Psychological health, also called emotional well-being, is the ability to realize your potential and cope with challenges. It enables you to get along with others, work productively and achieve good physical health, such as lower blood pressure and less risk of heart disease. It also helps you feel good about yourself and have healthy relationships. There are many different ways to improve your psychological health, including counseling or therapy, support groups, family or friend help, exercise, and eating a healthy diet. It is important to avoid stress, and try to get enough sleep.
Mental health is influenced by a variety of factors, such as genetics, personality and environment. People are more likely to experience mental health problems when they have a combination of these factors, especially during developmentally sensitive periods, such as childhood and adolescence. Factors that increase a person’s risk of developing mental illness include exposure to violence, poverty, economic inequality and environmental deprivation, as well as poor social and emotional supports. People are more resilient when they have a support system and positive emotions, such as hope and contentment. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a healthy mental state as “an individual’s ability to manage their emotions, relate to others and function productively.” It includes the capacity to recover from setbacks and bounce back from trauma and hardship. It also entails the ability to keep a balance between challenging and rewarding activities, and to recognize the benefits of each.
A healthy mind can lead to greater success in school, improved productivity at work and increased life satisfaction. Students who are emotionally healthy are more interested in and attentive in class, have better grades and retention rates, and are less likely to be absent due to anxiety, depression or addictions. They are also more likely to participate in extracurricular activities and be involved in their communities.
Occupational therapy practitioners have the skills to address mental health issues and promote emotional wellness in a variety of settings, including schools, community centers and businesses. These professionals can provide individual or group therapy for patients of all ages, as well as consult with organizations to incorporate mental health strategies on a programmatic level.
When a person has a mental health condition, treatment is often the best way to manage it and reduce the impact on their life. This can be done through psychotherapy, which has a broad scope and encompasses a range of practices, including gestalt therapy, psychoanalysis, dialectical behavioral therapy, psychedelic therapies, and transpersonal psychology/psychotherapy. A range of medications can be used to treat specific conditions, such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers. Other modalities can include expressive therapy, such as art or music therapy, and support groups, such as Twelve-step programs or psychoeducation groups. The earlier a mental health problem is identified, the more effective treatment will be.