Mental health is an essential part of overall health. Mental health is something that a lot of people do not regard to be of high importance and as a priority. About 1 in every three adults in the Malaysia is grappling with mental health issues, whether they realise it or not.
Poor mental health is associated with poor coping strategies, stressful working conditions, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, various non- specific physical ailments and increase healthcare utilisation. Having a healthy and strong mental health can help individual to have a positive outlook on life, resilience, ability to cope with adversity, increase working productivity and making valuable contribution to the community and country.
There are various factor that can influence the state of our mental health. Among it are our biological factors (such as genetic and inheritance), behavioral factors (such as lifestyle, stress, and health beliefs) and social conditions (such as cultural influences, family relationships, and social support).
In the past year, we presented with many great challenges and obstacles because of the global pandemic that tested our strength and resiliency. If you are struggling, you aren't alone. This can be from many reason such as financial difficulties, social isolation, unemployment, heavy workload, domestic issue and failure to meet expectations and pressure from surrounding environment.
Mental health doesn't improve on its own and if left untreated can cause various serious issues. Among signs and symptoms of mental health issues are prolonged sadness, constantly feeling irritated, inability to concentrate, and feeling excessive fear, worry and anxiety. Other red flags include loss of interest in daily routine, becoming withdrawn and drastic change in eating and sleeping habits. In severe cases, feeling suicidal and nervous breakdown.
It is important to recognise your emotions and manage your stress appropriately. Knowledge about mental health and disorders has improved substantially over the past decade, however there are still a lot of stigma about mental health preventing people from seeking help. Important key factor in mental health is to have a strong support network. Take time to talk to your family, friends and loved ones. Having trusted people you can turn to for encouragement and support will boost your resilience in tough and uncertain times.
It is also important to focus on your physical health. Getting enough sleep and take a break if you are overwhelmed. Take time to exercise regularly as not only it improve blood flow and strengthen our heart and lung, it also help to release endorphins, a powerful chemicals that increases our energy and improve our mood. Eating balanced and nutritious meals can also help. Practice such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing and relaxation therap can help you destress mentally. Make time to reflect and appreciate the simple thing in life
Focusing on your own needs and feelings is important for your mental health. Don’t let stress and negative emotions build up. By taking a good care of your mental health, you’ll be better prepared to deal with challenges if and when they arise. If you are feeling stress, sad and overwhelmed, talk to your family and friends about it. Seek medical professional helps early. Don't suffer in silence.