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Livelong

Health Magazine

Fostering Mental Health

Fostering Mental Health and Wellness in People Over Forty Years Mental health is an important part of an individual’s overall health and wellness. According to World Health Organization, mental health refers to “state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”. In youth – people are usually full of optimism, energy and vigor about their future. There are mentors such as parents, teachers and community programs that help out youth to achieve their full potential. However, as people grow older, opportunities of growth decline; people develop issues related to health; there are a multitude of responsibilities of education for children; and yet the struggle to maintain a good standard of living. In such circumstances, middle aged adults (forty years or older) may develop “Mid-Life Crisis”. Mid-life Crisis may be defined as doubt and anxiety about whether a person’s life is what one envisioned it to be like. Although, mid-life crisis is usually just a phase; but if it is not coped with effectively, it may have a negative impact on an individual’s life. Further, it may aggravate to other forms of mental illness such as depression. Here are some tips to help overcome mid-life crisis and foster mental health and wellness in people aged forty and older. 6 1. Learn to Work through Your Negative Emotions Understanding one’s emotions is very important. Often, when we experience a negative emotion such as fear, or stress – we try to avoid facing or acknowledging it. However, the best way to tackle any negative emotion is be aware of its cause and effect in one’s life. If you are experiencing anxiety or stress about the way your life has turned; pinpoint exact things that make you stressed or anxious. Once you have a list – see how Live Long | March 2018

each of those things impacts your current life and to what degree. Lastly, make a goal to tackle each of those problems one at a time, in their degree of importance. 2. Set New Goals Are you not happy the way your life has turned out? Did you have different goals for life when you were younger? Are you in a state of conflict about how to achieve the goals you dreamed of twenty years ago? If there is nothing you can do; simply learn to let go! Evaluate where you are standing now, and be proud of yourself no matter what. You must have worked hard to reach where you are. Instead of ruminating about old goals you were not able to achieve because of the circumstances life brought for you – just set brand new goals for yourself, that are according to your present capabilities. Not achieving one’s goals is not a failure – but stopping to dream, is definitely so. 3. Build Emotional Resilience The term “resilience” means the ability to bounce back after an adverse event. Each and every one of us faces ups and downs in life. However, some people tend to keep thinking about it and get depressed; while, others see a negative event as an opportunity for growth. Be the kind who sees negative events as opportunities for growth. Developing resilience will make you strong emotionally and mentally – it will help you develop a plan when you’re in a crisis rather than being one of those who get stuck in a rut. 4. “Give” Back to Your Community Remember, that the world you live in, and especially your community has had a special role in your education, knowledge, values and it has molded you into the person you are today. Giving back all the positive things and values, you have learnt to the newer generations is your responsibility to the community. When 7 Live Long | March 2018

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