3 Reasons Mental Health Matters - LifeHack (2023)

Mental health matters. Taking care of our mental health helps with our resilience and recovery from whatever happens.

Anyone can have a bad day, but that doesn't mean it's a bad life. What matters is how we respond and take care of our mental health.

Mental health is important at every stage of our lives. It encompasses our general well-being and affects our lives in many ways.

Why is mental health important?

Research shows that one in five adults in the United States (43.8 million people) has a mental illness, which accounts for 18.5% of our total population.[1]This means that mental health issues are pervasive in our population and impact everything we do.

According to HealthyPeople.gov, "Neuropsychiatric disorders are the leading cause of disability in the United States."[2]Left untreated, mental illness leads to widespread disabilities. It prevents us from showing up every day, stifling our abilities and slowing our pace.

Unfortunately, when mental health is neglected, suicide rates increase. Mental health is important because it affects everything. It affects our ability to cope, adapt, and solve problems. It also affects our ability to be happy, productive, and well-adjusted.

Mental health is an issue that is very often stigmatized in our society. If someone has a mental health problem, they are less likely to get help because of the stigma and shame.

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But there is nothing to be ashamed of. The wiring in your brain is not your fault. Yet we pretend it's our fault and downplay its importance.

Mental illness is misunderstood even by those who have never experienced it. It is up to us to stand up for our needs and educate others about our problems.

We become experts in “lived experience”.

There is a spectrum in how we experience things. Sometimes we can lose control, but we generally get it back. Or we experience extremes of high and low emotions and are unable to handle them. We can be anywhere in between.

Things fall apart if left untreated. But that doesn't mean it's too late. Everything is possible. Remembering this gives us the opportunity to fight again.

There are three reasons why mental health is so important.

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1. Mental health affects physical health

If someone had cancer, we would not blame them for having this disease in their body. So why do we put the stigma and blame for mental health problems on the brain?

Mental illness is just as important as any other illness, and it can take your life just as easily as any other.

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For example, depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and, if left untreated, to suicide attempts. We are not balanced people if we only focus on physical health.

Mind and body are connected. Many mental illnesses cause stress, which weakens the immune system. That means more illnesses and overwork.

Stress and anxiety can affect our physical health. According to WebMD, "worrying causes your body to release stress hormones, which speed up your heart rate and breathing, raise your blood sugar, and send more blood to your arms and legs. Over time, this can affect the heart, blood vessels, muscles and other systems."[3]

When stress enters our body, we start to switch off. as we canto deal with stressthat's all. Left untreated, mental health issues can lead to another breakdown.

Many people turn to drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms, affecting their overall health and stability. If not treated well, it becomes a cycle of destructive behavior. This affects your physical well-being and you can continue to grow like a snowball.

Stress affects physical well-being and the ability to take care of oneself, and this can create destructive patterns.

Sometimes, when we get to that point, we don't even learn that mental health matters. We must not ignore it, otherwise other areas of our lives could suffer.

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(Video) What is Mental Health?

2. End stigma and shame to live a better life

It's important to talk about mental health so that others can talk about it too.

Psych Central discusses how we feel ashamed because we perceive we're broken or not normal. Thinking of ourselves as humble affects our ability to deal with it.[4]

Part of the healing process is changing those feelings. Our imperfections do not mean lack of value. When we recognize this, we can also help others to change these feelings and accept themselves.

Stigma breeds shame. Shame leads to destructive behavior. Destructive behavior leads to impairment of the self.

Stigma spreads when we don't talk about mental health and what it means.

When it comes down to it, those who have a mental illness need treatment. But without awareness and breaking the stigma surrounding their condition, they won't feel comfortable asking anyone for help. This reinforces the stigma and encourages more struggle and shame.

If we can't say something, we give it more power.

In Name It to Tame It, a common emotion exercise, we disempower the emotion by naming it. Not to mention our emotions, they become more powerful and take over us and the lives of others.

