In the chaos of the modern world, having a nagging concern over your mental health and asking personal questions like “Am I OK?” is not unexpected, nor is it unhealthy. But, typically, if you can wake up, go through your day, and fall asleep without extreme distress or discomfort, that would be considered “OK.”
This piece does not establish universal benchmarks or standards of what “OK” is. However, you know yourself best, and periodically asking yourself if you are “OK” is an opportunity for self-reflection and understanding yourself.
If you are asking this question repeatedly or encountering repeating patterns of distress or worry, then it’s worth doing a quick checklist of what could be troubling you.
The list below details some factors that could affect you but should not be used as a comprehensive go-to tool.
- Have you recently changed your environment, maybe moved to a new residence or new place of work? These changes can stress your psyche or mental health, and you may experience distress adjusting to a new environment.
- Has there been any climate change? Seasonal changes are known to affect people’s moods and could disrupt biological rhythms such as sleeping patterns.
- Did you recently lose someone dear to you? The feeling of loneliness can have unfathomable impacts on people’s health; it can lead to a change in sleep patterns, mood swings, and a general decline in talking to others.
- Are you in an abusive relationship? Being in an abusive relationship puts some level of strain on people’s brains, increasing the level of cortisol. In addition, a bad relationship will only cause an unseasoned flow of mental imbalance.
- Prolonged physical conditions, such as asthma, greatly increase the chances of developing underlying mental health problems. Conversely, being physically unfit is a bedrock for mental challenges such as mood swings and anxiety stress disorder.
- Physical illness has been shown to link with depressive symptoms and increased morbidity and mortality. It is highly likely to aggravate symptoms of mental health disorders.
- Your mind could be your greatest ally or foe. Are you reinforcing positive thoughts about yourself, or are you overly focused on things that didn’t go as you planned or a task you failed to accomplish? These thoughts only exert undue stress on you.
Other things that could affect you, with a lesser chance of being detected, include diet and workplace conditions. An unfavorable workplace environment can take a great toll on your mental health.
You know yourself best, and if you are experiencing a high level of any of the symptoms above, they indicate that you are not ok as opposed to what you or others might think. Engaging a professional could yield further insights and point you in a good direction.