The Importance of Mental Health and a Good Mindset

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Makayla Meeuwsen, Staff Writer

In a world full of distractions, it is easy to become focused on the wrong things. The mental health of a person can affect their whole life.

Focus on what makes you happy and cast your cares to God.”

— Avery Kelliher

The things you think about and the things you do impact each other. According to the World Health Organization, over 280 million people worldwide suffered from depression in 2021. Depression is one of many mental health disorders that people all over the world struggle with. Many of us wonder what causes mental health issues like depression and anxiety. There is no direct answer to that question. Many factors cause people to struggle with mental health. Some reasons are a history of trauma, chronic medical conditions, the use of drugs and alcohol, and feelings of loneliness or isolation.

People who are struggling with their mental health may deal with it in different ways, unique to them. Some people go to a therapist, others get medical treatment, and some use self help strategies or techniques. Your mental health and physical health impact each other. If you are not motivated mentally to do anything or be active, you will not do it.

Shelby Nyboer is the Campus Life Director at Jenison through Youth For Christ. Shelby graduated from Jenison High School in 2017. She says, “the way that we think about things impacts the way that we behave. Our brains control everything that our body does, so if I have experienced trauma to the way that my brain will function, my physical health will also be impacted negatively.”

Not being active plays a big role in mental health. However, people can be active and still struggle. Avery Kelliher, a freshman at JHS, has had a history of pretty bad anxiety. She dealt with anxiety throughout elementary school and junior high. Currently, she is doing much better with her anxiety and continues to grow away from it.

“Focus on what makes you happy and cast your cares to God,” says Avery.

Factors in the environment also affect mental health and physical health. Being inside all winter long is no fun for anyone. Lack of sunshine also brings a lack of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps maintain and build healthy bones. It also helps regulate other cellular functions in your body. There are vitamin D supplements that you can take to help increase your vitamin D levels.

An article written by SaVanna Shoemaker reviews the potential link between vitamin D and depression. The article is, ‘Is a Vitamin D Deficiency Causing Your Depression?’  It was reviewed by Kim Rose-Francis and updated January 12, 2022. One quote from this article is, “this essential, fat-soluble nutrient [vitamin D] keeps bones healthy and strong, promotes cell growth, and benefits immune function. It may also play a role in depression, as researchers have noted that many people with depression have low vitamin D levels.”

Experiencing a lack of vitamin D may lead to aching bones, fatigue or drowsiness, and weakness or pain in your muscles or joints. If people are feeling under the weather, they will not want to go for a walk, run, or be active in general. The amount of sunshine humans get can affect not only physical health, but also their mental health.

There are many factors that cause people to struggle with mental health disorders. There are also so many resources in our world today that can help those who are struggling. Your mindset will affect everything you do in your life. If you are struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to reach out to a parent/guardian or a trusted adult.