Are You Neglecting Your Mental Wellness? Learn Why You Shouldn’t

Aishwarya Aneesh

Aishwarya Aneesh
Sep 2023

2 min read
mental wellness

Table of content

In a world that’s often spinning at an unforgiving pace, it’s crucial to ask ourselves: What is mental health, and what is mental wellness? These two terms carry profound significance in our lives. Did you know that globally, over 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression? But mental well being isn’t just the absence of mental illness, it’s about thriving, not just surviving.

But what is mental health? Mental health is like the foundation of a sturdy house, providing stability and structure to our lives. It’s the equilibrium that allows us to navigate daily challenges, from work stress to personal relationships.

Now, what is mental well being? Mental wellbeing, on the other hand, is the lush garden within that house, where the flowers of happiness bloom and the trees of resilience sway gracefully. It includes psychological, social, and emotional health.

Mental health is more than just the absence of depression, anxiety, or stress. It’s about resilience, fostering healthy relationships, and finding joy in life’s small pleasures.

Join us in understanding, how mental health and wellness impact daily life, and find thriving strategies.

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Importance Of Mental Health And Wellness

Mental wellness is as important as physical fitness. Neglecting it can harm overall well-being. 1 in 4 people worldwide faces mental health challenges, underlining its significance in leading a fulfilling life.

Why Is Mental Well-Being Important?

Mental well-being is crucial for several reasons:

  • Promotes Productivity: Good mental health boosts productivity and efficiency, enabling individuals to contribute effectively to work and society.
  • Enhances Physical Health: Mental and physical health are interconnected. A sound mind can lead to a healthier body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Improves Quality Of Life: Mental well being enhances one’s ability to enjoy life, making everyday activities more fulfilling.
  • Foster’s Resilience: It helps people cope with stress, overcome challenges, and recover from life’s setbacks and hardships.

According to the World Health Organization, India is home to an estimated 200 million people suffering from mental disorders, underscoring the importance of mental well-being. 

Why Do We Often Neglect Our Mental Health Needs?

Mental health is often neglected in India due to societal stigma and lack of awareness. 

According to WHO, nearly 7.5% of Indians suffer from mental disorders, yet many remain untreated due to the prevailing misconceptions and lack of prioritization. 

The country’s health budget allocates only about 0.06% towards mental healthcare, underscoring the neglect. This can lead to dire consequences – unemployment, substance abuse, and even suicide. 

It’s essential for us to break the stigma, raise awareness, and prioritize mental health just as we do physical health, ensuring holistic well-being for all. 

Why Is Mental Health As Important As Physical Health?

Mental health is equally important as physical health. It governs our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, shaping how we think, feel, and act. 

Interestingly, poor mental health can lead to physical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, weakened immunity, and chronic pain due to stress-related factors, including heart disease. This interconnection signifies the need for a balanced approach to both mental and physical health. 

In India, mental health is a rising concern, with nearly 197 million people affected by mental disorders in 2017. Understanding the importance of mental health can help us lead healthier, happier lives.

Understanding Mental Well-Being In Depth

Mental well being refers to emotional, psychological, and social well-being, encompassing one’s ability to handle stress, build relationships, and find balance.

Difference Between Mental Health And Mental Wellness

Mental health refers to psychological well-being and the absence of disorders, while mental wellness encompasses proactive steps for a fulfilling, balanced life.

Difference Between Mental Health And Mental Wellness

What Are The Factors Affecting Emotional Wellness?

Mental Well-being is crucial to overall health and wellbeing. However, several factors can influence our mental health. Here are some key elements:

  • Biological Factors: Genetics can play a significant role in mental health. Certain disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression have been linked to specific genes.
  • Brain Chemistry: Neurotransmitters, chemicals in our brain that pass signals to nerve receptors, can impact mental health. An imbalance in these chemicals can lead to mental health issues.
  • Life Experiences: Traumatic or stressful experiences, especially during childhood, can trigger mental health problems. These may include physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or loss of a loved one.
  • Socioeconomic Factors: Poverty, homelessness, and unemployment can significantly affect mental health. Individuals facing such adversities often report high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Environment: The environment we live in plays a critical role in our mental health. A toxic or stressful environment can lead to increased anxiety and stress.
  • Physical Health: Chronic diseases, injuries, or other physical health issues can also impact mental health. Living with a physical ailment can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Substance Abuse: Alcohol or drug abuse can exacerbate mental health issues and can also lead to their onset.
  • Lifestyle Choices: Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and inadequate sleep can negatively affect mental health.

