Often we hear the phrases Mental health, mental illness, depression and anxiety, but how many of us know what these actually mean? Some may have a faint idea, based on assumptions or general knowledge, whilst others who may be clinically diagnosed still do not fully understand these concepts.

Mental Health
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Mental Health:

Contrary to popular belief, mental health does not necessarily allude to mental illness. Everybody
has mental health, and it is just as important as physical health. The World Health Organization
describes mental health as a state of well-being in which individuals realize their potential, have the ability to cope with the normal stressors of life, can work productively and is able to make a positive contribution to his/her community. The aim of mental health is for individuals to realize their full potential and lead satisfying lives.

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Negative Mental Health:

Negative Mental Health is when an individual cannot cope with normal stressors and is unable to
function productively. This may be a result of our genetic makeup and upbringing, life circumstances and stressors. Positive mental health is when an individual is thriving, content and fulfilled. Life is a continuous cycle of challenges and pleasures. Sometimes when you overcome one challenge, another looms ahead in the distant horizon. Taking care of your mental health means learning how to overcome these challenges, loss and change in a healthy manner without hurting oneself or others.

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With the advent of technology and social media, mental health and mental illness are widely
promoted and slowly becoming destigmatized. Celebrities are publicly describing their illnesses
which significantly aids in raising an awareness. However, despite these improvements people are still unsure on how to implement coping strategies and solutions.

Inculcating These Steps Can Significantly Improve Your Mental Health:

1. Identify Your Stressors:

Once they have been identified you can work on resolving them, ultimately reducing stress and
improving your mental health.

2. Journal:

You may have ditched your journal after primary school, but it’s time to bring it back. Take out
10 minutes at the end of each day to journal. Write a brief description of the events that
occurred, or lack thereof, and how you felt about it. Over time you’d be able to track your
moods, emotions, stressors and triggers thus learning to control them.

3. Balance:

Know the difference between play and work. Finding the correct balance is crucial to one’s
mental health and productivity levels. Overworking and becoming too absorbed in work may
lead you to neglect other aspects of your life resulting in an eventual burnout. Endorphins have
to be released otherwise unnecessary stress will take its toll on you. With the year drawing to a close, take full advantage of the summer vacation to get your mental health back on track. There is no greater return than investing in yourself.

Mental Health
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