Dr Jozelle Miller
January 11, 2022
The Pillars of Good Mental Health

Our mental health is an encompassing dynamic state of internal equilibrium that enables us to interact with the world around us. Our mental health includes harmonious relationships with others, the ability to recognise and express healthy emotions, basic cognitive skills, the flexibility and ability to cope with life’s stressful changes, and the ability to take care of our physical bodies in a pleasing way.

Our mental health incorporates so much more than a disorder, a depressed mood or having low energy; our mental health encompasses four significant pillars: physical health, emotional health, cognitive fitness, and physical health.

It is essential to understand that mental wellness does not just happen to you. It demands time and effort to practice the habits as well as engage in the different activities that promote it. The following are habits that foster mental wellness:

1. Nurture Your Body

This can be done by being mindful of the foods that you consume and notice how they influence your mood, energy levels, as well as cognitive functioning (motivation, learning, memory).

2. Sleep Sound

Ask yourself if you need any sleep help as our bodies get worn out during the daytime and sleep is important to put it back in shape. When we sleep, our bodies release the growth-producing hormone that helps restore the brain as well as other organs. If we stop sleeping, or if we’re regularly sleep deprived, our immune system will suffer and we’ll become more prone to becoming sick. Sleep is essential to keep us mentally and physically healthy.

3. Relax

We can enhance our mental health by learning to cope with stress and practice relaxation activities into our everyday routines. Stress negatively affects our mental health and it is vital to learn how to keep it in check. While various stressors cannot be avoided, following stress management strategies can aid us to achieve a balance and live happy and healthy lives.

4. Build Connections

Humans are social beings and our need to connect with others in order to flourish and survive is imprinted in our genes. In our world today, a powerful support network such as friends and family, can help us deal with much of our life’s stressors. Find various ways by which you can expand your social circle and find people who share your values, who understand you and can listen and provide advice, or simply encourage you in your life’s path when you require a little nudge. Surrounding yourself with upbeat and positive people will help you become a happier and healthier person yourself.

5. Exercise

In general, the more we exercise, the better our mental and physical health will be. According to various research, as little as 10 minutes of exercise can introduce feelings of improved mood and vigour. The good news is that the minimum time we require to spend exercising daily in order to experience a noticeably positive mood change is just 30 minutes! This time can be utilised walking short distances, taking the stairs, basically performing activities that get your body moving. So start learning how exercise can improve your mental health.

So, how can you leverage the power of these pillars in an effective manner to improve your mental health and increase happiness in your life?

The answer is to start taking simple and easy to manage wellness initiatives to be consistent with these, and gradually move to the next level of initiatives.

Slow start and a slow walk towards mental wellness don’t matter as long as you’re consistent. Once you’re consistent with your changed habits towards mental health, you will surely observe the amazing positive change in your life.