Mental wellness is equally important as physical wellness

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As we go through many physical wellnesses in this blog, we shouldn’t have neglected mental wellness. Mental wellness is the ability to manage your emotions and stresses well.


In your daily life, there are many forms of stresses, worries, fears, anxiety, and so on that can affect your mental well-being. If it is not handled well, over time, it can develop into psychological and other chronic disorders.


Statistics on World Happiness Report 2021/2022

A group of researchers has studied the World Happiness Index of 146 countries comparing 6 variables:

  1. Gross domestic product per capita
  2. Social support
  3. Healthy life expectancy
  4. Freedom to make your own life choices
  5. Generosity of the general population
  6. Perceptions of internal and external corruption levels

The report shows the ranking of countries from the highest happiness score to the lowest. Whereby Finland being the happiest country while Afghanistan ranks the lowest (Figure 1). The data takes into consideration the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the quality of life, but it has not factored in the recent global events such as Russia-Ukraine war and Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. These factors, when included, would definitely bring down the happiness score significantly.

World Happiness Report 2021/2022
Figure 1: Ranking of countries by happiness index

To read more on the happiness report, you can visit the Happiest Countries in the World 2022 and World Happiness Report 2021.


Causes and effects

There are many reasons you can easily get stressed up all the time. When your mental well-being is not properly managed, it can lead you to various health problems.


Poor anger management
When things do not work out in your favour or meet your expectation, you get agitated, and your natural defense mechanisms are to fight back, throw temper, and rant. The health risks of anger can be anything from anxiety, headache, high blood pressure, heart attack, to stroke.


If you are a perfectionist, this is for you. There is nothing wrong with being perfect. However, when you get too obsessive about it, you want to control things to be in a particular order and standard, you could end up setting very high standard for yourself and the people around you. If thing doesn’t go your way, you experience anxiety, distress, threatened, and eventually turn into aggressive behaviour. You have higher tendencies to suffer from poor relationships, self-doubt, chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, diabetes, heartburn, insomnia, etc.


Anxiety disorder
If you are those who are constantly worrying, you can get very imaginative and overly cautious. Very often, you end up in analysis paralysis. In a more severe situation, you may have a generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) that can cause a series of events such as nervousness, tension headaches, palpitations, hyperthyroidism, hyperhidrosis, chronic pain, insomnia, and depression.


Living in people’s expectations

No man is an island. To live harmony with people also means you need to meet certain mutual expectations. Day in day out, you are dealing with family members, friends, acquaintance, colleagues, and sometimes strangers. How you handle them depends a lot on your interpersonal skills and emotional quotient (EQ). If you don’t manage these 2 components well, you could end up having poor relationships, lack of self-confident, affecting your personal and career growth, and get into a lot of troubles. All these can eventually translate into adverse health outcomes.


How to achieve mental wellness by managing stress?

Below are some common ways to manage and reduce stress.

  • Exercise, sports and games
    For an active lifestyle, exercising is a form of stress reliever. You will feel relaxed, energetic, and refreshed after a workout. Playing sports and games requires your full focus and attention. By doing so, you can take your mind away from worries and stresses.

  • Relaxation
    If you are not the active type, meditation could be a good way for you to quiet your mind, slow your thoughts, and control your emotions. Relaxation can also come in the form of body massage, spa, or sauna. It helps to relax your muscles and calm your mind. Pleasant scents calm your emotions as well. Try out different aromatherapy candles, diffusers, and essential oils to enjoy peace and tranquillity.
  • Hobbies
    Do something you love, such as painting, gardening, playing instruments, singing, dancing, cooking, baking, etc. When you are indulging in your favourite pastime, your brain releases happy hormones such as Serotonin, Oxytocin, Endorphins, and Dopamine that are beneficial to your well-being.
New hobbies for mental wellness
  • Music
    Listening to soothing and slow-paced music (e.g., jazz, blues), classical music or nature sounds can help you reduce your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease stress hormones. There are also some people who prefer upbeat music such as rock, metal, rap to alleviate their moods.

  • Motivational speech
    Motivational speech is very energetic and inspiring. It brings you to a new perspective of life, help you step out from pain and sorrow, and find your new hope and energy source.
  • Get connected
    Call up a friend, catch up over a cup of coffee, or maybe open yourself up and make new friends. It is sometimes helpful to vent your negative feeling to a supportive friend to seek comfort, but be very mindful not to pick the toxic and negative friends.
Connecting with friends for mental wellness
  • Sleep
    Sleep is a good way to destress, it is only when you are asleep that you cannot control your mind and thought. You may have a hard time falling asleep (insomnia), but you can always seek professional help to mitigate this issue.

  • Pets
    If you are a pet-lover, spending time and playing with pet can be an excellent distraction. You can be walking your dog, admiring goldfish, listening to birds chirping, and even feeding tarantula. With a pet, your life is never alone.
  • Nature
    Allowing yourself to be connected with nature can greatly reduce your stress. Spend a weekend hiking, jungle tracking, camping, fishing, sightseeing, stargazing, etc. You will realise how tiny you are in this universe and appreciate a bigger perspective of life. Travelling is full of excitement and anticipation. You can plan a short vacation to get away from your mundane work, put yourself in a foreign land, experience new culture, exotic foods, lifestyles, and make new friends along the journey.
Hiking and seeing new horizon
  • Gratitude
    Life is full of ups and downs, no one can be in good state forever; likewise, you can’t be forever in bad luck. Learn to express gratitude and have the courage to accept whatever comes along.

  • Learn to say NO
    Sometimes you feel stressed because you want to be the nice guy, you don’t want to disappoint or reject people, you don’t want to be seen as a loser. You end up suffering alone and feeling sorrow. If you can be affirmative and say NO, you can avoid many unnecessary stresses and worries.

  • Stop procrastination
    When you focus all your energy on getting things done, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. This is helpful if your stress originated from piles of outstanding work.

Click the link here for more useful tips on managing your mental wellness.


Many young people nowadays pick up bad habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or even taking drugs to release stress. Very often, these bad influences are from their peers or families.


There are also more and more people taking problem too seriously, until a point when they reach their tolerance threshold, they breakdown and give up their own life.


Whenever you have a negative thought or feeling, try change 3 things below:

  • Change your state: change how you feel about the matter
  • Change your perspective: learn to see things from a different or positive angle
  • Shift your paradigm: shift to a different thought pattern and mindset

Never trap yourself within the self-doubt or self-damaging situation. Reach out to the professionals when you need help.

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