To begin with, we can say that mental health and hygiene is everything that has to do with the emotional state that the individual has and the capacity of this.
It can also be said that mental health or “mental state,” in general terms, is the condition of balance between a person and their socio-cultural environment. How can we recognize this balance, which promises the labor, relationship, and intellectual participation of a person to achieve happiness, comfort, and quality of life?
It is said “mental health” as an analogy of what is known as “health or physical state.” Still, regarding mental health, there are undoubtedly more complex dimensions than the organic and physical functioning of the individual.
The coronavirus crisis has hit our spirits. There are already millions of citizens around the world who accuse the psychological wear of the fight against COVID-19.
In general, these are frequent pictures of anxiety and depression associated with stress due to confinement, social distancing, fear of contagion, the economic situation or the loss of loved ones due to the disease, according to the Organization of the Nations United (UN) in a report on the effects of the pandemic on mental health.
What is mental health?
Mental health is how we feel, act, and think when dealing with life. It also assists in determining how we handle stress, interact with other people, and make decisions. Like physical health, psychological health is important at all stages of life, from childhood and adolescence to adulthood.
The topic of mental health, moreover, does not only concern aspects of care after the emergence of visible mental disorders but also corresponds to the field of their prevention with the promotion of a socio-cultural environment determined by issues such as self-esteem, interpersonal relationships and other elements that must come from the most primary education of children and youth.
This apprehension not only concerns experts but is part of the responsibilities of various things. Such as:
- Government of a nation.
- An environment of healthy coexistence in the neighborhood.
- Training in the family nucleus.
- The responsibility assumed by the media.
- A conscious guide to mental health at school and work.
- Study spaces in general.
What is mental or psychological hygiene?
The psychological consequences of this health emergency have highlighted the need to maintain well-being through mental hygiene. This medical practice defines the set of habits that allow a person to enjoy mental health and be in harmony with their socio-cultural environment. The behaviors it covers aim to prevent adverse reactions, provide emotional stability, and increase the quality of life.
Good mental health empowers us to learn, reason, relate, produce, deal with difficulties, and offer our best version, to name a few. For this reason, the UN and the WHO warned that their deterioration represents a severe social and economic problem: depression and anxiety alone generate annual losses of more than $ 1 trillion globally, while serious mental health conditions take away 10 to 20 years of life.
The psychological aspects of mental health and hygiene.
From psychodynamic theories, we can postulate that mental health, as well as pathological aspects, are constituent parts of every individual. The personal constitution of each subject implies capacities or healthy and other pathological aspects, the proportion of which is variable between people. Thus, the ability to tolerate frustration would be a robust first ability that would allow the developing individual to begin the process of thinking and understanding the world and himself.
The function of thought would be the foundation of mental health. It is favored by a containment environment (maternal or caregiver role) that allows to tolerate frustration and start the development of the psychic apparatus, the basis of mental health. Sometimes some children or adolescents have psychological problems, and it is recommended to take a psychologist or speak very clearly with him.
How to know the state of your mental health?
The observation of a person’s behavior in their daily lives is the leading way to discern the state of their mental health. In aspects such as managing their fears and abilities, their competencies and responsibilities, maintaining their own needs, how he faces his tensions, his interpersonal relationships, and how he leads an independent life. Also, the behavior of a person in stressful situations and overcoming traumatic moments allow us to establish a typology about their level of mental health.
Know the habits to take care of your mind and maintain a good quality of life. The World Health Organization (WHO) itself is clear: “Mental health is an integral part of health, so much so that without it, there is no health.” The COVID-19 pandemic has also tested our psychological well-being, and to preserve it, there is only one way: taking care of our mental hygiene.
Significance of mental hygiene.
Good mental hygiene gives us balance, health, and well-being in our day to day life. We can define mental health as a state of well-being in which the individual is aware of their own abilities, having the ability to deal with the hassles of everyday life and work efficiently.
In most countries, mental health amenities suffer from a severe shortage of resources, both human and financial. Most of the available health care resources are currently devoted to specialized care and treatment of the mentally ill and, to a less significant extent, to an integrated mental health system. Rather than providing care in large psychiatric hospitals, countries should incorporate mental health into primary care, offer mental health care in general hospitals, and create community mental health services.
The promotion of mental health requires the implementation of medical, social, and above all government programs with the same purpose of promoting mental health throughout the life cycle to guarantee mentally healthy children and avoid mental disorders in adulthood or old age.
Tips and habits of mental hygiene.
Mental hygiene begins with oneself, and we should all take care of our emotions, as recommended by the WHO. In this sense, mental health experts agree on the need to adopt a series of habits for emotional self-care:
- Cover your basic needs.
The first thing we must do to feel good is to satisfy our fundamental needs, such as eating or sleeping properly. They are crucial to psychological well-being, and we must not neglect them.
- Take care of your self-esteem and learn to trust.
To enjoy good mental hygiene, we must accept ourselves as we are. In addition to having faith in ourselves, it is also essential to have confidence in others.
- Manage your emotions and cultivate self-control.
It is not about ignoring our feelings or letting ourselves be carried away by them, but rather knowing how to identify them, interpret them, and modulate their intensity to act correctly. For this, emotional intelligence is key.
- Manage expectations and set concrete goals.
Maintaining motivation and being persistent is essential to improve ourselves, so we must set ourselves achievable goals so as not to be discouraged.
- Think positive and monitor negative emotions.
Sometimes, it is inevitable that doubts and fears will assail us, but we can always counter them and limit their reach with positive thoughts.
- Learn to relax and tolerate adversity.
Stress is an innate reaction of the body, instrumental in performing in adverse situations. However, it is very harmful to health when it is normalized, and we must learn to disconnect—for example, techniques such as mindfulness.
- Feed your social life and lean on others.
We, humans, are social by class, and we need to interact with other people to have fun and share our concerns.
To conclude with the topic, we believe that mental health and hygiene are necessary to have and live in a good society. The advancement of mental health starts with the principle that all people have mental health needs, and not only those whose mental health conditions have been diagnosed. The promotion of mental health primarily concerns the social reality in which everyone feels committed to psychological well-being.