What is Mental Health?
When we talk about ‘Mental Health’ we relate it to diagnosis and disorders that are described in the leading Mental Health manuals: DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) and ICD (Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders). These are regularly revisited and modified by experienced clinicians, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and other psychotherapists, to adapt to the current times and the most up to date research.
They serve the useful purpose of increasing awareness around certain states of mind and providing pathways for psychological treatment.
The most common mental health disorders are Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive and Compulsive Disorder, Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. There are many others; if you want to learn more about them, you can visit the following website: https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm.
As a tree, mental health starts developing from a seed and then creates its roots. All diagnosis stem from the same origin, the thoughts we allow to grow in our minds.
These thoughts are generated in perceived contexts and circumstances. Therefore they consist of a combination of meanings, that have been inadvertently fed by the individual and collective mind. The understanding of this is vital if you wish to be set free from worry and emotional discomfort. Besides, the type of interactions we establish with significant others, which tend to be almost imperceptible to us, become the norm and a pattern that if not well reflected about, limits the individual’s unique expression and freedom.
How to improve your mental health?
First, we need to start realising that our emotions are our friends. They are continually signalling to us when we are out of our harmonious balance.
The fundamental idea of existence is for any individual to experience complete and unconditional self-love and self-respect. As the body self-generates and self-regulates, our emotional system wants to be a helpful “thermometer” to enable us to assess circumstances that are imprisoning our authentic and unique expression.
So, to improve our well-being, we need to recognise that any negative thinking, including self-criticism or preoccupation, is not to be maintained. We need to create a space where we can take a step back to breathe and reflect. To stop worries and emotional discomfort to grow, we need to teach our minds to not fall into being controlled by expectations of any sort, and instead to feel free to choose a more nurturing way to go about in life.