Lesson 1: About Mental Wellness

About mental wellness

Mental health is a significant concern for our children growing up in this world. Stress, anxiety, and depression doesn't just affect teenagers, studies show kids as young as six years old struggle with emotional and mental wellbeing.

If not addressed early, even minor struggles can lead to more serious mental health issues that can last a lifetime. Luckily, there are natural solutions. Numerous studies have found that a holistic approach to mental wellness delivers positive outcomes in children.

The Complexity of mental wellbeing

Mental health challenges are far more complex than our modern health care system appreciates. When a child struggles with their mental wellbeing, there is often no one cause. We must look at the whole child.

Modern life has way too much stimulation, and our children's young brains end up having too much information to process. Some researchers believe that responses such as anxiety are a reasonable reaction to the modern world.

What the experts say

Several factors affect mental wellbeing, including:

  • A history of mental health issues in the family
  • Specific personality traits such as perfectionism
  • Stressful situations, events, or trauma
  • Physical health issues including asthma, overactive thyroid, among others

From a holistic viewpoint

  • The connection between the gut and the brain: The health of the gut impacts one's mental health. In fact, several studies have shown that the use of antibiotics can increase the risk of mental wellness issues.
  • The use of certain medications: For example, the hormonal contraceptives are a well-known culprit, especially among teen girls.
  • Diet: Diet affects both brain and gut health, which in turn affects mood.
  • Nutrient deficiencies: Some nutrient deficiencies can lead to mental wellness issues, including iron, iodine, zinc, Vitamin D, omega-3s, and magnesium.
  • Technology use: When kids spend too much time on screens, it negatively impacts their mental health. The primary reason is that they miss out on healthy activities, including spending time with friends and family, spending time outside, and physical activity.
  • Sleep: Sleep is essential for a growing mind. Too little sleep makes kids reactive and over- or under-stimulated, and this can affect their mental wellness. When this happens, they have an even harder time sleeping well, and it all becomes a vicious cycle.
  • Lack of exercise: If your child is not regularly active, they might be at higher risk because activity leads to better mental health.
  • Genetic or metabolic issues: Certain genetic and metabolic problems can lead to mental wellness issues, including MTHFR and pyrroles.