Here, we will discuss the well-being of the mind and the challenges to it: mental health.
A human being is an integral whole. The human mind is one part of well-being – we can talk about mental health. The parts of a person’s well-being are the mind, body and soul, and these are affected by many internal human factors as well as environmental factors. When a person’s mind is well, it is often easier to make everyday life run smoothly. You can also do new things and the world seems bright. Thoughts are clear for the most part, and making decisions and finding solutions are not difficult. Life feels balanced and you can control your own emotions. There is a belief that every good and bad experience has a purpose. There is light in the future, and the difficult experiences of the past do not cause too much of a burden.
Anyone can face difficult situations, events or experiences at some point in their life, which can affect their mental well-being or make them feel really tired. It’s important to know how to take care of your own mind. Mental well-being includes, for example, choosing one’s own thoughts and looking at things positively and realistically; the ability to regulate one’s emotions; setting limits; and gratitude.
Thoughts may seem confused and dark. Making decisions or solving problems is difficult. The future is scary or frightening. Experiences from the past may seem really difficult and take away the strength from everyday life. Problems emerge with human relationships. You feel angry, sad or scared all the time, and you’re unable to get rid of negative feelings.
Your own means are not always enough. If that is so, look for support from a professional who will help you to find resources and tools to deal with your problems. The help of a professional or a trusted person will help you move forward faster than being alone with the problem. The help of a professional or other trusted outside person is also important because they will give you their time and support without any expectations or judgement. Sometimes a challenging situation also puts a heavy burden on your partner or other people close to you, and they are not able to help you as much as is needed.
Although the challenges of mental well-being can seem frightening, a challenging situation and burden does not mean that a person is weak or sick. Challenges and tribulations are a part of life.
Even a Muslim and a religious person can be depressed, anxious, angry, sad or desperate. Having a mental health challenge does not mean that you are a bad Muslim. The well-being of the soul is different from the well-being of the mind. Even the prophets and all the people felt sadness, anger, anxiety and even depression. Everyone has experienced their own challenges, and that did not make them into bad persons.
There is a connection between the well-being of a person’s mind, soul and body, and the well-being of each area supports the others. When the mind is down, the body often feels tired or aches. If the body is in pain, you cannot do things that give you strength. Sometimes you notice that your body is just tired, tense or sore. If you recognise a difficult feeling in your body, you can think about whether you are worried or anxious about some things. Do you have the same difficult thoughts several times a day? Do you feel bad about some of the relationships you have with other people? After that, you can understand that your body is trying to tell you that your mind needs care.
It is important to know that help and understanding is available when you need it. There is no need to be alone. There is no need to be ashamed about asking for help and support and receiving it. It is strength and courage.
From the video below, you can get information on what is meant by mental health, what you can do to improve your own well-being, how to talk about it and how to seek support for it. Much more information, videos and various exercises are available on the websites of Mental Health Associations, e.g. in the Somali and Arabic languages.