Mental Health has been a widely discussed topic this decade. Yet, most of us, especially young students do not understand some key aspects of mental health. Mental health is of paramount importance for students as it significantly impacts their overall well-being and academic success.
In this blog post, we will explain mental health and its importance.
What is Mental Health
The first step towards mental health is understanding its meaning. There are many definitions on the internet and social media to keep you confused. So let’s look at the standard description provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.
This is a simple and precise description of mental health. Our mental health should allow us to perform day-to-day activities, cope with day-to-day stress, learn & work well, and contribute to the community. Sounds like a simple human being going about their day, doesn’t it? This is exactly what good mental health is.
The discussion around mental health on the internet might tend to overwhelm you and many other young students, but it is a very simple concept. Do not focus on all the advice & tips you receive on the internet as it tends to add to the noise. Let us keep it simple with the above definition.
Let us go deeper into the definition and understand the key aspects of mental health.
If we create a checklist for mental health using the above definition, it would look like this:
- Able to cope with the stresses of life
- Realize their abilities
- Learn well
- Work well
- Contribute to the Community
Able to cope with the stresses of life: Stress is not bad in itself. Some amount of stress actually helps us to grow as human beings. The problem arises when we get overwhelmed or are unable to handle or face the stresses of life.
Realize their abilities: Realizing your abilities is important for your personal and social well-being as it allows you to be a productive part of society and contribute towards it.
Learn well: Learning is an important part of human life. Learning and acquiring knowledge is what enables us to do more and push beyond boundaries.
Work well: Working is again an important part of human life. Work helps you to contribute to the world at large.
Contribute to the Community: There is no better feeling in the world than having a sense of contributing to society in whichever capacity we can.
Sound mental health enables you to perform the above activities effectively as you go about your life. Now we know what good mental health can help you to do. But what exactly is Good or Bad mental health? Let’s see…
Good v/s Bad Mental Health
Good mental health enables us to perform day-to-day activities effectively. But what does a bad mental health look like? Do you remember those days when you used to fell dull or sad for no particular reason, or those days when you would feel like just giving up on something? All these are examples of a poor mental health at that point in time. You might have taken some rest after these days and felt better eventually. Your mental health got better and now you were once again ready to take on the challenges of life. This is what good mental health looks like.
Importance of Mental Health
Once you look at what is mental health, it immediately becomes clear why it is important. Having sound mental health is important to be able to perform day-to-day activities effectively. Below are the key points on the importance of mental health for students.
Academic Performance: Good mental health is linked to better academic performance .
Stress reduction: Effective stress management is essential for students. High levels of stress can lead to burnout, anxiety, and depression. Maintaining good mental health can help students cope with the pressures of coursework and exams.
Physical Health: Mental health is closely linked to physical health. Stress and mental health issues can manifest physically, affecting sleep, appetite, and overall well-being.
Long-Term Well-Being: Promoting mental health during student years lays the foundation for long-term well-being. It sets the stage for a healthy and fulfilling life beyond academics.
Balancing Demands: Students often juggle various responsibilities, from coursework to projects & exams. Good mental health helps in effectively balancing these demands.
How to Take Care of Mental Health
Taking care of your mental health involves nurturing your emotional well-being, just like you care for your physical health. Start by prioritizing self-care routines, which might include regular exercise, sufficient sleep, a balanced diet, and relaxation techniques like meditation. Stay connected with friends and loved ones, sharing your thoughts and feelings openly. Manage stress through time management and stress-reduction activities. Lastly, seek professional help if you ever feel overwhelmed, as a mental health expert can provide guidance and support tailored to your needs. Remember, mental health is a vital part of overall well-being, and it’s essential to take proactive steps to maintain it.
 Murphy JM, Guzmán J, McCarthy AE, Squicciarini AM, George M, Canenguez KM, Dunn EC, Baer L, Simonsohn A, Smoller JW, Jellinek MS. Mental health predicts better academic outcomes: a longitudinal study of elementary school students in Chile. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2015 Apr;46(2):245-56. doi: 10.1007/s10578-014-0464-4. PMID: 24771270; PMCID: PMC4443903. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4443903/