Health is a state of complete physical, mental & social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.
Mental Health is a state of wellbeing in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Therefore mental health is the foundation for individual wellbeing and the effective functioning of a community(WHO).
There are a lot of things that can contribute negatively to our mental health, some of which are homelessness, poverty, Home Office decision (either positive or negative), low level of education, not having money, and also psychological factors that can lead to mental disorders.
Mentally Healthy Persons have:
• Self-confidence and high-esteem
• The flexibility of learning new things and adapt to change
• A sense of contentment
• The ability to laugh and have fun
• The ability to deal with stress & and bounce back from adversity
The above points help a person cope when faced with life’s challenges and stress. Also being resilience helps because Resilience in mental health is the ability to be able to bounce back from adversity, trauma, and stress. In the coming weeks, we will be writing in-depth on the symptoms of mental health (depression, stress, low self-esteem, etc.)
Improving Mental Health
To improve our mental health, we need to
• Improve Physical health: This contributes to our mental health by getting enough rest, learning about good nutrition & practice it, exercising to relieve stress, avoiding cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.
• Appreciate and love yourself: If nobody loves you, love yourself. If nobody sends you a card for your birthday, get a lovely card for yourself. Always think about the things you are grateful for. Pray, meditate, take time to love, pamper and give yourself gifts.
• Positively impact others. Pay attention to what is good in others and compliment them.
• Limit worrying
• Dress well : you will be addressed by how you are dressed
• Be self-disciplined
• Appeal to your five senses (the senses of taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound) by listening to music, go for a ‘massage’, put flowers in your home and look/smell them.
• Manage your stress level
• Educate yourself
• Work or Volunteer in community activities (get involved) if not allowed to work
• Seek supportive relationships: Surround yourself with people who love, respect, and celebrate your goal. Be bold and walk away from people who do not like you, pretend to like you or abuse you physically or emotionally. Children learn from parents, therefore if you allow abuse in your live, then your children will not know how to reject abuse and think it is a normal way of life. Walk away from people who talk negative about others behind their backs. Establish the truth and be focused.
• Seek professional help if you are unable to sleep, have suicidal thoughts,
feel hopeless most of the time, have fear and self-destructive thoughts you cannot control.
In conclusion, low self-esteem and depression are a direct reflection of our mental health. There are a lot of factors which we cannot control that can affect our mental and emotional health, but being resilience and improving our mental health (points above) can enable us reduce the risk of depression and low self-esteem.
Researched and Written by Elizabeth SamCoffie (former Animashaun)
1. NHS CHOICES, Mental Health,
Accessed from: Http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealth/pages/fightyourfears.aspx
Accessed on 14/05/2012
2. Princeton Education, Emotional Health,
Accessed from: Http://www.princeton.edu/uhs/healthy-living/hot-topics/emotional-health/
3. WHO, Mental Health: Strenghtening our response,
Accessed from: Http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs220/en/