Where do I start? According to cdc.gov, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.” For many years, I always thought that someone was crazy if they had mental health problems. My experiences in different professions have educated and changed my perspective on the way I view those two words “mental health.”
I view mental health similar to how I view physical health, you need to have good mental health in order to live a happy life. When I think of mental health I think of one’s mind and heart. A person’s mind and heart determine the status of their mental health. When I'm unbothered and in a state of peace, I'm in a good place mentally. What I didn't know in my younger years is that there are levels to not being okay mentally. A psychotic break is an extreme level of not being okay mentally, whereas stress and depression are not as extreme.
I believe it’s important for everyone to periodically do a mental health self-check. Many of us already do this, however, we don’t call it a mental health self-check. When you decide that you deserve a vacation to reward yourself for working hard, you have done a mental health self-check. Deciding to take a walk in the afternoon to get some fresh air and to clear your mind is also a way to check-in mentally. Going to sleep early, so that you can handle the next day’s to-do list efficiently, is another way to protect your mental health.
Stress, anxiety, and depression are familiar factors that can disturb your mental health. When addressing those feelings sometimes you have to decide to let some things or people go. I’ve learned that when something or someone doesn’t contribute to me experiencing happiness, then I have to back away. My peace is a part of my mental health and I will do whatever it takes to protect it. Life is not a fairytale; there will be times when life tries to disturb your peace, however it's critical for you to make the appropriate changes to protect it.
Note: Mental health is a term used to describe your emotional state. Always remember to protect your inner peace. If it costs you your peace, then it's too expensive.
I'm an East Carolina University alumna. I have experience in journalism, law, radio broadcasting, television production and teaching. My goal is to make a difference in the world through media and motivational speaking.