Personal Health Change Autobiography Essay

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Introduction

Chosen healthy behavior, reasons for making this health change, challenges likely to be faced, ways of overcoming the challenges, benefits of healthy behavior.

Improving the quality of one’s life is imperative in the present century. Education, establishment of more employment opportunities and private health in life are among the objectives which self-gratify an individual. The lifestyles individuals are accustomed to and their environment impact healthy behavior.

However, there are several ways of improving personal health, which may at times present challenges in their implementation. The benefits of most of these healthy behaviors nevertheless obscure the impediments which are faced.

I would like to exercise more routinely (5-7 times a week), while trying to develop a nutritional plan. This calls for having a meaningful vision and acquiring skills necessary to achieve the desired wellness. Physical activity, aerobics and muscle training are some of the divisions of exercise which include a painless 20 minute walk to an intensified work out in the gym.

Dancing and engaging in a physical sport like basketball or tennis is also forms of indirect exercise. The beauty of some exercises is that they do not necessarily involve a routine. Walking, for example, may be administered whenever an opportunity carves itself out.

These forms of physical activity stimulate hormones which are necessary for proper growth. Its other benefits like feeling and looking better lift composure and improves character, traits which are critical in the normal human socialization process. Using the stairs instead of the elevator and cycling to work are other valuable processes which are not that hard to achieve.

My main focus will be engaging in exercise, but I will also try maintaining a good diet. My nutritional project involves taking more fruits and vegetables and avoiding junk food which usually has a lot of fat. I have thought out turning into vegetarianism, but it has proven to yield more challenges than benefits, so I will prefer adding more vitamins in my diet.

Health is not just about whether a person is challenged by a disease. I chose to make this condition change in order to further my physical, social and emotional well being. Physical activities help reduce weight and promote better sleep regardless of age or masculinity. I would like to reduce 30 pounds that I am overweight, and while keeping a diet may be forceful and not so feasible, employing straightforward exercise strategies will be my first choice of a health change.

Being proud of my physique would significantly assist in developing the social interactions I want. The observations I have made on the behavior of overweight students in school is not so attractive. They tend to cluster together and receive taunting comments, which lower their faith in life. I want to make a health change in order to maintain satisfactory relationships with my present friends and be able to communicate confidently with others.

Emotional support and the behavior other people rally will unquestionably present a challenge. Close friends and associations will play a central role in influencing my training schedule and the diet I intend to maintain. Group activities would thus cease, because my schedule will need individual effort without distractions. However, the greatest challenge will be choosing the most appropriate exercise to practice regularly. It would be essential to have a regular plan if I am to achieve my objectives.

Scheduling, discipline and determination will be the factors considered in choosing an applicable practice. It would be useless reasonably to engage in a strenuous muscle application and put in lots of hours in the gym only to give up after a week. Making the decision would be exceedingly difficult, considering I have not engaged in any practical exercise for a while.

Time will also be an obstacle as I am significantly engaged with either homework or domestic duties. Whenever one gets busy, the time delegated for work-outs is usually sacrificed.

I have reviewed specific medical articles, and the negative impacts of exercise others have experienced significantly scare me off. There are those who experience colds or running noses in the middle of training sessions. Other trainers complain about breathing problems and splitting headaches after sessions. Experiencing no changes as soon as they expect them will prove frustrating. In case the practice I employ does not yield visible results within the first month, then I may change the form of exercise or plainly relinquish.

My present physical condition demands for regular exercise notwithstanding the challenges I would face. I have high cholesterol for a young 25 year old, so in order to live longer and healthier, I have to take part in some form of physical activity. The bigger one gets, the harder it would be to practice some routines. I would be thus required to complete a substantial health change before I start suffering unnecessary mortifications.

Exercise is usually strenuous and may involve a lot of wearisome activity. This will prove boring and I predict avoiding some responsibilities. However, devising methods to make it enjoyable would be meaningful. Exercising while having fun would unquestionably inspire me in the initiative to improve health.

I consider doing my exercises at home through the use of exercise videos. This will reduce the uncomfortable situations experienced in gyms which may make one uncomfortable. The use of some complex machines may also reduce the esteem of an individual.

