The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as physical, mental and social well-being. The same organization emphasizes the fact that global efforts to improve health are still insufficient in the field of mental health, as we tend to focus on the physical aspect of it. Yet as many as 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression and need help. These high statistics are mainly the result of a rapid shift in peoples’ lifestyles. The fast pace of changes causes the breakdown of social ties. It makes us devote less and less time to each other. We don’t look at ourselves, at our true inner needs. The gap between what the world expects and offers and what man really needs is getting bigger and bigger. It’s getting harder and harder to live in harmony with yourself. In the course of life everyone experiences psychological crises, they are part of human existence. These can be mental developmental, existential or situational crises. Some conditions require the assistance of specialists, some can be dealt with the help of our loved ones, and some can be prevented by yourself through proper mental hygiene.
Hygiene of mind
Regular body hygiene allows us to avoid certain physical conditions, and mental hygiene protects our mental health. Mental health is inextricably linked with the biological side of the body and the external environment. Therefore, for the sake of mental health, we should never neglect our physical condition. Regular physical activity allows us to get rid of mental tensions on an ongoing basis and boos our mood. Regular exercise allows us to keep our bodies fit and reduce the risk of many diseases, including overweight. Exercises allow us to correctly vary our diet, adjusting it to provide the correct nutrients for the organism, and not just a weight loss. It even allows us for small culinary pleasures that have a positive effect on our well-being and will not make us feel guilty. A diet rich in vitamins of the B group is believed to have a beneficial effect on the nervous system and mental well-being. The neuroprotective properties of vitamin D and the associated antidepressant effects encourage us to stay outdoors and enjoy sunny days. A healthy sleep of the right length allows us to stay intellectually fit and start every new day with a positive attitude. Adequate rest and time for ourselves allow us to keep our minds clear. The practice of meditation, known and used not only in the Eastern culture, gives us a particular sense of peace and inner life energy. Meditation increases mindfulness, clears the mind, and builds resistance to stress. Behaviour and taking care of good relations with people is one of the most important guarantors of mental health.
For several years (2017-2019) now Finland and other Nordic countries lead in the annual UN rankings of the happiest nations in the world. What makes people so happy in a country with a harsh climate and no sun? The most important issue for the respondents in feeling happy was having people in their environment, who could be trusted and who could share their sorrows and joys. Sauna and sea bathing, inherent in the tradition of Northern European countries, toughen the body and spirit. They connect just like eating meals together at the table, fostering closer ties and conversation. The love of simple life and contact with nature helps to reduce stress. Having people with whom we live in a good relationship gives us a sense of security. Trustworthy and kind people around them encourage people to confide in a difficult situation. Conversation allows us to express our emotions, sound our thoughts, define issues and look at them from a different perspective. Hence, we often feel better mentally after a conversation. Negative emotions like anger, wrath and sadness are perfectly normal, but repressed emotions can lead to the development of aggressive or self-destructive behaviours. Love and friendship received and given to others builds self-esteem and a sense of belonging, helps to see the world through the prism of gratitude. Regular health check-ups will also help you keep your physical and mental health in good shape. Certain physical abnormalities, such as that in thyroid hormone levels, can result in symptoms of depression. That is why self-observation is important, one should never ignore symptoms that persist for longer, and to seek help.
Well-being is a term that stands for mental well-being, it is not equivalent to mental health, but rather forms part of its definition. Living under stress, anxiety or depression does not necessarily mean that a person will completely withdraw from their social roles. But the problems on the part of the psyche manifested by a decrease in the quality and productivity of work will certainly be detected by superiors in their statistics. Chronic stress reduces mental and physical resistance, causing absenteeism of employees, loss of creativity and productivity, exposing the employer to trouble. According to WHO, depression and anxiety, the most common mental health issues, cost the world economy a trillion dollars a year. Taking care of employees’ psyche became a necessity today. It was noticed that the mere increase in wages, the increase in welfare, does not translate into maintaining the employees’ well-being. A prosperous life does not equal life satisfaction. The concept of well-being involves providing employees with the opportunity to take care of their physical and mental health, both at work and after it. The goal is to function positively at work, to have a positive attitude towards one’s own duties and colleagues, but also to be concerned with better coping with stressful situations. A great solution, matching the well-being strategy is to provide stressed employees with the VR TierOne solution. The stay in the virtual world offered by VR TierOne ensures psychophysical relaxation, tranquility and relaxation. Increased motivation, reduced anxiety and improved employees’ moods affect the atmosphere in the institution and allow it to achieve better results.
Concern for the well-being of employees translates into job satisfaction.
Maintaining of balance is the precondition of health, both physical and mental. Our bodies regulates certain processes by themselves, striving for homeostasis (equilibrium state). A physically healthy organism has efficient homeostatic mechanisms and, in response to changing conditions, copes itself therewith or forces us to behave in order to achieve such a state. We can talk about a disease when these mechanisms are disturbed, and the disturbed balance requires treatment. The case is similar with our mental health. Sudden or long-lasting imbalance exceeds psychological adaptation abilities. This makes us feel bad.
All life extremes require balancing for proper mental functioning. Striking the golden mean proves to be an uneasy task. Self-realization, balancing professional and private life, the so-called work-life balance helps us maintain mental health, free from the feeling that we are losing and neglecting something. In the long run there is no extreme in our life that has a positive effect on the psyche. The Latin maxim: Medium tenuere beati – Blessed are those who have kept a middle course – hits the spot here. Life sometimes forces an increase in energy expenditure in a given area, such as work. The long-term shift of resources in one direction can cause neglect and disintegration of other vital areas of life, which is conducive to the emergence of mental health disorders. Self-observation and taking regular actions to prevent the effects of stressful or unpleasant life events allow us to achieve the harmony, mental well-being and happiness we all want and maintain the health we all wish.