Mental Health Information

Mental Health is much more than an absence of illness. It involves our daily lives. It has to do with:

  • How a person feels about himself
  • How he/she feels about others
  • How he/she handles the stresses of daily living

Some characteristics of a mentally healthy person:

Feeling comfortable about himself

  • he is able to cope with common feelings such as fear, worry, anger, love, hate, jealousy and guilt
  • he can take disappointments in his stride
  • he has confidence in his ability to handle most situations
  • he has self-respect

Feeling comfortable about other people

  • he is able to give and receive love from others
  • he has trust in others
  • he does not push other people around or allow himself to be pushed around

He is able to meet the demands of life

  • he is able to cope and to solve problems when they arise
  • he is able to accept responsibilities
  • he is able to decide on things for himself
  • he puts his best efforts in whatever he does and he feels happy doing it

Each individual functions at different levels of mental health. Not all people have all of the characteristics of good mental health all the time. Do not worry; it is difficult to reach the ideal in mental health development.

We can deal with our emotions. We appreciate – love, joy, happiness, satisfaction, contentment, cheerfulness, peace of mind, pleasure, etc. We can also cope with – sadness, fear, anxiety, anger, hate, loneliness, hurt, frustration, worry, etc.

Some useful tips

  1. Recognise your feelings such as fear, anger, sadness and hate in any situation
  2. Try to understand how such feelings come about
  3. Examine your reaction to situations and people when faced with such feelings
  4. Know your potential and limitations in dealing with situations. Be realistic
  5. Understand your favoured ways in which you deal with our feelings and problems, i.e. are they effective or ineffective? Example: ANGER
    Ask yourself these questions

    • Why am I angry?
    • What am I angry with?
    • How to react when I am angry?
    • What can I do to deal with my anger?
  6. Learn new ways of coping with your feelings that give you satisfaction and that can meet your needs
  7. Plan positive ways to handle these feelings, step by step
  8. Act on your plans
  9. If they do not meet your needs, explore other ways

Stress is a common experience in meeting the demands and expectations of oneself and others – at home, at school, at work, at social functions. Conflicts and frustrations arise in meeting such demands of daily living. These result in tension, feelings of fear, anger and sadness. Stress is not always harmful. It can give us the motivation to overcome our difficulties. It depends on how you view it.

Examples of stressful events

  • Too demanding a job
  • Work pressure
  • Poor relationship with boyfriend/girlfriend
  • Poor relationship with husband/wife
  • Poor relationship with employer/colleagues
  • Worry about children
  • Worry about household chores
  • Worry about examinations
  • Ill-health
  • Sudden unexpected death in the family
  • Retirement
  • Marriage
  • Dealing with in-laws

Tips for Your Mental Health

Mental Health cannot be for the self alone. It is everybody’s concern. We need to look at how we are contributing to the stress of others and vice versa.

It is by your attitudes and behaviour that you can promote positive mental health for yourself and those around you.

  • Have a balanced diet
  • Have enough sleep
  • Have regular exercise
  • Relieve your tension through relaxation and recreation
  • Do something enjoyable when you feel stressful
  • When something worries you, talk it over with someone. Also offer a listening ear to those who may need someone to talk to. Show someone you care.
  • Take one thing at a time
  • Learn from your experience and think of different ways to handle your situation
  • Give in occasionally even if you are right. Remember, nobody is perfect. By doing this, others will do the same
  • Go easy with your criticism. Look for the good points in another person’s behaviour and help him to develop them
  • Give the other person a break. Competition may be good at times but there should be a balance with co-operation
  • Do something for others. Develop your trust and love with those around you
  • Give yourself a pat on the back for the things you do well
  • Be able to laugh at yourself even when things go wrong