Setting realistic fitness goals would be required depending on the pattern of physical activity. Studies indicate that most forms of practice would require consistency for around four months before producing physical benefits. It would be required to understand how different techniques work, how long they take to present visible or mental results, and how best to preserve the process.

The cholesterol issue will go away; I will look healthier and sexier and will have a strong body just like in high school, and will live longer. Having a fit body, proper posture, agility and muscles will transparently create the impact I desire with the opposite sex. Engaging in physical activity will help me burn the extra calories hence assist in the supervision of my weight, which is a considerable problem at present.

Physical activity improves concentration; any activity, which involves attentiveness, boosts the psychiatric process hence increasing sharpness and academic focus both in class and later years. Strength is also increased substantially when one specializes in meticulous work-outs of the muscles and stiff joints.

Proper combination of healthful food and appropriate muscles training has traditionally proven to increase the endurance of people. A chance of catching a cold is substantially reduced as the immune system is generally jump-started by regular exercises.

Exercising and eating healthy have been proven to progress physical health. Nevertheless, there are several other minor details which affect people’s healthiness. Personal hygiene and social participation have traditionally fostered health in diverse ways. Keeping one’s body clean to thwart illnesses and avoid infections is imperative. Cleaning hands, brushing teeth, cleaning cutlery helps in preventing infections.

One should strive to avoid the appearance of microbes in the body. Establishing social relationships prolongs life and increases productivity and positivism in life. Socialization may also increase knowledge, develop character and make an individual significantly healthy.

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Essay on Personal Health

Students are often asked to write an essay on Personal Health in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Personal Health

What is personal health.

Personal health means taking care of your body and mind. It’s about making choices that help you stay fit and happy. This includes eating good food, exercising, getting enough sleep, and visiting the doctor when you need to.

Eating Right

Good health starts with eating nutritious foods. This means fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. Try to eat a rainbow of foods to get all the vitamins your body needs.

Staying Active

Moving your body is important. Activities like running, playing sports, or even walking help keep your heart strong and muscles working well.

Rest and Sleep

Sleep is just as important as food and exercise. When you sleep, your body heals and your brain gets a break. Aim for 8-10 hours each night.

Doctor Visits

Seeing a doctor can help prevent sickness. They can give you shots to stop diseases and check your growth. It’s good to go even when you feel fine.

250 Words Essay on Personal Health

Personal health is all about taking care of your body and mind. It means eating good food, staying clean, getting enough sleep, and moving your body. It’s important because it helps you grow strong, stay well, and feel good about yourself.

One big part of personal health is eating the right foods. This means having fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Eating a mix of these foods keeps your body running well. Imagine your body is like a car; it needs the right fuel to go. Good food is that fuel.

Staying Clean

Keeping clean is another key part. It stops germs from spreading and making you sick. Washing hands, brushing teeth, and taking baths are all ways to stay clean. Think of germs as tiny bugs that you can’t see, but they can cause trouble if you let them stick around.

Getting Sleep

Your body needs sleep just like it needs air and food. When you sleep, your body fixes itself and gets ready for the next day. Kids need more sleep than grown-ups because their bodies are still growing. A good night’s sleep makes you ready to learn and play.

Moving Around

Exercise is also a big piece of personal health. It doesn’t mean you have to do push-ups all day. Playing tag, riding a bike, or swimming are fun ways to move your body. Exercise keeps your heart happy and your muscles strong.

Remember, taking care of your health is like being your own superhero. You have the power to make yourself stronger and happier by making good choices every day.

500 Words Essay on Personal Health

Personal health is about taking care of your body and mind. It means doing things that keep you healthy and feeling good. This includes eating the right foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, and making sure you don’t get sick. When you look after your personal health, you can do better in school, play sports, and enjoy time with friends and family.

Eating right is a big part of staying healthy. This means eating fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. Fruits and vegetables give you vitamins and make your immune system strong to fight off sickness. Grains, like bread and rice, give you energy. Proteins, which come from foods like chicken, fish, beans, and nuts, help your body grow and repair itself. Dairy, like milk and cheese, is good for your bones. It’s important to eat a mix of these foods every day.

