HOW TO MAINTAIN A GOOD MENTAL HEALTH IN NIGERIA
The World Trade Organization (WTO) defines ‘Mental Health’ as the foundation for individuals’ well-being and effective functioning. It is more than the absence of a mental disorder; it is the ability to think, learn, and understand one’s emotions and the reactions of others. Mental health is a state of balance, both within and with the environment.
A vanguard newspaper publication of 1st February 2022 highlights the poor mental health of Nigerians wherein the governor of Lagos state – Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu raised an alarm over the deteriorating situation of mental health in the state is akin to the chicken coming home to roost.
Nigerians, in general, are well aware that the majority of people are on the verge of losing their minds and that the border between sanity and the other side is razor-thin. Given the huge pressures of life in the country, the poverty in the area, and the frustration and hopelessness in the land, among other damning truths, it cannot be otherwise.
Unfortunately, the first and most crucial ingredient for a healthy mental condition – effective governance – is in short supply in a country marked by tremendous insecurity, anxiety, high unemployment, high corruption, high poverty, and other grievances. These factors combine to create an environment that encourages despair and drug usage, which in turn encourages depression, delusion, and other delinquent and bad behaviours.
People chopping down other human beings to death, mutilating the body, and in some cases eating the remnants or portion of the body are all too common. Only a depraved civilization professing to be normal could produce such weird events. This article highlights how to maintain good mental health in Nigeria.
1. STAY POSITIVE NO MATTER WHAT
This might seem like an almost impossible task to achieve but if you put your mind to it, it is achievable despite the odds. It is critical to maintain a positive mindset; some strategies include:
- Achieving a healthy balance of positive and negative emotions
Staying positive does not preclude you from experiencing unpleasant feelings like grief or rage. You must be able to feel them in order to go through challenging situations. They can assist you in dealing with a situation. You do not want those feelings to take over, though. It’s not useful, for example, to constantly think about negative things that happened in the past or to be overly concerned about the future.
- Taking a vacation from the terrible news
Interestingly, lately, this has been the headlines of every Nigerian newspaper. When it is time to quit viewing or reading the news, know when to do so. Use social media to seek assistance and interact with others, but use caution.
2. DEVELOP A SENSE AND PURPOSE IN LIFE
This could be accomplished through your career, volunteer work, learning new skills, or spiritual exploration. There are a lot of outlets available for one to discover and maintain purpose. It would be of great advantage to any Nigerian who has begun experiencing traces of mental fatigue to channel whatever energy they have left into these outlets. Life might seem useless if one constantly focuses on all the negatives. Therefore, to avoid suicide, depression and its likes, we should seek to find happiness.
3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH
Because your physical and emotional well-being is intertwined, taking care of your physical health can be done in many ways:
- Proper Diet:
Eating well is important. A good diet can not only help you feel better physically, but it can also help you feel better mentally and reduce anxiety and tension. In addition, a lack of specific minerals may have a role in the development of mental diseases. There could be a link between low vitamin B12 levels and depression, for example. A well-balanced diet can assist you in obtaining the nutrients you require.
- Being physically active is important.
Exercise can help you feel less stressed and depressed while also improving your mood.
4. MAINTAIN A CLOSE SUPPORT GROUP
You may feel alienated and alone if you are going through a difficult phase. Instead of suffering in quiet, it is critical to have a solid support network of family and friends to whom you may turn when you’re in need. Those who have social connections are often healthier than those who do not. Keeping your thoughts and feelings to yourself can be harmful to your mental health; therefore, having someone to confide in can be really beneficial.
5. SEEK HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT
Although a lot of depression is going on in this demographic, most people have the notion that visiting a shrink to let out all that is bottled in is more of an ‘onyibo’ or foreign act. It is not. Seeking help when you need it is one of the finest ways to take care of your mental health.
There’s no shame in speaking up if you’re not feeling well, and you should keep in mind that we all go through hard periods. It’s just as vital to look after your mental health as it is to look after your physical health. All of the suggestions above can help you improve your way of thinking while also ensuring that you have the support of your loved ones.
Mental health is one of those topics in our society that is still mostly misunderstood and discussed behind closed doors. This is despite the fact that we all know someone who is suffering from one or more mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, substance addiction, or those who have died by suicide.
Many of us have either heard of or personally know persons who have died by suicide, and we often keep these tragedies hidden for fear of shame and stigma. This has social consequences, and it also has a significant economic impact, as experts estimate that depression alone costs at least US$ 800 billion in lost economic productivity globally, a figure that is anticipated to more than double by 2030.
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