Mental Health: The 21st-century Perspective

7 min read

Despite living at the peak of technological advancements, we hesitate to discuss mental health. According to Midss's reports, the main reason behind it is no one wants to look vulnerable, and it is widely believed that vulnerability makes individuals weak. If we ask you, would you like to appear weak? What will you answer?

In workplaces, there are often situations when an employee doesn't realize the corporate burn till there are apparent symptoms. At other times, employees refrain from sharing work-related pressure even after crossing the stress threshold. Their main concern is accepting the condition will make them look less sincere and counter-productive. But the reality is different; research suggests that acknowledging mental health allows individuals to learn about themselves and be better and authentic individuals, employees, and leaders. Being authentic at work helps employees perform better, consistently engage with clients and co-employees, and maintain an overall healthy well-being. Even then, most employees don't come to the front to talk about issues or to find ways to mitigate mental health concerns at a cost—to their health and the company.

What is mental health?

Mental health is an all-comprising notion that includes an individual's emotional, psychological, and social well-being. These behavioral areas affect how an individual thinks, feels, or acts. Further, it indicates how we handle stress, make associations with others, and make choices. It is common to experience mental health issues at different stages of life, right from childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, due to several entities ranging from biological factors, life experiences, and family history.

In the 21st century, social media takes a large portion of people's life, irrespective of their age and gender. People are over-indulged in phones, especially in surfing through social media. Now, social media platforms offer a great medium to find information and resources quickly; however, the negative aspects of social media outweigh the positive ones! Over-users of social media develop a tendency of social isolation, as they begin to feel drawn away from their social group under a feeling that they don't fit in.

There are other factors than social media overuse that can degrade mental health. Let's find out about them in the following section.

What factors cause mental health problems?
Several factors are believed to affect mental health. In some, a combination of factors works to impair their mental health. We are listing some possible parameters to affect mental health.

  • Childhood abuse or trauma
  • Social isolation
  • Exposure to discrimination or other societal stigmas
  • Bereavement
  • Long-term stress
  • Chronic physical health
  • Unemployment or higher job/personal stress
  • Lower economic health
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Domestic violence or any other abuse in adulthood
  • Significant trauma in adulthood.
  • Physical causes like a head injury or experiencing epilepsy

Like any physical condition, mental health requires identifying and understanding the root cause. This makes it compulsory to get to the root cause from where the mental health fluctuations began. We outline a few early mental illness symptoms in the next section.

What are the early signs of mental illness?

Mental health can be confusing for many, as there are several factors to establish a person suffering from mental health issues. We are laying down several early warning signs for mental health illness. Read along.

  • You might experience oversleeping and overeating.
  • You might feel drawn away from people.
  • You might experience low or no energy.
  • You will feel numb on social occasions.
  • You might experience unexplained aches and pains.
  • You might experience feeling helpless and hopeless.
  • You might get addicted to smoking, drinking, or drugs.
  • You will experience confusion, forgetfulness, anger, and worries.
  • You will engage in fights with friends and families.
  • You will experience abrupt mood swings that will cause strained relationships with your loved ones.
  • You will have persistent negative thoughts that you won't get off your mind.
  • At extremity, you might start hearing voices inside your head.
  • You might feel like harming yourself.
  • You might not be able to complete the daily chores effectively.

Ways to address degrading mental health

Mental health, if ignored for a long time, can substantially damage well-being. Therefore, individuals should actively identify and address mental health symptoms. In situations where the patient cannot cope with his feelings and changes, those around him should take a stand for him and help him get over the case. These goals can be achieved by harnessing a systematic approach toward tackling the root cause, gaining problem acceptance, and building a systematic way out of the situation.

Here are some ways to boost mental health.

Engage in more face-to-face social connections

The 21st century might have brought umpteen ways to socialize and network, but there is no better way to socialize than to communicate with a person face-to-face. Physical presence makes a significant difference while socializing as there are languages other than verbal ones that make us feel more connected.

Stay active

Staying active is integral to remaining healthy both mentally and physically. Therefore, make it a habit to engage in some form of physical activity that can positively impact your mental and emotional health, remove stress from your system, improve memory, and help you maintain a better sleep cycle.

Communicate your feelings

Talk about your feelings and experiences with someone you can trust or a confidante. It will not only help you take toxic things out of your mind but help you relax, as communication is an effective way to mitigate your mental health and relieve stress.

Listen to your senses

Engage in activities that calm down your nerves. It can be anything from listening to a song, painting, or walking out in nature. The stress-busting activities vary from person to person, as everyone responds to sensory input differently; therefore, you must find things that bring you happiness.

Make leisure and resting periods a priority

How often do you hear the phrase "I couldn't do the task as I was too busy"? People are habitual of blurting out this phrase occasionally when they can't meet an expectation. If you are experiencing the same situation, it might be the right time to sit back, relax, and contemplate your thoughts, actions, and behavior. Rest might seem simple, but it brings significant results if done correctly. Make sure you take at least 6 hours of sound sleep daily to recharge your system.

Eat right

It is crucial as a happy tummy leads to a healthy body and a content mind! Nourish your brain by eating suitable seasonal fruits and vegetables. Pay efforts to cut down on junk foods and those containing preservatives. Add food items like fish rich in omega-3s, nuts, leafy vegetables, beans, and fruits like avocado.

Bottom Up

Other than trying out these ways, know when to seek professional help and consultation. Professionals can help identify the cause and build strategies to mitigate the underlying mental health issues.

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