What is Mental Health?
When we talk about mental health, we are in the presence of a complex concept, which covers several areas of our daily life and our body, as well as the welfare and balance that a person should have in its psychic, emotional and social aspect. It has to do directly with how a person determines how to handle day-to-day stress, how he relates to the people around him and what decisions he makes when adversity presents itself.
The World Health Organization has said that there is no “official” definition of mental health, however, it says that it is a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not only refers to the absence of disease or illness, this evidently because anyone can suffer from stress or a specific problem and is not necessarily said to be a person who does not enjoy mental health.
Mental health is associated with a person’s reasoning, their emotions and how they control and externalize them, as well as their behaviour when faced with everyday events such as paying bills, losing their job, changing their residence, and so on. Mental health leads us to have a positive image of ourselves, so by having a good image of myself, I can project a good image to others.
Authors have said that mental health is the state of equilibrium between a person and his socio-cultural environment, so it can be said that it has welfare and that in turn enjoys a great quality of life, and so because who enjoys mental health, not only enjoys a positive aptitude, but also knows how to handle adversity and face them. Hence, it is directly associated with the terms health and fitness, although mental health goes far beyond the physical part and state of a person’s body.
Mental health is a dynamic concept, which is linked to people’s living conditions, to scientific advances and to the evolution of culture, it is logical to say then that it is dynamic, because as people’s living conditions change, the advances of science and the culture of peoples themselves, then the concept of mental health can vary depending on all these, since what for one generation did not cause stress, perhaps for another is unbearable or what for a population is causing unhappiness for others will cause happiness, as often happens in overcrowded cities compared to more remote villages.
This is why MH manages vital areas in which it develops where a person should see if he has mental health or not as: spirituality, since people who believe in the spiritual tend to have better mental health than others and always keep in constant maintenance and conservation of their inner peace or spiritual, as is the case of people practicing yoga, work and leisure because who is working and feels useful, inevitably is happy, and feels professionally fulfilled; In love, because a person who feels completely loved is said to be happy and the person who has self-control and control in his actions and emotions is a completely balanced person, and who manages to find solutions in the face of adversity, this is fundamental to be psychologically stable and enjoy full mental health.
These are the vital areas on which a person’s mental health is based, if he can be moderately successful in them then one can say that the person has an emotional, psychic and social equilibrium, which makes him ostentatious of mental health.
A person who enjoys mental health is said to have three fundamental characteristics: he is satisfied with himself, he accepts himself as he is, with his virtues and defects; he feels good with others, i.e. is able to relate, understand, understand and value those around him and, finally, is able to meet the demands that life presents, because people face the challenges and must try to emerge victorious from them, but even if they fail are able to claim and move forward.
Mental health and mental hygiene
There is a term or concept much older than mental health, and is mental hygiene, which was implemented by the American psychiatrist Clifford Whittingham Beers in 1908 and who was the founder of the National Committee on Mental Hygiene, also made several campaigns for the rights of the mentally ill. That is why the great majority associates mental health with psychiatry and in turn with psychiatric problems that people or patients may suffer.
Mental illnesses are serious conditions that can affect human thought and actions. That is why when one speaks of a person who does not enjoy mental health, one could be in the presence of a person who has a psychiatric illness or problem.
This is also how the term health or mental hygiene is currently associated with those activities aimed at achieving the necessary balance in people in their daily lives, such as doing exercises after a hard day’s work, going to a retreat away from the city to enjoy silence and nature, as well as the deserved vacations after a year’s work, or an anti-stress massage or relaxation, all these activities seek to improve the health or mental hygiene of the individual to maintain that necessary balance in their daily lives.