What is your perspective on stress and sadness? Do you feel like these types of emotions are necessary for people to carry a normal life? Emotions such as stress, sadness, and anger are experienced whenever people experience bad situations. According to Daniela Kaufer, associate professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, stress plays a very important role in pushing you to optimal levels of alertness, and cognitive performance (Sanders, 2013).
However, constantly being under an unwanted high level of stress is extremely bad for both your body and mind. Regarding the psychological aspect, the effects can be very negatively impactful, especially because of how abstract and how difficult it is to ascertain the exact state of your psychological wellbeing. However, there are some behavioural signs that show more often when one’s psychological wellbeing is at risk. This article will be addressing and discussing 6 signs that might help you determine if your psychological wellbeing is healthy.
Worrying a lot all the time
Do you feel like you are constantly on a higher level of alertness than usual? Are you worrying about things even though you know they are completely out of your hands? If you are worrying more than usual, chances are that your mental health is at risk. Yes, worrying more than usual is normal when you experience changes in your daily life such as an increase in work load or changes in circumstances (SAMHSA, 2020). However, worrying more than you usually do over every single thing, all the time, is different. Your mind and body will be under a dangerously high level of stress all the time and ultimately interfere with every single aspect of your life, including relationships, work, and motivation in general (HealthDirect, 2020).
Feeling guilty or worthless
Do you constantly have thoughts such as “I’m a failure” or “It’s my fault”? Having such thoughts constantly are big signs that your psychological wellbeing is not where you would want it to be. Feeling guilty and worthless are indicative of mental health disorders such as depression (HealthDirect, 2020). You might have had very strict parents who had extremely high expectations, or you might have been surrounded by a group of friends who constantly made you feel bad about yourself. Such interactions can heavily affect your mental health and self-esteem. You will be unable to appreciate yourself when you do things correctly and beat yourself to the ground when things do go the way you want them to.
Having difficulty readjusting to home or work life
Have you experienced a traumatic experience and can’t seem to readjust to your home or work life? Experiencing things such as loss of a loved one or natural disasters can have an extremely negative impact on your psychological wellbeing. People who experience these will usually recover from the symptoms of a past trauma within a short amount of time (SAMHSA, 2020). However, if you find yourself having difficulty readjusting to your home or work life long after experiencing said situation, then your psychological wellbeing might be at risk.
According to Jeremy McAllister, MA, LPCI, from Hakomi Experiential Psychotherapy, experiencing traumas moves your energy levels away from their natural baselines to extremes, whether these are high or low (McAllister, 2015). The reason why you have trouble readjusting after a trauma is because your body has become used to these abnormal levels of energy.
Pulling away from people and things
How long has it been since you last went out with your family or friends? Completely isolating yourself from life is a clear indication of mental health disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, a psychotic disorder, among others (HealthDirect, 2020). Your decision of pulling away from people and things can be attributed to a number of factors. You might be avoiding social interaction because of shame or depression. You might also be experiencing social anxiety or fear of abandonment at the idea of social interaction (GoodTherapy, 2018).
Whatever the reason might be, isolating yourself from society not only indicates that your psychological wellbeing is at risk, but it will also lead you on a downward spiral. This is mainly because it is normal for people to just accept the excuses that you give them to avoid social events. After all, it is difficult for people around you to know what is happening inside your head.
Have you recently started, or increased your consumption of alcohol or drugs? This can be one of the biggest signs that your psychological wellbeing is at risk (MayoClinic, 2019). First, let’s not confuse this with the recreational consumption of alcohol and drugs. This point specifically refers to the abuse of these substances with the purpose of numbing pain or escaping reality. You might think that consuming substances might make you feel better and help you cope with the problems that you are going through. But the reality of things is that you never know how your body will respond to them (BeyondBlue, 2020). They might have the opposite effect and leave you feeling even worse. Additionally, abusing these substances will only keep deteriorating your mental health as they are known to affect your motivation levels, mood, and sense of reality.
Thinking of hurting or killing yourself or someone else
Disclaimer: If you are feeling depressed or suicidal, please reach out to the suicide hotlines that will be listed below. Please remember that you are not alone.
America: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Australia: 13 11 14
United Kingdom: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90
Hong Kong: +852 28 960 000
Japan/Tokyo: 81 (0) 3 5286 9090
Brazil: 55 11 31514109 or (91) 3223-0074
Germany: 0800 111 0 111
Russia: (495) 625 3101
South Africa: 0800 12 13 14
This is only a short list of a few countries, however there is always somebody to reach out to.
Have you recently started having suicidal thoughts? This is one of the main signs that your psychological wellbeing is at risk. Having thoughts about suicide or killing someone else is a clear indicator of a mental health problem. There are many factors that play a part into making you feel suicidal. And whatever the reason is that you are feeling like this, it is very important that you remember that there are many people out there who are willing to help you. You don’t need to force yourself to handle all the burden, you can rely on others to make things a bit easier. Suicidal thinking does not get better on its own. Make sure to at least give a call to suicide hotlines or seek help from professionals.
To wrap this article up, your psychological wellbeing is very important, and you should have it as one of your top priorities. Not having good mental health can heavily interfere with your daily life. It is not easy to talk about things like this with other people, especially if you feel like you are only being burdensome. However, simply chatting, or hanging out with your friends or family can completely change your perspective of things and give you a brighter approach than just isolating yourself and pulling away from everything.
Beyond Blue. (2020). Drugs, alcohol and mental health. Retrieved 26 February 2021, from https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/drugs-alcohol-and-mental-health
Good Therapy. (2018). Isolation. Retrieved 26 February 2021, from https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/isolation
Health Direct. (2020). Nine signs of mental health issues. Retrieved 26 February 2021, from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/signs-mental-health-issue
Mayo Clinic. (2020). Mental illness. Retrieved 26 February 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/symptoms-causes/syc-20374968
McAllister, J. (2015). Resensitization: Coming Back to Life after Trauma. Retrieved 26 February 2021, from https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/resensitization-coming-back-to-life-after-trauma-0223154
SAMHSA. (2020). Warning Signs and Risk Factors for Emotional Distress. Retrieved 26 February 2021, from https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline/warning-signs-risk-factors
Sanders, R. (2013). Researchers find out why some stress is good for you. Retrieved 26 February 2021, from https://news.berkeley.edu/2013/04/16/researchers-find-out-why-some-stress-is-good-for-you/#:~:text=Some%20stress%20is%20good%20for%20you.,and%20improves%20performance%20and%20health