A Holistic Approach To Mental Health - 7 Components Of Mental Health
Mental wellness is a holistic concept that cannot be denied when discussing overall wellness. The importance of mental health in today's society cannot be overstated. It won't matter how hard you try; mental health affects everyone, regardless of what you think or how you delay it.
Whether you suffer from it or not, there will always be someone you know who might be struggling with some mental illness in your daily life. It is a part of everyone, and it is important to remember that talking about mental health is not a taboo, and neither struggling with mental illness is a sign of weakness. It is a real and complex issue that needs to explore more and talked about.
Understanding mental health components and how they contribute to a good mental state will help you maintain your mental health. This article will help you understand and discuss the components of good mental health.
Mental Health: What Is It?
By definition, mental health refers to your ability to cope with stressors, learn and work well, and also contribute to the community. It is a key component of your overall health and well-being that ensures better decision-making and relationships at both individual and collective levels.
When you talk about mental health, you're not just talking about the absence of mental disorders. It consists of psychological disabilities, mental disorders, and other mental states characterized by significant distress and impairment of normal functioning. Rather, it is a continuum that varies depending on the degree of potential stressors you are exposed to.
"Mental health is not something you have, it is something you practice."
Mental health is thus the overall wellness of how you think, regulate your feelings, and behave. You can enjoy life and create a balance between your work and efforts to achieve psychological resilience along with emotional resilience.
Cultural differences and competitive professional theories affect how one defines "mental health". It is not a static concept but rather a holistic one.
What Are The Components Of Mental Health?
Mental health is a complex and multi-dimensional concept that includes many emotional, social, and psychological factors. But most importantly, it can be broken into three major components: cognitive health, emotional health, and behavioral health.
1. Cognitive Health
Cognitive health is a key component of your overall mental health, as most of your actions are determined by your thoughts. Your thoughts have a major influence on what you think, your emotions, and your behaviors.
Cognitive skills refer mostly to learning, thinking, processing, and reasoning out information. It includes skills such as memory, attention, decision-making, and problem-solving.
Cognitive health is a vital component of your mental health because recognizing your thoughts for what they are is the first step toward freeing yourself from overthinking and burnout.
Suggested read: Holistic Wellness
2. Emotional Health
Emotional health is not the same as mental health; it is a vital component that contributes greatly to your overall mental health. Emotional health is the ability to cope with and healthily manage emotions.
It is important to note that being emotionally healthy does not imply being always happy. It means you're aware of your emotions and know what to do when they arise. Being emotionally healthy is also a step closer to being mentally healthy since you are more -
Resilient to stress
Have higher self-esteem
Build deeper relationships
Positive thinking and attitude
Energized and high-spirited
Suggested read: 15 Emotional Wellness Activities to Practice in the Workplace
3. Behavioral Health
Behavioral health is the ability to make healthy choices, manage addictive behaviors, and engage in positive behaviors that support overall well-being. It is a vital component of mental health, focusing on the connection between your behavior and physical and emotional wellness.
Behavioral health is essential to mental health as it addresses behavior-related health issues and supports achieving optimal mental and emotional health.
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The 7 Components Of Good Mental Health
A holistic approach to mental health means knowing about all its components. You have to be aware that your mind and body work together as a team and are not separate entities. And all mental health components work together to ensure that your emotional, physical, and social being is well-balanced.
When it comes to safeguarding your mental wellness, knowing about the 7 components of good mental health is crucial in protecting your physical, emotional, and mental health.
Here are the seven components of good mental health listed below -
1. In-person Therapy
When it comes to caring for your mental health, only a few have access to the basic tools and knowledge of the required methods. Modern life can be chaotic, so having an objective sounding board to bounce your experiences off of is important, especially if you'd like to understand patterns in your emotions and behavior. And in-person therapy is one of the oldest and most essential components of good mental health treatment.
In-person therapy typically involves consulting or meeting with professional help. It generally includes sessions of regular face-to-face meetings with a therapist or a counselor who provides guidance, support, and treatment for your mental health problems.
In-person therapy can be of different forms and is not limited to traditional one-on-one meetings. Depending on your need and the mental condition you are struggling with, it can be an individual, group, or even family therapy. Depending on the severity and your personal goals, it can be either shorter or long-term.
With in-person therapy, you can build a strong and trusting relationship with your therapist without feeling judged and with positive outcomes. Additionally, your experiences and feelings are completely confidential.
Overall, in-person therapy remains an important component of mental health treatment as it can provide you with the support, guidance, and resources you need to improve your mental health and well-being.
2. Physical Health
It is now known that your body and mind are interconnected and that the health of one affects the other. Your body is an intricate network of systems working together to keep you healthy, not just physically but mentally as well. When discussing mental health, your physical health plays the most crucial part.
Physical health plays an important role when it comes to good mental health. A healthy and fit body promotes good mental health. When you're physically active, it helps to boost your energy and serotonin levels and increases endorphins in your body.
Again there is an association between poor physical health and mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and stress. Also, poor mental health is a chronic factor in chronic health conditions as both are interlinked, and the health of one determines the other.
Since physical health problems significantly increase your risk of developing mental health problems. However, participating in healthy lifestyle choices like eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, and exercising can improve mental health by decreasing and preventing anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. It also helps to improve your mood and other aspects of your well-being.
