When discussing mental illness, it is all too easy to forget about mental health itself. Science knows a lot about what can go wrong for a person, but we are only now catching up to know what can go right for a person. We are great at diagnosing problems, but we’re still learning how to be healthy people.
The reason that well-being is important is that it acts as both prevention and treatment for mental illness and personal challenges. When our well-being is at a high level, we can easily cope with the problems that life brings us. When our well-being is lacking, those problems seem a lot bigger and our resources to counter it seem to be not enough.
There is a lot that goes into our well-being:
- Enough restful sleep
- A healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Positive relationships
- Consistent self-care
These factors (and others like them) keep our well-being high and stress low. When these factors are not in place, we are more likely to be overwhelmed by stress.
While scientific research has been able to figure out what keeps us healthy, we also need to do our own research and figure out what personally keeps us healthy. Mental health can look a little bit different for each person. Our task is to discover what makes us well and make it a consistent part of our lives. This will guard us from mental illness, and when we can’t make it through on our own, friends, family and counsellors can be there for you.