When we talk to each other, the problem becomes smaller and less control over our lives. We can set each other free if we are not ashamed of our mental health.

When we become authentic, we regain power over our lives. By denying the existence and importance of mental health, we deny ourselves. We lose our ability to solve problems and find solutions in our daily lives.

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However, we can say without shame, “I am not my mental illness. I'm more than that. I'm not afraid to speak up because it's not my fault."

When we do this, we strengthen ourselves and the world. We learn to listen to our triggers and warning signs so we don't get caught in a downward spiral, and we show more compassion for others who experience it. Overall, this makes for a more connected world.

"One day you will tell your story of how you got over what you went through and it will become part of someone else's survival guide." -A stranger

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When we help ourselves, we also help others.. We can pay attention to the world and make it a kinder and more loving place. We can identify what problems need solving by acknowledging our own and we can share our stories to help accomplish that. We remove the shame.

3. Mental health affects everything

Our mental health affects the way we approach life. Lack of treatment leads to hopelessness and sadness, worthlessness, guilt, fear and worry, anxiety and loss of control.

Our relationships can suffer. Our performance in any situation, like school or work, can drop. Withdrawal and isolation can occur.

We can also lose interest in things we once enjoyed. Task completion and time management can fall apart. We can also find it difficult to concentrate, or we can brood and focus on cleaning up or organizing.

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Our relationship with food can change. We can have ups and downs and racing thoughts can be more common.

Life can get overwhelming. When we have serious mental health problems, we can lose touch with reality and even hear voices.

Self-harm can occur. Destructive patterns such as alcohol and drug use can emerge, and the end result can be suicidal thoughts. In general, if we don't take mental health seriously, things will fall apart.

If you're having any of these problems, it's time to get help.

Mental problems are important. It is important to learn about them and take care of them because if we don't, all of the above could happen. We can't function if we don't do it well.

But if we flip that and have good sanity, a lot of good things can happen:

  • We learn to deal with it again.
  • We become healthy in all aspects.
  • Our relationships no longer suffer.
  • We find meaning in our everyday life.
  • We are more involved in our community.
  • We are more productive at school or at work.
  • We can be who we are meant to be.

When we feel better, we get better.

Mental health affects everything. It affects our nature and how we interact with the world and with ourselves.

Without good mental health, we are prone to not knowing our full worth and struggling with things that are beyond our control. When we ignore mental health, we ignore ourselves.

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We need to value our health and well-being as much, if not more, than anything else. We must learn that we are good enough, that we are pitiable and that others are too.

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This results in us having higher standards. It helps us to be sad when we want to be sad and accept our state of mind. And it also helps us to do something about it.

We don't have to wait until we feel better: we can feel better today simply by acknowledging that our struggles are real and worthy of compassionate attention.

We don't have to solve all problems, howeverwe can ask for helpwhen, and only then, it becomes too much, do we regain some sense of control over our lives.

final thoughts

We all deserve to have peace of mind. Mental health matters because we deserve it.

If we knew how valuable we are, we could conquer the world. It's our own limiting thoughts that hold us back when we think we're not normal, broken, or worthless.

The truth is that the mind can lie. You can stop us. And yet it is also the source of all the good we experience.

It doesn't make anyone any less of a person who has mental health issues. When we value mental health, we lead better lives. This doesn't mean everything will improve overnight, but we can learn to value ourselves so we can improve over time.

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Mental health is just as important as physical health. We need to end the stigma because mental health is everything. If we remember this, we can turn everything around. And it's never too late to do just that.

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If you or someone you know is in an emergency, callThe National Suicide Prevention Lifelineat 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

Much luck.

Tips to improve your mental health

  • 5 simple tips to improve your mental health
  • How exercise can help treat depression and improve your mental health
  • How vlogging can improve your mental health

Featured Photo Credits:Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com


What are the top 3 mental health issues? ›

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 1 in every 5 Americans is currently living with a mental illness. Of those, the three most common diagnoses are anxiety disorders, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What are 3 facts about mental health? ›

Mental Health Problems Affect Everyone
  • One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue.
  • One in 6 young people experienced a major depressive episode.
  • One in 20 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.
Feb 28, 2022

What are the 3 most common causes of mental disorders? ›

Your genes and family history. Your life experiences, such as stress or a history of abuse, especially if they happen in childhood. Biological factors such as chemical imbalances in the brain.

