope with one, you can develop different and tailored strategies, such as:
- Reaching out to pre-defined people that can help you;
- Distracting yourself in a social setting, by picturing good memories by every detail and/or playing intriguing mind games;
- Planning a stay-well routine, such as meditating, running or other lifestyle-related solutions.
“Life is about growth, and the mind is the most important part of self. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure you are growing and ensuring the utmost health of your mind.”