Many of us take little or no steps to protect our mental health. Have you ever heard the statement “I don’t know what went wrong, he just snapped” or “she was always cheerful and carefree, I wonder what changed or what made her snap”.
This statement is quite common whenever the personality or behavior of a person changes or whenever a person carries out an action that is unlike them. So, what could really cause this?
There is a popular saying that “for every action, there must always be a reaction”. However, before action can occur there must have been a cause(a reason) and a lot of forces (thoughts). Our attitude is a result of our thoughts and state of mind. Looking at the society we are in today, so many things are occurring daily, such as ASUU’s strike, the pandemic, inflation, economic crisis, and so on. Which is affecting individuals one way or the other and we have to keep on making various decisions and choices daily for survival and to achieve dreams and goals. We all have diverse ways of coping with stress, conflict, challenges, pressure, and fatigue and if we aren’t mentally stable, we can make decisions that may later become a burden or a scar on us. This is one more reason we need to ensure that we are healthy mentally.
Mental Instability: Do You Mean Madness?
Being mentally unstable isn’t all about going crazy or tearing off one’s clothes and running into the street, wandering about. It is as simple as being in a state of not functioning as one ought to. It is a state of not being able to make right and sound decisions in various situations and circumstances in life.
There is a saying that “a blind man cannot lead blind men” in order to take care of others, take care of yourself. In order to work effectively and efficiently and to help others, you have to be mentally stable.
Five Ways To Protect Your Mental Health
- Speak out: are you feeling overwhelmed with anger, sadness, depression, or dejection daily? Don’t die in silence. Reach out to your friend, mentor, family, or pastor, whoever your confidant may be. Feelings or emotions not addressed are like a cocooned volcano; its eruption will be disastrous. And there is a saying that “a problem shared is half solved”.
- Set Countermeasures: “The mind of an idle man is a devil’s workshop”, so a proverb says and this is quite true, looking at the rate at which unwanted pregnancy, hooliganism, and so on, increases during times of holidays and strikes. Are you someone who cannot be in solitude, isolation, or idle without being filled with negative thoughts? Then, you need to set countermeasures; discover what you are good at (hobby and skills) and get active in developing yourself, meditate on the word of God, find a healthy coping mechanism to help you with stress, be it; socializing with your loved ones, creating music, writing, drawing, joining volunteering group and so on.
- Take Care of Your Physical Health: “Health is wealth” so the saying goes. When you are healthy, then you can be more productive. Some people drink alcohol whenever they are stressed, fearful, or lonely. The relief that comes from this is only temporary. When the drink wears off, you will feel worse because of its effect on your brain and body, besides your emotions. Eat well, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. All of this helps to boost your self-esteem and to keep your body organs healthy and to function effectively.
- Set Boundaries: Know when to take a break, and when to refuse to go to some outings and gatherings. Don’t overexert yourself, recognize when you are being oppressed or pressurized. It’s okay to say no to the things you don’t like or that affect you mentally.
- Seek Help: We are not superhumans, sometimes we become overwhelmed with various emotions and feelings, but the beauty of it is when we overcome them and become stronger. You reach out for help doesn’t mean that you are weak. Rather, it shows how strong you are for not giving in to your emotions. Are you feeling overwhelmed by various emotions? Then reach out to your confidant or to a counselor who will give you a listening ear. Sometimes, everything becomes better just by speaking about our feelings.
What’s your view on how to protect our mental health? Or is there some other way to do so which is not included? Does speaking about our feelings mean weakness? Do drop your comment about these questions or any other that we didn’t address. Let’s learn and encourage each other.
This article was written by Oluwatoyin Adeyanju.
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