November 10th through the 16th is Mental Health Wellness Week.

This is Part I of our two part blog during Mental Health Wellness Week.  In our first installment we will provide basic information to help you assess your current state of mind.  In Part II, we will offer coping strategies and tips for improving your mental wellness.

Mental health matters. It’s connected to every part of who we are, what we say and what we do.  As noted on the Mental Health Wellness Week website, “Mental health is how people think, act and cope with life and the stressors and challenges that are a part of the human experience. The state of one’s mental health can influence the ways in which they look at themselves, their life, and others around them. It also strongly influences an individual’s potential for achieving their goals and is an important tool in obtaining and maintaining a feeling of well-being.”

This is a grassroots movement designed to create awareness about the importance of mental health as well as help people take initiative on their own in the practice of fundamental coping skills.

Take a Personal Quiz

People who feel good about themselves are healthier people. But how do we measure good mental health wellness?  Ask yourself the following questions:

· When you are in a difficult or stressful situation, how do you handle it? 

· Are you good about sharing your feelings with others, or do you prefer to keep things bottled up inside?

· Do you feel good about yourself and the things you do?  Or do you notice that often times you are self-deprecating?

· Are you able to take pleasure in small moments? In other words, do you feel that you enjoy life to the fullest, or do you feel that at times where you should feel joy, you feel emptiness instead?

· What do you want out of life? Have you set any goals at all, or do you feel adrift?  Do you have realistic goals? Have you outlined any steps you need to take to begin achieving those goals?

· Do you have people in your life that you feel close to? How good are you at forming interpersonal relationships?

Why it Matters

People with poor mental health are at greater risk for developing all sorts of physical ailments. Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D. has observed a strong connection between mental health and developing cancer.  Negative attitudes affect our immune system, which in turn affects the biochemical mechanisms within our bodies.  Mental wellness also impacts our cardiovascular system. Most people who suffer from coronary heart disease have documented medical histories of chronic stress and anxiety. These patients also frequently reported feelings of aggressiveness and competitiveness.

Can You Relate?

Positive mental well-being matters. If you are dissatisfied with your answers to the questions listed above, it’s time to take control. You don’t need to feel overwhelmed about getting help, and you don’t have to feel stuck because you lack access to affordable psychiatric counseling or psychotropic drugs. The tools to mental wellness are in your own hands.  

Our next blog will offer an assortment of ideas everyone can follow to achieve optimal mental wellness.

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