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World Health Day Special: Effect of Poor Mental Health on General Well-Being

7th Apr, 2023

Did You Know? According to the National Mental Health Survey 2019, about 14% of all adults in India have or will have a mental condition of some kind. Nearly 56 million people in the country are thought to suffer from depression, with another 38 million suffering from anxiety disorders.

Now that is an alarming number! While mental health has a toll of its own, its impact goes well beyond the confines of our mental well-being. Remaining in constant stress and anxiety can affect our overall health culminating from minor conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders, migraines, and flaring up of existing health conditions to severe diseases such as cancer, asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, etc. The effect of poor mental health on our general well-being is underrated and it does not come as a surprise that today so many youths succumb to heart attacks in what could have otherwise started as a mental health disorder.

Truth-be-told our ever-evolving lifestyle (rather depleting) has become very demanding. Everyone aspires to grow and in the process, compromises the balance of life. Here is a list of things people do to achieve this –

  1. Stretch beyond what our bodies and minds allow us to.
  2. Overindulgence in smoking, drinking, or unhealthy eating habits.
  3. Overindulgence in working out, compromising fun and time with family/friends (remember Arjun .aka Hrithik from ZNMD?).
  4. Mulling over petty arguments (home or office).
  5. Overthinking things that have little to zero impact on our lives (in anticipation of the future).
  6. Drawing a comparison with peers, contemporaries, and friends.
  7. Binge-watch on OTT platforms (drawing inspiration from fictional characters).
  8. Biting off more than one can chew – taking on more responsibilities than one can deliver efficiently.
  9. Taking home to office and office to home.

Here are a few tenets that we must constantly remind ourselves of to get back on the good health bandwagon –

Do not sweat the small stuff – Life is precious, and our time on this planet is finite. Do not think over unnecessary things that affect your peace of mind and hampers your productivity.

Acknowledge how far you have come – Take a moment to acknowledge your journey, no matter the pitfalls, and understand that there will always be someone ahead of you. There is no end to this vicious loop that sucks you in for as long as you allow it to.

Strive for a modest lifestyle –  Aim for a lifestyle abound with positive thoughts, surrounded by positive people and actions that regulate health – eating right, getting enough sleep, and the right amount and kind of exercise can go a long way in ensuring a longer-healthier life.

Avoid any extreme behavior – Jumping to conclusions and resorting to any extreme actions always backfire; one example illustrates how 24 years old young man in Telangana died during a workout session. Similarly, not working out at all too comes with its own set of disadvantages.

Find newer avenues/outlets that help release stress – Listening to music, reading, meditating/Yoga, going for a run or a drive (if you are lazy), or even simply thinking about our most cherished memory can kick in endorphins resulting in a feel-good factor.

Stop being a people pleaser – It does not work in the longer run.

Know when to get help – Most importantly, do not shy away from keeping the doors open to counseling (otherwise considered a taboo in our society). You can save yourself from a lifetime of misery.