Exercise is another key part of personal health. When you move your body, you make your heart strong, build muscles, and keep a healthy weight. Kids should play or do other physical activities for at least an hour every day. This can be anything from riding a bike, playing soccer, swimming, or even just running around outside with friends.

Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is when your body gets to rest and repair itself. Kids need more sleep than adults because their bodies are still growing. Most kids need about 9-12 hours of sleep each night. A good night’s sleep helps you pay attention in school, remember what you learn, and be in a better mood.

Keeping clean is a simple but important way to stay healthy. Washing your hands with soap, especially before eating and after using the bathroom, helps keep germs away. Taking a shower or bath, brushing your teeth twice a day, and wearing clean clothes are also ways to keep your body clean.

Managing Stress

Stress is when you feel worried or anxious. It’s normal to feel stress sometimes, but too much stress can make you feel sick. Talking to friends, family, or a teacher can help. Doing things you enjoy, like playing a game, reading, or drawing, can also reduce stress.

Seeing the Doctor

Going to the doctor for regular check-ups is important, even if you feel fine. The doctor can make sure you are growing and developing as you should. They can also give you shots to prevent diseases and help you if you are sick or hurt.

Personal health is about taking care of your body and mind so you can live a happy and active life. Eating right, staying active, getting enough sleep, staying clean, managing stress, and seeing the doctor are all important. By doing these things, you can stay healthy, do well in school, and have fun with your friends and family. Remember, taking care of your health is one of the best things you can do for yourself!

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

If you’re looking for more, here are essays on other interesting topics:

  • Essay on Personal Growth
  • Essay on Personal Goals
  • Essay on Personal Experience In Art

Apart from these, you can look at all the essays by clicking here .

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Essays About Health: Top 5 Examples and 7 Prompts

Almost everyone would agree that health is the most important thing in life. Check out our guide on writing essays about health.

The concept of health is simple. It is the condition where you are well and free from disease or illness. When we are healthy, we are happier, more productive, and able to live a full life. There are many types of health, each helping us to survive and excel in different areas of our life, including physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health.

In the same ways, there are different ways to stay healthy, such as exercise, socialization, and self-care. These areas of health may not all be equally important, but each of them plays a vital role in making us the best versions of ourselves we can be. You might also find our medical words list helpful.

Grammarly

5 Top Essay Examples

1. essay on how to keep healthy by diwakar sharma, 2. what it’s like living with depression: a personal essay by nadine dirks, 3. the advantages of eating healthy food by lindsay boyers.

  • 4.  A Helping Hand: An Essay On The Importance Of Mental Health Parity by Sydney Waltner

5. ​​Stop Trying to be Happy: Improving Your Emotional Health by Jacquelynn Lyon

7 prompts for essays about health, 1. what is the most important type of health, 2. do television and video games negatively impact mental , 3. freedom and public health, 4. how can you live a healthier life, 5. what causes depression, 6. mental health and eating disorders, 7. is “spiritual health” really necessary.

“I think there is no use in earning money in such a way that denies our health. Money is not important than health as it cannot return health and fitness back once we are ill. Thus health is always preferred over money as good health keeps us happy and free from various health issues. If we are healthy we can earn whole life but can’t earn if the health gets deteriorated.”

Sharma discusses the importance of health and ways to stay healthy, including eating nutritious food, drinking water, keeping a good sleep schedule, and exercising. In addition, he notes that it is essential to prioritize your health; do not work too hard or chase money to the extent that it affects your health negatively. You can also check out these articles about cancer .

“I was pleasantly surprised when—after around three weeks—I started feeling results. My intense feeling of overwhelming sadness and hopelessness slowly started to lift and the fears I had about not feeling like myself dissipated. I had worried I would feel less like myself on fluoxetine, but instead for the first time, in a long time—I felt more like myself and able to function throughout the day. Receiving treatment and building healthy coping mechanisms has allowed me to continue to function, even when a depressive episode hits.”

Depression is one of the first things people think of concerning mental health. In her essay, Dirks reflects on her experiences with depression, recalling her feelings of hopelessness and sadness, putting her in a dull, lethargic mood. However, she got help by going to a doctor and starting medication and therapy. Dirks also lists down a few symptoms of depression, warning readers to get help if they are experiencing a number of them.

