The WHO’s (World Health Organisation) definition of health verbatim is, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” For the longest of time, health was being understood as the absence of disease and no one really talks about mental well-being.
Dr.B.M.Hegde, a renowned cardiologist, professor of medicine, and author, has given health a new definition, which goes like this,
“Keep the enthusiasm in you alive, nurture positivity and cull negativity and you are healthy”
Emotional wellbeing is of paramount importance and children need to be educated about it. This is especially crucial now since suicide is accounted for one-third of all reported deaths in the age group of youths from 20 to 29.
IT’S BIGGER THAN YOU THINK
The effect that emotions have on your physical well-being is much greater than what you could possibly think of. As a case in point, epidemiological studies have proven that social and emotional support is a huge antidote to premature mortality and illness, and it acts as a catalyst for a speedy recovery.
Brief stressors have the ability to suppress cellular immunity and chronic stress has the capacity to suppress cellular and humoral immunity. The strength of immunity can also be compromised by factors such as age and sex, so as we grow older, things would take a turn for the worse if nothing is done to cope with stress.
MENTAL HEALTH DETERMINANTS
Since our focus is on youth, we’ll set the context to be more applicable for their age group. Adolescence and early adulthood are important phases of life and they are filled with lots of unexpected challenges. There are various factors that can contribute to stress during teenage years; these include,
- Adapting and adjusting to the idea of being independent
- Decision making
- Peer pressure
- Exploring one’s own sexual identity
- Understanding one’s place in society
- Finding a meaning to life
And the list goes on. In this time and age when social media has such a great influence on everyone’s life, it also acts as a stressor since it carries a whole lot of problems on its own.
Globally, studies show that depression is the fourth leading cause of illness and disability among adolescents aged 15-19 years and the fifteenth for the age group of 10-14 years.
There are many other such statistics like these and they are just baffling. It is alarming, and it is indicative of the fact that such problems are starting from a very young age. In order to nip, the problem in its bud, parents, and teachers need to work together.
HOW CAN YOU COPE WITH STRESS & ANXIETY?
There are so many ways to cope with stress and anxiety and there is no one right way. Everyone is different so the approach to solving this problem would be quite different for every individual. Some might need to take deep breaths, some might need to play their musical instrument for an escape, some others might need to talk to their loved ones about things that are bothering them.
In a nutshell, students need to be aware of what’s stressing them out and perhaps discuss with their parents or tuition teachers about ways in which they can be tackled. Mental health is extremely important, and it’s high time we all realise that.