Maintaining mental wellness involves recognizing these factors and taking steps to mitigate their impact. Seek professional help if you’re struggling with your mental health. Never forget that asking for help is okay.

10 Signs Of Good Mental Health

Good mental health is crucial for overall well-being. Further, in India, where mental health awareness is gaining importance, here are 10 signs of good mental health to look out for

  • Acceptance of changes in mental health as normal.
  • Living life according to personal values and feeling good about it.
  • Ability to manage emotions without being overwhelmed.
  • Maintaining healthy relationships and making sound decisions.
  • Feeling a sense of belonging and community.
  • Being able to cope with stress effectively.
  • Having the ability to recover from hardships and setbacks.
  • Ability to deal with uncertainty and change.
  • Experiencing, expressing, and regulating a range of emotions.
  • Finding meaning in life and being able to switch off and relax.

Mental Health Across Age Groups

Mental health varies across age groups in India:

What Can Be The Reason For The Mental Health Problem From Children To Elderly?

Mental health issues are a pervasive concern across all age groups. While each age group has its unique challenges, certain commonalities exist.

  • Children And Adolescents: Children’s mental health can be significantly affected by their environment, including family dynamics, school stress, and peer pressure. In India, it is estimated that around 7.3% of children and adolescents suffer from mental disorders, according to a study published in Lancet Psychiatry.
  • Young Adults: This age group often grapples with identity issues, career pressures, and relationship stress. Parents should be well aware of teenage behaviour problems. The Indian Journal of Psychiatry reports that approximately 36% of Indian students experience significant levels of stress.
  • Middle-Aged Adults: Common stressors include job pressure, financial worries, and caring for aging parents or children. A survey conducted by Cigna TTK Health Insurance showed that about 89% of Indians suffer from stress compared to the global average of 86%.
  • Senior Citizens: The World Health Organization reports that nearly 20% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental or neurological disorder. In India, dementia and depression are prevalent, affecting approximately 5% and 7% of the elderly population, respectively.

It’s important to remember that genetics, environment, and lifestyle all play a role in whether someone develops a mental health condition. Creating awareness, reducing stigma, and improving access to care are key to addressing these issues across all age groups.

What Is The Impact Of Mental Health Issues On Physical Wellness?

Mental health issues can have a profound impact on physical wellness, highlighting the intricate mind-body connection. Here’s a comprehensive look at how mental health problems can affect physical well-being:

  • Chronic Health Conditions: Mental health disorders such as depression symptoms and anxiety are often linked to an increased risk of chronic physical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. Stress hormones, when chronically elevated, can contribute to inflammation and immune system dysfunction.
  • Weakened Immune System: Prolonged stress or untreated mental health issues can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea, which can be associated with mental health problems, can disrupt sleep patterns. Moreover, poor sleep compromises the body’s ability to repair itself, leading to various health issues.
  • Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms: Individuals with mental health issues may resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating, excessive alcohol consumption, or substance abuse. These behaviors can lead to obesity, liver problems, and other physical health concerns.
  • Pain And Discomfort: Mental health problems can manifest as physical symptoms, including headaches, muscle tension, and gastrointestinal distress. These physical symptoms often exacerbate the mental health condition.
  • Medication Side Effects: Some medications used to manage mental health conditions may have physical side effects, affecting weight, metabolism, or sexual health.
  • Reduced Physical Activity: Depression and anxiety can lead to reduced physical activity and motivation, increasing the risk of obesity and related health issues.
  • Cardiovascular Impact: Severe stress or anxiety can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, therefore contributing to cardiovascular problems.

Pathway To Mental Wellness

The journey toward emotional wellness is a complex process that depends on a myriad of both internal and external factors.

Internal Factors:

  • Self-awareness: The cornerstone of mental well being is understanding one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Self-awareness allows us to identify problems and triggers, leading to better coping strategies.
  • Resilience: Our ability to recover from setbacks and adapt to change plays a crucial role in mental health. Resilience can be built through positive thinking, stress management, and further problem-solving skills.
  • Physical health: Finally, emotional well being is closely tied to physical wellbeing. In fact, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep are all vital for maintaining good mental health.