“A healthful diet is just as good for your brain as the rest of your body. Unhealthy foods are linked to a range of neurological problems. Certain nutrient deficiencies increasing the risk of depression. Other nutrients, like potassium, actually involved in brain cell function. A varied, healthful diet keeps your brain functioning properly, and it can promote good mental health as well.”

Boyers discusses some benefits of healthy eating, such as weight control, reduced risk of diabetes and cancer, and better brain function- an unhealthy diet is linked to neurological problems. She gives readers tips on what they should and should not eat in huge quantities, saying to avoid sugary foods and drinks while eating lean meat, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You might also be interested in these essays about nursing and essays about obesity .

4.   A Helping Hand: An Essay On The Importance Of Mental Health Parity by Sydney Waltner

“For three years I was one of those people hiding my illness. I was quietly suffering from depression and an eating disorder. My whole day revolved around my eating disorder and hiding it from everyone. This caused a lot of sadness, anger, and loneliness. I not only hid it from others, but I also tried to hide it from myself. I tried to convince myself that nothing was wrong because I did not fully understand what was happening.  I did not know what was making me hurt myself and why I could not stop.”

Waltner writes her essay about the importance of mental health and how it can also affect one’s physical health. She recalls her experiences with hiding her depression and eating disorder; they led to her immense suffering, but her parents discovered her illness before it was too late. She is grateful for how her life is now and encourages others to break the stigma around mental health issues and speak up if something is wrong with them. 

“Beautiful people, smart people, funny people, leaders, lawyers, engineers, professional clowns, everyone you’ve ever looked up to — they have suffered in their lives, and probably will continue to suffer at some point.”

The obsession with making yourself happy will forever have you either not valuing the present or will lead to despair when you do find it — and it’s still not enough. This cycle of self-abuse, dissatisfaction, and emotional isolation can paralyze us, hinder our actions, and mar our self-perception.

Lyon reflects on something she discovered in her first year of college: that it’s fine if you’re not always happy. She says that society’s pressure for everyone to be positive and happy 100% of the time is detrimental to many people’s emotional and mental health. As a result, she gives readers tips on being happy in a “healthier” way: happiness should not be forced, and you should not constantly compare yourself to others. 

Essays About Health: What is the most important type of health?

There are many types of health, each playing an essential role in helping us live well. If you were to pick one, which do you believe is the most important? You can choose mental well-being, physical well-being, or spiritual well-being. Use your personal experiences in defending your choice; be sure to support your stance with sufficient details. 

For a strong argumentative essay, write about the correlation between “screen time” or video games and television with mental health. Are they that bad for people’s mental health? Perhaps they are good for the mental health of some people. Research this topic and support your response with credible sources- there is no wrong answer as long as it is well-defended. For an interesting piece, conduct interviews to gather information.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many argue that some freedoms must be given up for the greater good. These include mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and stay-at-home orders. Write about whether or not public health should be prioritized over “individual liberty” and why. If so, to what extent? Answer this question in your own words for a compelling argument.

Essays About Health: How can you live a healthier life?

Like many of our cited essay examples above, you can write your essay on how to stay healthy. Give your readers some mental, physical, or social guidelines for being healthier, and explain why they are important. You can even do a more well-rounded guide; give a few tips for each type of health if you wish. 

As stated previously, a prevalent health issue is depression, which can stem from various factors. Look into the different causes of depression and explain how they lead to depression. In this essay, you can share your research on social factors, economic factors, and health conditions that can make a person more susceptible to depression. As this is a medical-related topic, use credible sources for your research. 

Many believe there is a correlation between mental health and obesity, anorexia, and bulimia—research how mental health issues can cause these issues or vice versa, depending on what you find. In your essay, explain the link between mental health issues and eating disorders and how they can affect each other.

Essays About Health: Is “Spiritual Health” really necessary?

A type of health commonly listed is spiritual health, which many religious people value. Should it be classified as something different? Many believe the components of “spiritual health” already fall under mental, social, emotional, and social health, so there is no need to classify it as something different. Reflect on this issue and discuss your stance. 

For help with this topic, read our guide explaining “what is persuasive writing ?”