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Community plays an important role in approaching mental health conditions today, unlike a few years back. Your community can be anyone, including your friends, family, colleague or people online, or even your support group. Community is not limited to your square box family or friends but to people with whom you can associate on a much deeper level.
It is no excuse to isolate yourself today when you're struggling with any kind of mental health problem. Be it small or big, you need to allow yourself to seek your community's support and guidance (voluntarily or involuntarily).
Building a solid community of love, support, and trust is essential to your wellness journey. When you're surrounded by like-minded people with whom you can connect, it will help you become healthier and happier through in-person or online exchanges of services and conversations.
When you're part of a community, you will realize that you're not alone in this and that whatever it is that you're going through, you don't have to go through with it alone.
Again, if you've heard the famous saying, "you're who you keep," it's true. Your mental wellbeing and lifestyle will be greatly impacted when you surround yourself with people who encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle and share similar goals.
Suggested Read: Coping With Social Isolation and Mental Health
4. Intellectual Health
Intellectual wellness or health means recognizing creative abilities and encouraging yourself to find and learn new ways to expand your knowledge and skills. Thriving towards good mental health requires you to be intellectually healthy, i.e., continued intellectual growth and creativity.
To grow and maintain, your brain must also be consistently exercised like the rest of your body. Taking on new skills, meditating, reflecting, or acquiring new knowledge all contribute to mental well-being when committing to lifelong learning.
In addition to keeping your brain sharp, it improves your quality of life by giving you a sense of purpose. You might discover that you are more in tune with yourself or join a new group of people who share your interests.
Exercising your mind and committing to lifelong learning is valuable to your mental health journey.
Suggested Read: Keys to attain Intellectual Wellness at the Workplace
5. Environmental Health
Your environment plays a significant role in determining your mental state. If you are frequently subjected to daily stressors and less ideal living conditions, it can negatively impact your mental health. It can be your workplace, living space, limited access to green space and fresh air, or even your commute mode.
If the stressors inevitably come with your inadequate environmental conditions can take a huge toll on your mental health and overall wellness. When you remove all those stressors from your life that might affect your mental health subconsciously or consciously, it can be a huge step towards leading to a healthy mental state.
When you try to remove the stressors to some extent or change your unhealthy environment, it often greatly improves your overall health and well-being. It will help reduce your brain's stress response, which can contribute to better cognitive function.
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Self-care refers to everything you do for your mental, physical, and emotional health. While this may seem simple, it's unfortunate that most of you do very little for yourself to recharge and refresh properly. Each individual's definition of self-care is unique, but at its core, it relies on increasing self-awareness to determine what practices or situations enhance or detract from it.
Again, when it comes to mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness and even increase your energy and serotonin levels. Practicing the art of essential self-care can help you better equip yourself to deal with crises and challenges in life.
It is clinically proven that participating in a self-care program or maintaining self-care routines can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. It all helps you to build and adopt strong relationships and healthy habits.
Nutrition, exercise, and prioritizing sleep can all contribute to self-care. There are many ways to provide self-care, including meditation, exercise, relaxing at a spa, or keeping a budget. You may need to take quick mental surveys of your body in various situations to acknowledge your feelings.
As harsh as it might sound, setting healthy boundaries and knowing when to say "no" is crucial to keeping your sanity in check. Boundaries are a necessity when it comes to prioritizing your mental health. It is not meant to keep people out of your way, nor does it mean to isolate yourself.
Boundaries can differ from person to person. Communicating your boundaries can help you develop healthy independence and greater self-esteem, avoid burnout, help you gain clarity on who you are and your values, and enhance overall mental and emotional well-being.
It can feel exceptionally uncomfortable and challenging at first to set your boundaries. But try to lean into the discomfort and avoid the tendency to ignore your feelings out of 'politeness.' It is time to unlearn the unhealthy, potentially harmful practice of people-pleasing and put your well-being and limits first.
Learning to say no and setting healthy boundaries will help you safeguard your mental health and remember there is nothing selfish about it. You shouldn't feel guilty for standing up for yourself and practicing habits that will help you preserve your mental wellness.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Are The Components Of Mental Health?
Mental health is composed of various components, including emotional, psychological, social, and behavioral factors. All of these factors are interconnected and work together to support our overall well-being.
2. Can Mental Health Be Improved Through Lifestyle Changes?
Yes, making positive lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on mental health. This includes engaging in regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that bring us joy and fulfillment.
Summing It Up
Thus, working or trying to prioritize every component of mental health might seem daunting at first, but it is not impossible. You need to start small and maintain consistency to thrive and lead a healthier life with limited exposure to stressors.
It is completely humane to find it challenging at first to adapt new habits, but remember a lot of things are out of your control, and learning how to take control of the things that might affect you or learning to accept the things that you can't change is the beginning step towards preserving your mental health and overall well-being.
Like how your body and brain can't affect each other, neither can the seven components of your mental health and overall quality of life. It is, therefore, important to try to make a consistent effort to make changes and address these seven components of your mental health.
I hope this article helped you better understand what a holistic approach to mental health looks like and the seven important components of mental health care.
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