External Factors:

  • Social connections: Positive relationships with family, friends, and the community can provide emotional support, reduce isolation, and boost self-esteem, all of which are beneficial for mental health.
  • Environment: Our environment has a big impact on how we feel. A safe and comfortable environment can reduce stress and anxiety levels, therefore promoting emotional wellness.
  • Professional help: Access to mental health professionals like therapists or psychologists can provide necessary guidance and treatment. Therefore, they can offer valuable tools and techniques for managing mental health challenges.

5 Effective Tips To Promote Mental Wellness

Promoting mental well being is crucial for a healthy and fulfilling life. Here are five such activities, along with relevant statistics and facts:

1. Yoga and Meditation

  • Yoga for mental health or meditation has deep roots in Indian culture and is proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • According to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), regular yoga practice can decrease symptoms of depression by up to 50%.
  • The rhythmic breathing and mindfulness fostered by these practices can enhance emotional well-being and resilience.

2. Engaging in Physical Activity

  • Regular exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, or dancing, increases the release of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones.
  • According to a survey by the World Health Organization (WHO), around 35% of Indians do not get enough physical activity, contributing to mental health issues.
  • Engaging in physical activities for at least 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce the risk of depression.

3. Cultivating Hobbies

  • Pursuing hobbies like painting, gardening, or playing a musical instrument provides a sense of accomplishment and relieves stress.
  • A study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry found that engaging in creative hobbies improves mood and lowers anxiety levels.

4. Social Connection

  • India faces a significant mental health burden, with an estimated 197 million people affected by mental disorders, as per the National Mental Health Survey of India.
  • Maintaining strong social connections, whether through family, friends, or support groups, helps combat loneliness and provides emotional support.

5. Volunteer Work

  • Volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about can boost self-esteem and provide a sense of purpose.
  • In a study conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), volunteering was associated with reduced levels of depression and improved overall well-being among Indian participants.

What Is The Role Of Nutrition In Influencing Mental Wellness?

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in influencing mental health, and the foods we consume can either boost or adversely affect our mood. Here’s a breakdown of foods that have these effects:

Foods That Adversely Affect Mood

  • Processed Foods: Highly processed foods like sugary snacks, fast food, and packaged meals often contain unhealthy trans fats and additives. These can lead to mood swings and an increased risk of depression.
  • Sugary Drinks: Beverages loaded with sugar, such as soda and energy drinks, can cause rapid blood sugar spikes and crashes, leading to irritability and fatigue.
  • Excessive Caffeine: While moderate caffeine intake can boost alertness, excessive consumption can trigger anxiety, restlessness, and even panic attacks in some individuals.
  • Highly Refined Carbohydrates: Foods made from refined grains, like white bread and sugary cereals, can cause rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels, leading to mood swings and irritability.
  • Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption is a depressant and can contribute to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. It can also disrupt sleep patterns, further affecting mood.

Foods That Boost Mood

  • Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are a great source of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote brain function. They can help reduce the risk of depression.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fatty fish like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to lower rates of depression and improved mood.
  • Complex Carbohydrates: Whole grains like oats and quinoa provide a steady release of energy and support the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of well-being.
  • Protein Sources: Lean proteins such as poultry, beans, and tofu contain amino acids that are precursors to neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which play a role in regulating mood.
  • Nuts and Seeds: These are rich in magnesium, a mineral that can help reduce anxiety and improve overall mood.
  • Probiotic-Rich Foods: Fermented foods for mental health like yogurt and kefir contain probiotics that may positively impact gut health, which is linked to mood regulation.

What Is Mental Wellness Economy?

The term refers to the economic activities and industries that revolve around promoting mental well-being and providing solutions for mental health challenges.