What are basic mental health issues? ›

Common mental health problems covered in this information include depression and anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (called OCD for short) and post-traumatic stress disorder (called PTSD for short).

What are the top 5 mental health issues? ›

Below are the five most common mental health disorders in America and their related symptoms:
  • Anxiety Disorders. The most common category of mental health disorders in America impacts approximately 40 million adults 18 and older. ...
  • Mood Disorders. ...
  • Psychotic Disorders. ...
  • Dementia. ...
  • Eating disorders.
Jan 30, 2020

What are the 3 C's of mental illness? ›

The Three Cs of Disclosing Serious Mental Illness at Work: Control, Conditions, Costs | Psychiatric Services.

What are 4 facts about mental health? ›

One in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24. Depression alone costs the nation about $210.5 billion annually. The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years.

Why does mental health matter? ›

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Why is mental health care important? ›

Emotional and mental health is important because it's a vital part of your life and impacts your thoughts, behaviors and emotions. Being healthy emotionally can promote productivity and effectiveness in activities like work, school or caregiving.

What are the 6 key areas of mental health? ›

The Ryff Scale is based on six factors: autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations with others, purpose in life, and self-acceptance. Higher total scores indicate higher psychological well-being.

What are the 4 examples of mental health? ›

Overview. Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors.

What is the biggest cause of mental health? ›

The exact cause of most mental disorders is not known, but research suggests that a combination of factors, including heredity, biology, psychological trauma, and environmental stress, might be involved.

What are the 7 components of good mental health? ›

Good mental health checklist
  • you are confident when faced with new situations or people.
  • you feel optimistic.
  • you do not always blame yourself.
  • you set goals.
  • you feel good about yourself.
  • you have good self esteem.

What is the positive impact of mental health awareness? ›

Talking openly about mental health can reduce the misconceptions and stigma, and can encourage those who are suffering to seek help and find a support network. It's important for caregivers, friends, and loved ones to understand the impact that mental health has on daily life.

What are positive things about mental illness? ›

Being less judgemental: being at the receiving end of stigma and discrimination, and knowing what some people still think about those experiencing mental distress, means you are less likely to be a judgemental person yourself. It becomes a lot easier both to forgive and to anticipate mistakes from others.

What are 3 major mental health disorders that are most common in older adults? ›

It is estimated that 20% of people age 55 years or older experience some type of mental health concern (6). The most common conditions include anxiety, severe cognitive impairment, and mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder) (6).

What are the 12 steps to positive mental health? ›

They include:
  • keeping physically active.
  • eating well.
  • drinking in moderation.
  • valuing yourself and others.
  • talking about your feelings.
  • keeping in touch with friends and loved ones.
  • caring for others.
  • getting involved and making a contribution.
Nov 10, 2008

How to improve mental health? ›

Tips for improving your mental wellbeing
  1. Relax and reduce stress.
  2. Find ways to learn and be creative.
  3. Spend time in nature.
  4. Connect with others.
  5. Look after your physical health.
  6. Try to get enough sleep.

What are the top 10 mental health issues? ›

This article examines ten of the most common mental illnesses among American adults.
  • Depression. ...
  • Dissociative Disorders. ...
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ...
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. ...
  • Schizophrenia. ...
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. ...
  • Eating Disorders. ...
  • Addiction & Substance Abuse.
Jan 7, 2022

What are the 4 main classifications of mental disorders? ›

  • 1 Organic, including symptomatic, mental disorders.
  • 2 Mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance use.
  • 3 Schizophrenia, schizotypal and delusional disorders.
  • 4 Mood [affective] disorders.
  • 5 Neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders.
Jan 2, 2018

Is mental health a social issue? ›

Mental illness is not only in itself considered a major social problem, it also often results from the diverse social problems individuals have to face. This chapter explores four questions relevant to the extent of mental illness as a social problem and to the way in which social problems generate mental ill health.

