Mental Health Conversations:
Reactive vs Proactive Approach
Mental health plays a very significant role in our overall wellness and we cannot stress its importance enough. We all have mental health. And, it is different for every individual. It can neither be compared nor can it be categorized.
What might trigger and affect one person may not have a similar impact on the other person. Hence, we conclude that mental health is individual.
The need to normalize the conversations about mental health is real and relevant. We, collectively as a society, have to work together to spread and raise awareness to let people know that “It’s okay to feel a certain way”.
As we work towards normalizing the conversations around mental health, the language that we use becomes a serious concern. If we continue the conversations that increase the stigma around mental illnesses instead of breaking them, it is practical of no use, right?
Language plays a vital role in the negative connotation of the word “mental” that has been going for ages. Sadly, this is how we have conditioned all of our life. The word “mental” has been given such negative meaning that we subconsciously relate it to something wrong or unacceptable.
This is exactly what needs to change - not only for the present times but for the sake of our future generations as well. But, how can you and I contribute towards this change? How can you and I take a step to approach someone going through a mental illness?
In either of the situations, i.e. when you want to help someone else during their mental health journey or you are trying to take yourself out of the mental health issues, there are two ways to do it: Reactive approach and Proactive approach.
What is the Reactive approach?
Reactive as a word is about the reaction of a situation or incident.
When you wait for things to go beyond repair when you wait for the person (other or self) to hit rock bottom, when you think you should wait because things are “under control” as of now - when you think in any of these ways, you are taking the reactive approach towards mental health.
The reactive approach to mental health has mostly been the norm, purely because of the stigma around mental illness and its conversations. And, the only solution to this is taking a proactive approach towards the issue.
What is the Proactive approach?
Proactive as a word means to reach before the problems become impossible to solve.
When you intervene at an earlier stage during the mental illness of the person, when you ‘catch’ the person before hitting rock bottoms, when you see that the person is suffering and you let them know that they have you or you allow yourself to open up and speak with someone you know, this how you are taking a proactive approach towards mental health.
A proactive approach to mental health is a relatively new concept. As we have more and more people opening up about their personal stories around mental health, as we have more business models around mental wellness, as the awareness is increasing, the proactive approach is gaining all the attention and practice it deserves.
Hence, here is how one can take a holistic approach towards our mental health as much as we do towards our physical well being:
Don’t ignore and accept it - The first step is to acknowledge your emotions and feelings. Accepting that you need help at the beginning of the journey of recovery.
Allow to have conversations around mental health - The most basic, the most important yet the most ignored step of all. The fact that we take someone’s or our mental health casually and hold it inside for so long is the very reason for it all.
So, people coming forward and spreading awareness about the need of the hour’ is the first step of success towards the ultimate goal of normalizing and prioritizing mental health.
Remember, prevention is better than cure - You might feel like ignoring the feelings and asking yourself to calm down but the road down the hill only gets muddier and filled with pebbles on every step. Therefore, to choose prevention and to not allow the symptoms to grow stronger and to not let them lead to something terrible, it becomes exponential to have a proactive approach.
Seek professional help - Alright, I don’t know if you need to hear this or not, but, It is okay to have mental illness and it is okay to seek help. More than okay, I’d rather put it as a necessity.
We don’t sit back and think about visiting a doctor when we have any issues with our physical health. The first thought is to visit a doctor. Well, it ought to be the same with mental health as well. Like you don’t wait for a magical cure in times of issues with physical health, you must not wait when your mental health needs professional guidance.
Go for routine check-ups - We all have routine health check-ups, don’t we? Well, again, when physical health is a concern to get it checked at regular intervals of time, then why not our mental health? Having regular therapy sessions or appointments with the psychologist or psychiatrist is the best way to take hold of our mental wellness proactively.
Adopting a proactive approach towards mental health and mental illnesses isn’t limited to an individual’s efforts for self or one single person. If you are an employer, a proactive approach for the well-being of your employees must be a part of your workplace wellness model.
Especially with more people working remotely, mental wellness has become a serious concern, as it should. Not to mention, this will not only make them happy and mindful but will also boost their productivity level.
Well, if you are serious about taking a proactive approach towards your mental health, I’d like to invite you to download our 360Wellness application on your iOS and Android devices. The application comes with an inbuilt, revolutionary 360Wellness tracker. It doesn’t only work on your mental wellness but allows you to track your overall wellness too.