Mental health is, quite simply, feeling good about ourselves. It is having a sense of our integrity, our place in the world and strong supportive relationships. It is feeling that life is worth living and that we have a role to play and to wake up most mornings with a realistic sense of happiness and optimism.
Of course we don’t all feel great all of the time – we go up and down and roundabout with our feelings, often several times a day let alone over time. That’s normal. But if we feel sad, depressed, lonely, angry or anxious most of the time, then we need to find a way to rebalance ourselves and get back to good emotional health, just as we do when we have a physical illness.
There’s a huge, rich resource for living a happy, productive, purposeful and interesting life. It’s not anything that can be bought or given to you, it’s already within you – it’s your inner emotional voice. It holds all our answers but often it’s become a bit squashed down due to stressful and often hidden pressures built up over time, so we might need to lift off our learned defences and tune-in to our true voice again when these pressures resurface in our lives. Depression can be one of the ways that our psyche (our inner mind) is trying to tell us ‘there’s something wrong, please get help to sort it out’.