Let me start by sharing a recent dialogue between two friends:
Friend 1(stressed): I am very upset as I am jobless as my airlines got closed, I am 50, have two daughters to raise up and I cannot absorb myself in any other industry now as I’m used to airlines industry and it’s different both in terms of work environment as well as pay package…. I am frustrated !!!
Friend 2(neutral trying to help him out): don’t worry keep trying let’s work out ways to get things going for you …
Friend 1: No no …nothing seems to be working out for me, it’s like a dead end….
Friend 2: come on don’t loose hope things will get better, let’s focus on what’s possible
Friend 1: There is no possibility. Even my other colleagues whenever we talk we all know it’s very difficult
Friend 2: okay you’re feeling stressed let’s go for counseling…
Friend 1: counseling won’t help I need to work, I need a job, my condition is because I lost my job not because of any psychological conditions
Friend 2: well that’s the twist, tell me for how long have you been worried…..and in this much time how has it made the situation better….?
Friend 1: (speechless)
Friend 2: we are mistaken here, we think we need counseling or mental help only when we are psychologically affected, or are having a disorder, while it’s the other way round, psychological conditions, caused by stress, can be handled right when the stress is about to convert into chronic stress. This stress is the very reason for creating conditions that can affect you more both mentally and physically. ”
Whether it is cough, cold, stomach aches, or diabetes, thyroid, asthma, we rush to Doctor and take necessary action.
However, when we come across stress, anxiety, depression, anger issues, mental disturbances. We push it under the carpet and hide it, why?
We readily cater to physical health concerns, but ignore mental health. Why? Is it because physical health can be seen and it is tangible, health reports can indicate one’s health of organs and bones and blood, and one can take medication to treat it?
Then why not the same approach for mental health? Isn’t that important to treat?
Most of the physical disorders are outcome of unresolved mental disturbances or what we call psycho somatic?
The biggest myth that most people carry, is, that counselling and therapy is only for mad or psychologically affected persons. Wanting to be mentally fit is as important as physical fitness.
Now let’s understand this word mental health.
Mental health includes our emotional,psychological and social well being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It is all about ensuring that thoughts, emotions, behavior and attitude are constructive and not destructive in times of stress and while relating to others..
Having said this, it’s normal to get angry at times- that may help to stand up for truth; it’s okay to feel a little bit of fear-it helps one to protect oneself and loved ones, it’s okay to be tensed in moments of exams or interviews or meeting- it helps to prepare and work well.
However when one finds his/her self in prolonged periods of stress, anger, fear, guilt, confusion and indecisiveness, sleeplessness or tension the condition gets chronic. This not only affects the behavior with ones own-self and others, it also can lead to disturbed relationships, lowered performances, unhealthy eating habits, developing addiction, overall dysfunctionality is a sign that you need to “take help”.
When one is under chronic stress, it begins to negatively affect his or her physical and mental health. The body’s stress response was not made to be continuously engaged. Many people encounter stress from multiple sources, including work; money, health, and relationship worries; and media overload. Stress is a response to a threat in a situation, whereas anxiety is a reaction to the stress.
With so many sources of stress, it is difficult to find time to relax and disengage. This is why stress is one of the biggest health problems facing people today.
The idea is to have a balance in all aspects of life; to be functional and keep enjoying every aspect including the challenges and difficulties..