In India, about 60 to 70 million people are dealing with everyday stress and serious mental health problems, which is why it's crucial for us to focus on understanding why mental health is important and how to take care of it.
Sadly, there is often a lot of criticism and misunderstanding among communities when it comes to learning the importance of mental health. That's why we need to break these barriers and make efforts to support and promote good mental health.
Now, let’s deeply understand why is mental health important so that we can create a kinder and healthier community for everyone.
Why is Mental Health Important?
To understand the “mental health importance,” it’s essential to analyze your thoughts and emotions and if you feel there are any concerns that are making you worried, make sure to address them immediately. Doing this will help you build a positive attitude and get a hold of your thoughts and emotions in the right manner. When we prioritize our mental health care, it not only increases productivity but also boosts our self-image and strengthens our personal relationships.
Along with improving daily functionality, the importance of mental health can be seen in how it positively affects physical health related to mental conditions. For example, it has been found that stress is directly linked to heart disease, depression, and the common cold; therefore, managing stress can have a positive impact on your health and promote an overall wholesome lifestyle.
Looking after our mental health has a lot of benefits, including:
- improved mood,
- less anxiety,
- a sense of inner peace,
- clearer thinking,
- improved relationships, and
- increased self-esteem
However, the importance of mental health goes beyond these immediate benefits. It deeply affects our psychological, emotional, and social well-being which involves how we feel and function on a daily basis. Mental health plays an important role in shaping our daily experiences and interactions, such as how we navigate challenges, handle stress, and connect with others. It is not a one-time concern; it's something we should be mindful of and handle with care throughout every stage of our lives, from infancy until adulthood.
What Are the Most Common Mental Health Conditions?
Let's take a look at some common mental health conditions to better understand “why is mental health important” and how to address them correctly.
The continuous rise in mental illnesses is a growing concern in India. According to the Public Health Foundation of India, anxiety and depression are the most common mental health conditions in India, with more than 45.7 million people struggling with depression and 44.9 million having anxiety disorders.
Along with these disorders, other mental health conditions that affect a large number of people in India include eating disorders, stress, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and personality disorder. It is important to understand these conditions to promote awareness, reduce stigma, and encourage people to seek the support and treatment they need for their mental well-being.
What Are Different Factors That Influence Mental Health?
There are lots of things that can influence how we feel and think, and it's not always easy to express our feelings and talk about them. However, understanding these factors can help us know what might be affecting our mental well-being, why mental health is important, and how we can get the support we need.
Here are some factors that can make us feel unhealthy mentally. These include:
- Painful past experience
- Chronic stress
- Spending a lot of time alone
- Feeling lonely
- Losing someone important to you
- Being treated indifferently
- Dealing with health issues
- Facing challenges because of your background
- Not having enough money or being in a lot of debt
- Losing a job
- Going through a breakup
- Dealing with divorce
- Difficult family dynamics
Benefits of Good Mental Health
No matter what your age is, taking care of your mental health is crucial for everyone. Unstable mental health can lead to negative behaviors that not only affect your personal health but also your relationships with others.
On the other hand, good mental health brings many positive changes and impacts various aspects of our lives in beneficial ways. So, let's talk about some of the reasons why you should focus on mental health importance:
1. Handle life’s challenges better
Good mental health helps us handle tough times and gives us the strength to face challenges and stress, making it easier to overcome life difficulties. Dealing with problems such as arguments, money troubles, or work issues can lead some people to choose isolation or anger as a way to handle these difficulties, but you can cope with these issues in a better way. You can seek professional help and engage in positive activities like reading or watching uplifting content, which can enhance the effectiveness of your coping strategies.
2. Feeling good about ourselves
Feeling good about yourself is one of the many benefits of maintaining good mental health. When we have a positive attitude towards ourselves, we see our strengths, appreciate our achievements, and deal with problems efficiently. It also boosts your self-esteem and gives you confidence in yourself, which eventually shows that your mental state is healthy and sound.
When someone is doing well mentally, they notice positive things about themselves, such as focusing on their good qualities and aiming for a happy and healthy life.
3. Having better relationships
Mental health also affects how we connect with others. When we feel good mentally, we can communicate well, understand others, and build strong and supportive relationships. On a broader level, you can provide more quality time, affection, and support to your friends and family, and it becomes easier to be there for the people you care about.
