Mental well-being

 

Mental well-being is an essential part of a person’s overall well-being. It is also a resource, as a well-functioning mind can handle challenging situations that arise in student life. Mental well-being is built through various factors, such as everyday basics, meaningful activities, exercise, and relationships.

What is important to you?

We all have values, dreams, and aspirations, things and people that are important and valuable to us. These are also things that support our mental well-being. However, we don’t always move towards what we consider important to ourselves. Along our journey, we encounter challenging situations, emotions, and thoughts that easily take us away from the things that are important to us.

Let’s take an example: Our own well-being is important to us, but tiredness or study anxiety easily takes over our minds. Instead of doing things that align with our values = promoting our own well-being, we may get stuck in anxiety and worrying. We easily start acting in a way that doesn’t lead us towards a life in accordance with our values and that goal or thing that is meaningful to us.

So, take a moment to think:

  • What do you want to move towards in your life? What or who is important to you?
  • What does a life in accordance with your values look like? What takes you towards a life in accordance with your values?
  • What well-being actions have you taken for yourself recently?
  • What actions could you implement?
Mind resilience

Mind resilience refers to the mental flexibility and ability to cope with everyday challenges, stress and changes. Resilience is a part of mental health and also a skill that can be developed. A person with good resilience understands difficulties as a part of life, recognizes their coping mechanisms and also knows how to ask for help in facing challenges.

Good resilience can help, for example, in coping with study stress.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural emotion and it is a part of life. Almost everyone experiences feelings of anxiety at some point in their lives, as it is a primal reaction to unpleasant or threatening situations.

Experiencing anxiety can involve tension, worrying, fear or even panic. Physical sensations such as a racing heart or sweating are also typical symptoms of anxiety. Situations that cause anxiety are often avoided and that limits daily life. When anxiety becomes too overwhelming, it can start to affect things like academic performance and everyday functioning. Sometimes, there is no specific root cause for anxiety.

Anxiety is quite common among higher education students. According to a study on the health and well-being of higher education students (Korkeakouluopiskelijoiden terveys- ja hyvinvointitutkimus, 2021), about one-third of students suffer from anxiety and depression symptoms. Academic anxiety is often related to tasks and exams. If tasks feel too big, overwhelming or impossible to achieve, it can easily trigger anxiety.

Finding relief from anxiety

It is not necessary to “get rid of” anxiety. The most important thing is to find ways to manage it and, above all, accept it as a natural emotion that is part of being human. Often, this requires getting to know oneself, practicing accepting observation, and making realizations.

– Are you prone to worrying? Try Worry Time | Mentalhub.fi (mielenterveystalo.fi)

– Practice redirecting your attention away from the anxiety-inducing situation. Look for red objects with your eyes or get a fidget toy to focus your attention on.

– Different relaxation and breathing exercises can help alleviate anxiety. 

– Exposure exercises are important. Instead of avoiding, it is good to gradually learn to face situations that cause anxiety.

– Explore the Self-Help Program for Anxiety | Mentalhub.fi (mielenterveystalo.fi)

If anxiety significantly impairs daily life, it is important to seek help for it.

Study exhaustion

Exhaustion occurs as a result of prolonged stress in a situation where one’s resources are not enough to meet the demands placed on them. An increasing number of students struggle with study burnout. Symptoms of study burnout include:

  • Constant fatigue that does not improve with rest
  • Cynical attitude towards studying
  • Constant feeling of inadequacy in studies
  • Irritability and tearfulness
  • Difficulties with memory and concentration

It is important to recognize the signs of study burnout early enough and seek help. You can contact, for example, counseling services or make an appointment with YTHS.

Also, take a look at EXHAUSTION – Nyyti ry