Anxiety, burden, pressure, worry…all synonyms of STRESS! These are some of the “things” John Lennon was referring to as “life” in his quote that serves as my initial blog title. The Mental Health Consequences of Life will be my main topic as I explore the effects of life on our mental health. Society today is seemingly busier than ever. The Center for a New American Dream conducted a 2004 survey in conjunction with Take Back Your Time and found some very alarming trends.
· 52% of Americans say they would trade a day of each week by giving up a day’s pay
· 83% indicated that they need more family time
· 60% feel pressure to work too much
· Nearly 75% feel pressure to spend too much
Take back Your Time is an organization that promotes the fighting of what they term “the epidemic of overwork…and time famine that now threatens our health”. To make their point they have organized Take Back Your Time Day an event that delineates the day of the year where a European worker would have the remainder of the year off from October 24th on while American continue to work. America is the only industrial nation that does not have a mandatory time-off law for its workers.
Life Stressors play a significant role in each individual’s mental health. How each person deals with the events in their life contributes to how they feel about themselves and others. Those that do not learn to “deal with” or understand the detriment that life stressors can have on a person’s mental health can quickly deteriorate before anyone is aware of the long term affects.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that a global study conducted by the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and Harvard University found that mental illness accounts for over 15% of the burden of disease in economies like the United States – more than all cancers combined.
The chemical, physical and emotional effects of life stressors must be monitored and individuals must be empowered to adapt to these stressors and deal with life. The first step is accepting that being “stressed” is not good mental health. This should not be your existence because you are “too busy” to care for yourself.
If you have a cold, you take steps to help yourself recover. The goal of this blog will be to help identify those life stressors that slowly erode at one’s mental health and stratagies to keep yourself Mental Healthy.