If you’re stuck picking an essay topic, check out our guide on how to write essays about depression .

essay on personal health

Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.

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Why You Should Take Care of Your Body and Health

Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.

essay on personal health

Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania.

essay on personal health

  • Why It Matters
  • Eat a Balanced Diet

Make Sleep a Priority

  • Stay Active
  • Avoid Harmful Substances
  • Manage Your Stress

Taking care of your physical body is good for your mental health. The mind and body interact and influence one another in complex ways. Physical illness can make managing your mental well-being more difficult. Stress, lack of energy, poor sleep, and other problems can also take a toll on how you feel mentally.

This article discusses why you should take care of your body and how it can support your mental health. It also explores what you can do to take better care of yourself.

Why Taking Care of Your Body is Good for Mental Health

There are a number of reasons why taking care of your body is good for your mental health:

  • Health problems affect functioning : Health problems, even minor ones, can interfere with or even overshadow other aspects of your life. Even relatively minor health issues such as aches, pains, lethargy, and indigestion take a toll on your happiness and stress levels.
  • Poor health habits can add stress to your life : They also play a role in how well you are able to cope with stress. The stress that comes from poor health is significant.
  • Poor health interferes with daily living : Health challenges also affect other areas of your life. Health problems can make daily tasks more challenging, create financial stress, and even jeopardize your ability to earn a living.
  • Stress can worsen health : Stress itself can exacerbate health issues from the common cold to more serious conditions and diseases, so maintaining healthy habits can pay off in the long run. This article looks at some healthy habits that have a positive impact on your life.

One way to improve your ability to cope with stress and feel better is to make a commitment to healthier habits .

Press Play for Advice On Creating Good Habits

This episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast , featuring Katy Milkman, PhD, shares how to build healthy habits to create lasting change. Click below to listen now.

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Eat a Balanced Diet for the Right Reasons

Rather than eating right solely for the promise of looking better in your jeans, you should also make a commitment to eating foods that will boost your energy levels and keep your system running smoothly. This is because what you eat can not only impact your short-term and long-term health, it can affect your stress levels.

It's much harder to cope with stress if you are hungry or malnourished. Hunger can make you more emotionally reactive to stressors, leaving you irritable or even angry in the face of minor daily annoyances. Watching what you eat can be a stress management tool as well as a health preserver.

Another reason it's a good idea to maintain a healthy diet is that your diet can have an effect on your mood.

While the effects of an unhealthy diet are cumulative and become more apparent in the long-term, you are also less likely to feel well in the short-term if you are eating a diet heavy on sugar-laden, fatty, or nutritionally empty foods.

Some of the more immediate effects poor diet include feeling:

Eating well has important long-term consequences, but it may also help you feel more energetic and optimistic in the short-term as well.

Stay Motivated

If you remind yourself that what you eat now will affect how you feel in the coming hours, it may be easier to stick to a healthy diet.

Sleep can have a serious impact on your overall health and well-being. Poor sleep can take a toll on mental health and contribute to problems including anxiety, depression, mood changes, and behavior changes.

Make a commitment to get enough sleep at night. If you haven't gotten adequate sleep, you may be less productive, less mentally sharp, and otherwise more prone to the effects of stress.

Some good habits that can help:

  • Try to get a full eight hours of sleep each night
  • Avoid caffeine after 2 pm
  • Avoid eating foods in the evening that might disrupt your sleep
  • Go to bed at the same time each night; wake up at the same time each morning
  • Create a restful sleep environment; make sure your bed is comfortable and keep the room at an optimal temperature for sleeping (between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Adopt a calming technique such as meditation to help yourself relax each night before bed

You may be surprised by how much less stressed you feel when you're not tired. Following good strategies can help if you have trouble getting quality sleep when stressed . Not only will you sleep better, but you’ll feel better all day.

Find a Fitness Habit That Works for You

We've all heard the advice to eat right and exercise. However, it can be difficult to fit in workouts around a busy schedule, particularly when you're feeling exhausted from stress. 

Make It a Habit

One effective strategy for making fitness a regular part of your life is to build an exercise habit around your other habits—either attach a workout to your morning routine, or your lunchtime habits, or make it a regular part of your evening.  