4. Being more productive
Good mental health benefits us by making us more focused and efficient, which helps us think clearly, deliver top-notch results, and perform better at work or in achieving our personal goals. When you're facing mental health challenges, you might find it harder to concentrate on tasks, make decisions, or meet deadlines. To cope with it, try working on relaxing activities such as meditation or exercise and asking for help from friends, family, or experts.
5. Better life quality
Ultimately, good mental health leads to a better life overall, including feeling satisfied, having positive emotions, and being able to enjoy life's good moments while dealing with life's challenges in a strong way. You might start getting more involved in your community, like helping out the needy, joining food drives, or helping at shelters. Moreover, you could also try new hobbies, make new friends, and even visit new places.
How to Maintain Mental Health and Well-Being
Maintaining good mental health involves adopting certain lifestyle practices and making positive changes. Here are some effective ways to understand why is mental health important to our overall well-being and how to nurture it.
1. Regular exercise
Make regular physical activity a part of your daily routine. Engaging in exercise is not just good for your body; it's also a powerful tool for improving your overall mental health. Studies show that exercise can reduce stress and boost your overall sense of well-being. Whether it's going for a walk, hitting the gym, or practicing yoga, find an activity that you enjoy and can incorporate into your schedule.
2. Prioritize rest and sleep
Ensure that you prioritize getting enough rest and quality sleep each night. Lack of sleep can take a toll on your mental health, affecting your mood and ability to cope with stress. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, create a comfortable sleep environment, and aim for the recommended amount of sleep each night to support your overall well-being.
3. Try meditation
Explore the practice of meditation to calm your mind and reduce stress. Meditation comes in various forms, such as mindfulness, guided meditation, or focused breathing exercises. Find a technique that resonates with you and fits into your daily routine. Regular meditation can contribute to a more peaceful state of mind and improve your mental strength.
4. Learn coping skills
Equip yourself with effective coping skills that involve developing problem-solving strategies, setting realistic goals, or finding healthy outlets for stress relief. Learning to cope positively with stressors can enhance your mental well-being and empower you to face difficulties with resilience.
5. Connect with loved ones
Stay connected with family and friends to nurture your social well-being and understand the mental health importance. Social connections provide support, understanding, and a sense of belonging, all of which contribute to positive mental health. Whether through regular calls, video chats, or in-person interactions, maintaining strong connections can be a powerful source of emotional support.
6. Maintain a positive outlook
Cultivate a positive outlook on life, which can happen by focusing on gratitude, practicing optimism, or trying to see challenges as opportunities for growth. Positive thinking has a profound impact on mental health, affecting your overall mindset and how you deal with life's ups and downs.
7. Seek professional guidance
Consider seeking guidance from a mental health professional to understand why is mental health important. Talk therapy is a proven way to learn healthier ways of interacting with others, develop healthy coping mechanisms for difficult times, and address negative behaviors that may be impacting your life.
How to Get Help For Mental Health
Getting help for mental health is an important step toward wellness. If you are having mental health struggles or wish to understand more deeply why mental health is important, consider reaching out to professionals such as therapists or counselors who are trained to provide support. It's essential to address such concerns early on to avoid any further consequences, such as chronic stress, weakened relationships, or the worsening of these symptoms.
You can reach out for help in various ways, such as by talking to a therapist, joining support groups, using online services, or reaching out to friends, family, or community clinics. In this matter, you can try using the Now&Me app, which is available 24x7 with qualified experts and at a reasonable price, starting at just Rs. 30. You can also join our supportive community to share your feelings and thoughts. For this, you can simply download the Now&Me app and book the call at your convenience.
Remember that seeking help for your mental health is a courageous and positive step, so don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it.
The Importance of Mental Health. Published November 2021. https://www.talkspace.com/blog/why-is-mental-health-important/
The Importance of Mental Health. Published February 2023. https://www.verywellmind.com/the-importance-of-mental-health-for-wellbeing-5207938
Now&Me articles are written by experienced mental health contributors and are purely based on scientific research and evidence-based practices, which are thoroughly reviewed by experts, including therapists and psychologists with various specialties, to ensure accuracy and alignment with current industry standards.
However, it is important to note that the information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individual circumstances vary, and it is advisable to consult with a qualified mental health professional for personalized advice and guidance.