It encompasses a wide range of sectors and services aimed at improving the mental health and emotional well-being of individuals and communities. Here are some key aspects of the Emotional Wellness Economy:

  • Mental Health Services: This includes traditional mental health services such as therapy, counseling, and psychiatric care. It also encompasses online therapy platforms and telemedicine services, which have seen significant growth in recent years.
  • Wellness Tourism: Travel and hospitality industries have adapted to cater to individuals seeking relaxation and mental rejuvenation. Moreover, wellness retreats, spa vacations, and mindfulness-focused getaways are examples of this segment.
  • Fitness And Mindfulness: Gyms, yoga studios, and meditation centers are becoming increasingly popular as people recognize the mental health benefits of regular exercise and mindfulness practices.
  • Mental Health Tech: The tech industry plays a crucial role in the Mental Well Being Economy, with the development of mental health apps, wearable devices, and online platforms for self-help and therapy.
  • Workplace Mental Health: Employers are investing more in the mental well-being of their employees through Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), stress management initiatives, and also, creating a supportive work environment.
  • Nutrition And Supplements: The food and supplement industry has seen a surge in products designed to support brain health and mood, such as foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and supplements like herbal adaptogens.
  • Education And Awareness: The public and private sectors are increasingly investing in mental health education and awareness campaigns to reduce stigma and also, promote early intervention.
  • Alternative Therapies: Practices like acupuncture, aromatherapy, and holistic medicine are gaining traction as complementary approaches to traditional mental health care.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry continues to develop new medications for mental health conditions.

The Future Of Mental Wellness

The future of mental well being holds promise as society’s understanding of mental health deepens and innovative approaches emerge. Here’s a glimpse into what lies ahead:

  • Technology-Driven Solutions: Advancements in telemedicine and mental health apps make therapy more accessible. In fact, approximately 15% of mental health care in India is now being delivered digitally, according to the World Health Organization.
  • Personalized Treatment: Precision medicine, tailoring treatments to an individual’s unique genetic and psychological profile, is on the horizon. This could improve the effectiveness of interventions.
  • Reducing Stigma: Society is increasingly acknowledging mental health issues. Campaigns, celebrity endorsements, and also open conversations are reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, and encouraging more people to seek help.
  • Early Intervention: Screening tools and mental health education in schools are becoming more common. Early intervention can prevent mental health conditions from worsening.
  • Workplace Mental Health: Companies are realizing the importance of employee mental health. Policies and initiatives to reduce workplace stress and provide support are on the rise. You can check Fitelo’s corporate wellness program.
  • Global Collaboration: Collaboration among nations to address mental health on a global scale is increasing. Further, this includes sharing best practices and resources to tackle mental health challenges.
  • Research Advancements: Finally, ongoing research into the brain’s complexities may lead to breakthroughs in understanding and treating mental disorders.

A Word From Fitelo

In our fast-paced lives, mental wellness often takes a backseat. Yet, it’s the cornerstone of a fulfilling life. Neglecting it can lead to stress, anxiety, and even physical health issues. 

As we’ve explored, your mental well being influences everything. Prioritize self-care, mindfulness, and seeking support when needed. 

Therefore, your well-being deserves attention. Make the choice for a healthier, happier you today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How To Improve Mental Health?

Improving mental health involves self-care, therapy, medication (if needed), healthy lifestyle changes like regular exercise, balanced diet, adequate sleep, and furthermore, staying socially connected.

Why Is Face-To-Face Connection So Important?

Face-to-face connection is vital as it builds stronger, more meaningful relationships. Further, it boosts emotional well-being, reduces stress, and fosters a sense of belonging.

How Does Exercise Affect Mental Health?

Exercise plays a crucial role in mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood. It improves self-esteem and cognitive function, promoting overall well-being.

What Are The Examples Of Emotional Well Being?

Examples of emotional well-being include the ability to manage feelings, handle stress effectively, maintain positive relationships, and also, make realistic plans and carry them out.

What Is Mental Illness?

A wide variety of mental health diseases that influence mood thought, and also behavior is referred to as mental illnesses. Likewise, some examples include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia symptoms, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors.

How Can Improve Our Wellness Of Mind?

To improve your mind’s wellness, practice mindfulness, stay positive, connect with others, get plenty of sleep, eat healthily, and further engage in regular physical activity.

How Important Is Mental Wellness For Students?

Mental health and wellness are crucial for students as they impact learning, social skills development, and overall academic performance. In fact, students with good mental health tend to have better grades and lower dropout rates.

What Are The Factors That Promote Workplace Wellness?

Factors promoting workplace well being include supportive management, a healthy work environment, flexible work hours, opportunities for growth, recognition of efforts, and also initiatives focusing on physical and mental health.

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This blog post was written to help you make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your health before starting a restrictive diet. Always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.

Eat Healthy, Live Healthy as well and Enjoy a long happy life.

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