Lack Of Mental Illness Does Not Equal Mental Health
An easily misunderstood concept is that the lack of mental illness means mental health.
Oh, well, sorry to shake that one, but that belief cannot be further from the truth! Furthermore, its implications can potentially be very damaging and, even worst, such a belief can lead to actual illness.
What Is Mental Health?
There isn’t one universal definition for mental health or mental wellbeing, but it does encompass factors such as:
- Feeling good about ourselves
- Capability to function well individually or in relationships
- The feeling of connection to our community and surroundings
- Having control and freedom over our lives
- Having a sense of purpose and feeling valued
In a nut shell, mental health is the ability to deal with the ups and downs of life, such as coping with challenges and making the most of opportunities.
Most common factors that put a strain on and threaten mental wellbeing
- childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect
- social isolation or loneliness
- experiencing discrimination and stigma
- social disadvantage, poverty or debt
- bereavement (losing someone close to you)
- severe or long-term stress
- having a long-term physical health condition
- unemployment or losing your job
- homelessness or poor housing
- being a long-term carer for someone
- drug and alcohol misuse
- domestic violence, bullying or other abuse as an adult
- significant trauma as an adult, such as military combat, a serious incident, fear for your life, or being the victim of a violent crime
When Guilt And Shame Are Challenging Our Nervous System
The stress caused by these and other factors, slowly but surely, eat away our trust in ourselves and our capability to overcome whatever situation we find ourselves in. The capacity to understand that regardless of the gravity of the situation, the power to overcome it lays within us is directly dependent on our mental health.
When we find ourselves in situations that challenge us to the core of our being, it’s very easy to go down the slippery slope of self-blame and victimisation, which leave us feeling both guilt and shame.
Consciously or not, these two feelings alone put so much stress on our nervous system, that it takes a lot of work and courage to stay aware and willing to heal their negative effects.
Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to linger in those feelings and beliefs than to face and heal them.
Mental health is the ground there the positive beliefs and emotions that keep us safe from becoming the victims of our own limiting beliefs and insecurities are seeded. Understanding this fact is the key to maintaining a healthy mind, hence a healthy life. Another key to mental heath is mindfulness practice.
SparkYourBloom Today and Everyday!