If you make a morning jog part of your getting-ready-for-work routine, for example, it is much more likely to happen than if you wait until you feel like jogging and happen to have a free half-hour, especially if you lead a busy life like most of us and are tired at the end of the day. 

Do Something You Enjoy

Another important way to make exercise easier is to choose an activity that you actually enjoy. Some examples include walking while listening to an audiobook or attending a class at your gym where good music drives up your energy level. Finding an activity that you enjoy means that you are more likely to stick with it.

Find a form of exercise that you'd like to do and then find a time when you can make it work with your schedule.

Watch What You Put Into Your Body

Avoid putting unhealthy substances into your body; nicotine, excess alcohol, and even excessive caffeine can take a toll on your health in the long run, but also make you feel lousy overall in your day-to-day life.

In addition to watching what you put into your body, it also helps if you can avoid allowing toxic thinking patterns from exacerbating your stress levels as well.  Find healthier ways to manage stress, and you'll enjoy double health and stress management benefits .

Find Ways to Manage Your Stress

Stress is an inevitable part of life, but it can take a serious toll on your mind and body if it gets out of hand. Excessive stress is linked to a number of serious health ailments, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and ulcers.

Stress management strategies that can help include:

  • Practicing mindfulness : Mindfulness is an approach that involves focusing more on the here and now instead of fretting over the past or future. It can help increase your self-awareness and improve your ability to handle the daily challenges life throws your way.
  • Utilize stress management techniques : Incorporate a variety of stress management tactics into your life, such as deep breathing, guided imagery, and positive self-talk. Making these a habit can help you combat stress in the short-term, as well as later down the road.
  • Eat a balanced diet : A poor diet can exacerbate the negative effects of stress. Instead of reaching for high-sugar snacks or fast food meals, focused on following a balanced diet that incorporates fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. 

Finding ways to manage your stress effectively can minimize the negative impact on your health. It can also be beneficial for your emotional health and reduce your risk of burnout, anxiety, and depression.

A Word From Verywell

These are three important ways to take care of your body that you may not naturally think of as stress relievers. If you set goals to make these ideas a reality in your life, not only will you feel the difference immediately, but you will also see results in multiple areas of your life in the coming weeks and months. Few habits come without effort, but these three can make a significant impact on your life, and are well worth the effort.

Yaribeygi H, Panahi Y, Sahraei H, Johnston TP, Sahebkar A. The impact of stress on body function: A review .  EXCLI J . 2017;16:1057–1072. doi:10.17179/excli2017-480

Yau YH, Potenza MN. Stress and eating behaviors .  Minerva Endocrinol . 2013;38(3):255–267.

Owen L, Corfe B. The role of diet and nutrition on mental health and wellbeing . Proc Nutr Soc . 2017;76(4):425-426. doi:10.1017/S0029665117001057

Breymeyer KL, Lampe JW, McGregor BA, Neuhouser ML. Subjective mood and energy levels of healthy weight and overweight/obese healthy adults on high-and low-glycemic load experimental diets .  Appetite . 2016;107:253–259. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2016.08.008

Choi DW, Chun SY, Lee SA, Han KT, Park EC. Association between sleep duration and perceived stress: salaried worker in circumstances of high workload .  Int J Environ Res Public Health . 2018;15(4):796. doi:10.3390/ijerph15040796

Gardner B, Lally P, Wardle J. Making health habitual: the psychology of 'habit-formation' and general practice .  Br J Gen Pract . 2012;62(605):664–666. doi:10.3399/bjgp12X659466

Rood L, Roelofs J, Bögels SM, Alloy LB. Dimensions of negative thinking and the relations with symptoms of depression and anxiety in children and adolescents .  Cognit Ther Res . 2010;34(4):333–342. doi:10.1007/s10608-009-9261-y

Kriakous SA, Elliott KA, Lamers C, Owen R. The effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction on the psychological functioning of healthcare professionals: a systematic review .  Mindfulness (N Y) . 2021;12(1):1-28. doi:10.1007/s12671-020-01500-9

Nguyen-rodriguez ST, Unger JB, Spruijt-metz D.  Psychological determinants of emotional eating in adolescence.   Eat Disord . 2009;17(3):211-24. doi:10.1080/10640260902848543

By Elizabeth Scott, PhD Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.

