Saturday, October 10th is World Mental Health Day. It's nice that the importance of mental health is recognized. But our mental health is something that we should be thinking about every day.
What is mental health? In a very basic sense, it's how you're doing overall emotionally, physically, and socially.
What does that mean?
Emotionally: How do you manage your feelings? Change? Difficult times? How do you respond to your thoughts? Are you aware of how your thoughts affect your emotions? And vice versa?
Physically: How are you sleeping? Eating? Are you taking care of your body by exercising?
Socially: How is your social support system? Do you have strong friendships? Family relationships? Is social media helping or hurting you right now?
The World Health Organization gives us a formal definition of mental health:
"Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community."
That's something to aim for!
How are you doing? Is it time to take some small steps toward better mental health? Or maybe it's time for a bigger step like confiding in a friend about how you're doing? Doing some research on mental health and mental illness? Giving some thought to starting therapy?
Let's pause and think about that this Saturday, October 10th. But let's also keep it in mind every day as we pay attention to how we are doing.
I’m Elaine Gee-Wong and I'm a therapist with a private practice in Santa Clara, CA.
Any information or advice on this website is for informational purposes only, and should not take the place of information or care provided to you by your physicians, medical, or mental health care professionals.