What are 4 mental benefits? ›

When we are mentally healthy, we enjoy our life and environment, and the people in it. We can be creative, learn, try new things, and take risks. We are better able to cope with difficult times in our personal and professional lives.

Why mental health matters for students? ›

Mental health problems can affect a student's energy level, concentration, dependability, mental ability, and optimism, hindering performance. Research suggests that depression is associated with lower grade point averages, and that co-occurring depression and anxiety can increase this association.

Why should mental health matter to you and your family? ›

Why should mental health matter to you and your family? When your mental health suffers, it can become hard to enjoy life. You may start to feel run down, both mentally and physically. Many of these changes can make it harder to enjoy a balanced and rewarding life.

What is a good mental health quote? ›

Your mental health is everything — prioritize it. Make the time like your life depends on it, because it does.” What is this? “If we start being honest about our pain, our anger, and our shortcomings instead of pretending they don't exist, then maybe we'll leave the world a better place than we found it.”

What affects the mental health? ›

Although lifestyle factors including work, diet, drugs and lack of sleep can all affect your mental health, if you experience a mental health problem there are usually other factors as well. My depression seems to flare up during times when I am stressed and isolated from other people.

Why is mental health a problem in society? ›

Without treatment, the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering. Untreated mental health conditions can result in unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, and suicide, and poor quality of life.

Why is mental health important for all? ›

Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.

What are the main reasons for mental health? ›

Risk factors

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, including: A history of mental illness in a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling. Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, a loved one's death or a divorce. An ongoing (chronic) medical condition, such as diabetes.

What is the most important thing in mental health? ›

Stay active. Staying active is as good for the brain as it is for the body. Regular exercise or activity can have a major impact on your mental and emotional health, relieve stress, improve memory, and help you sleep better.

What are the benefits of mental health awareness? ›

Talking openly about mental health can reduce the misconceptions and stigma, and can encourage those who are suffering to seek help and find a support network. It's important for caregivers, friends, and loved ones to understand the impact that mental health has on daily life.

What is a good quote for mental health? ›

Being able to be your true self is one of the strongest components of good mental health.” Lauren Fogel Mersy, n.d. “All stress, anxiety, depression, is caused when we ignore who we are, and start living to please others.” To maintain wellbeing, individuals need to recognize their inner strengths.

What are the 4 types of mental health? ›

mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder) anxiety disorders. personality disorders. psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia)

How do you stay mentally healthy? ›

Staying mentally healthy
  1. Stick to a regular sleep schedule and ensure you are getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
  2. Keep up with proper and healthy nutrition.
  3. Stay active.
  4. Do not isolate yourself.
  5. Find activities that you enjoy and make participation a priority.
  6. Know your stress triggers.

Why is mental health important short essay? ›

Mental health has a direct correlation to physical health. Psychological illnesses can affect both the body and mind. Mental illness is as wide-ranging as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and addiction. It's essential to focus on these issues because mental health affects every person differently.

What causes mental health issues in youth? ›

Physical, emotional and social changes, including exposure to poverty, abuse, or violence, can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health problems.

What social factors affect mental health? ›

Social factors that can influence mental health include race, class, gender, religion, family and peer networks. Our age and stage, and the social roles we have at any time in our life all contribute to this.

What are the 5 ways to well-being? ›

Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to help improve your mental health and wellbeing, these are connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.

How can we promote mental health awareness? ›

Some of the most effective ways to achieve this include the following:
  1. Talk About Mental Health Issues Openly. ...
  2. Educate Yourself and Others on the Warning Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illnesses. ...
  3. Practice Kindness and Compassion. ...
  4. Take and Share a Free Mental Health Screening. ...
  5. Participate or Volunteer in Awareness Events.


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