For a long time the scope of the term fitness had been confined to physical fitness only,however in the recent times there has been an upsurge in the number of people addressing the importance of mental health. Recently released data from WHO revealed depression as the leading contributor to disability worldwide. Moreover, between 2005 and 2015, the number of people living with depression grew to over 300 million people globally. The prognosis doesn't seem to be encouraging and people need to be made aware of the causes, symptoms and possible solutions for maintaining mental health.
So first let's look at the causes of mental illness:
A. Biological causes
1.GENETICS: Mental illnesses sometimes run in families, suggesting that people who have a family member with a mental illness maybe somewhat more likely to develop one themselves.
2.BRAIN DEFECTS OR INJURY:Defects in or injury to certain areas of the brain have been linked to some mental illnesses.
3.PRENATAL DAMAGE:Mental illness in few maybe related to the trauma that occurs at the time of birth- for example, loss of oxygen to the brain.
4. Substance abuse and factors such as poor nutrition and exposure to toxins may be other causes of mental illness.
B. Psychological factors
Severe psychological trauma suffered as a child, such as emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
An important early loss, such as loss of a parent.
Neglect, poor ability to relate to others.
C. Environmental factors
A dysfunctional family life.
Feeling of low self-esteem, anxiety, anger or loneliness.
Social or cultural expectations.
Now let's look at the symptoms one may develop if he/she is having mental health issues:
You feel down most of the time.
Nothing feels fun anymore.
Your weight is up or way down. You may feel less hungry or hungrier than usual.
You are absolutely exhausted, lethargic and experiencing low energy levels.
Recurrent thought of death or suicide.
Your mind is going haywire.
Your sleeping routine go for a toss. You either sleep more or less.
Mental health issues that arise from biological factors may not be that easy to do away with because that is something that cannot be controlled. However, issues arising due to psychological and environmental factors may be cured by following a few simple techniques. So here's my list of probable solutions towards a healthier mind:
1.Talk, talk, talk:
Well this is one of the easiest and the simplest way to cure mental illness. Sadly many people refrain from talking their heart out because they fear that the other person won't understand their problem and may end up making fun out of it.
2.Consult a psychotherapist
You consulting a therapist doesn't mean that you are going crazy or something like that. It is just that due to a variety of reasons you are not able handle your thoughts and emotions properly. Simply what it means is you are stuck at a point and is not able to move forward. That's when a psychologist come into play and help you get rid of all those virtual shackles.
3.Bye Bye Fear
Fear is always about something that is not. To put in simple words it is" what might happen" that frightens us. Just take a moment and ask yourself is it worthy to spend even a single moment of this life which is so precious on something that is non existent ?
To stay mentally fit the importance of a good mental diet is paramount. It is extremely important to be conscious of what you watch and read. I personally like to read autobiographies of sports persons, spiritual texts and motivational books. Then there are motivational speakers such as Vivek Bindra, Sandeep Maheshwari whose videos are really helpful. Spiritual gurus such as Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev, Sri Sri Ravishankar are the ones whose teachings may open a whole new dimension in your life.
Sadhana or meditation largely helps to stop the chatter of mind and also to experience something which is beyond life.
One must observe, listen and analyse to understand the metrics of life. In short life should not be taken too seriously as it only complicates our thoughts and way of living. Particularly in trying times like these the emphasis should be more on maintaining mental health along with physical health and haven't we heard the saying "when going gets tough then the tough gets going"