With the start of the New Year, we’re recognizing the importance of Mental Wellness Month! Mental Wellness Month was originally started by the International Association of Insurance Professionals (IAIP), an educational organization for insurance professionals. They wanted to dedicate the month of January for promoting overall mental wellness. They wanted people to understand that “mental wellness was not just the absence of mental illness,” and that people can improve their overall mental wellness for a better and healthier lifestyle.
What is Mental Wellness?
In order to understand mental wellness, we must first understand mental health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is a “state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” The whole idea of mental wellness, or wellness itself, is holistic. Mental wellness is about how all aspects of your life, the social, emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual, come together for an overall state of well-being.
Factors That Affect Mental Health & Wellness
Mental health and wellness affect all aspects of our lives. It helps determine how we act, feel, and think. It also affects our ability to handle stress, connect to others, and make decisions. There are many factors that can affect your mental health and well-being like:
- Your genes
- Brain chemistry
- Physical health
- Coping skills
- And even life experiences
Some of these factors could negatively affect your mental wellness like:
- Poor diet
- High amounts of stress
- Excessive smoking or drinking
- Avoiding problems
- Trauma or abuse experience
- Negative coping skills
Mental Wellness Tips
There are ways to improve your overall mental wellness and ensure a healthy state of mind, body, soul, emotions, and lifestyle. Here are eight tips that can help everyone improve their mental wellness.
- Exercise and eat a healthy diet
- Appreciate yourself by learning to recognize your personal strengths and weakness
- Build resilience to cope with and recover from negative events
- Develop and maintain healthy friendships and relationships
- Get enough sleep
- Help others
- Learn to be thankful for the good rather than focusing on the negative issues
- Get professional help if needed
At any stage of life, from childhood through adulthood, mental health and wellness are important. We hope that everyone can take care of their mental wellness in 2017 and have a great year!