  • Essay Editor

Mental Health Essay

Mental Health Essay

Introduction

Mental health, often overshadowed by its physical counterpart, is an intricate and essential aspect of human existence. It envelops our emotions, psychological state, and social well-being, shaping our thoughts, behaviors, and interactions. With the complexities of modern life—constant connectivity, societal pressures, personal expectations, and the frenzied pace of technological advancements—mental well-being has become increasingly paramount. Historically, conversations around this topic have been hushed, shrouded in stigma and misunderstanding. However, as the curtains of misconception slowly lift, we find ourselves in an era where discussions about mental health are not only welcomed but are also seen as vital. Recognizing and addressing the nuances of our mental state is not merely about managing disorders; it's about understanding the essence of who we are, how we process the world around us, and how we navigate the myriad challenges thrown our way. This essay aims to delve deep into the realm of mental health, shedding light on its importance, the potential consequences of neglect, and the spectrum of mental disorders that many face in silence.

Importance of Mental Health

Mental health plays a pivotal role in determining how individuals think, feel, and act. It influences our decision-making processes, stress management techniques, interpersonal relationships, and even our physical health. A well-tuned mental state boosts productivity, creativity, and the intrinsic sense of self-worth, laying the groundwork for a fulfilling life.

Negative Impact of Mental Health

Neglecting mental health, on the other hand, can lead to severe consequences. Reduced productivity, strained relationships, substance abuse, physical health issues like heart diseases, and even reduced life expectancy are just some of the repercussions of poor mental health. It not only affects the individual in question but also has a ripple effect on their community, workplace, and family.

Mental Disorders: Types and Prevalence

Mental disorders are varied and can range from anxiety and mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder to more severe conditions such as schizophrenia.

  • Depression: Characterized by persistent sadness, lack of interest in activities, and fatigue.
  • Anxiety Disorders: Encompass conditions like generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and specific phobias.
  • Schizophrenia: A complex disorder affecting a person's ability to think, feel, and behave clearly.

The prevalence of these disorders has been on the rise, underscoring the need for comprehensive mental health initiatives and awareness campaigns.

Understanding Mental Health and Its Importance

Mental health is not merely the absence of disorders but encompasses emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Recognizing the signs of deteriorating mental health, like prolonged sadness, extreme mood fluctuations, or social withdrawal, is crucial. Understanding stems from awareness and education. Societal stigmas surrounding mental health have often deterred individuals from seeking help. Breaking these barriers, fostering open conversations, and ensuring access to mental health care are imperative steps.

Conclusion: Mental Health

Mental health, undeniably, is as significant as physical health, if not more. In an era where the stressors are myriad, from societal pressures to personal challenges, mental resilience and well-being are essential. Investing time and resources into mental health initiatives, and more importantly, nurturing a society that understands, respects, and prioritizes mental health is the need of the hour.

  • World Leaders: Several influential personalities, from celebrities to sports stars, have openly discussed their mental health challenges, shedding light on the universality of these issues and the importance of addressing them.
  • Workplaces: Progressive organizations are now incorporating mental health programs, recognizing the tangible benefits of a mentally healthy workforce, from increased productivity to enhanced creativity.
  • Educational Institutions: Schools and colleges, witnessing the effects of stress and other mental health issues on students, are increasingly integrating counseling services and mental health education in their curriculum.

In weaving through the intricate tapestry of mental health, it becomes evident that it's an area that requires collective attention, understanding, and action.

  Short Essay about Mental Health

Mental health, an integral facet of human well-being, shapes our emotions, decisions, and daily interactions. Just as one would care for a sprained ankle or a fever, our minds too require attention and nurture. In today's bustling world, mental well-being is often put on the back burner, overshadowed by the immediate demands of life. Yet, its impact is pervasive, influencing our productivity, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Sadly, mental health issues have long been stigmatized, seen as a sign of weakness or dismissed as mere mood swings. However, they are as real and significant as any physical ailment. From anxiety to depression, these disorders have touched countless lives, often in silence due to societal taboos.

But change is on the horizon. As awareness grows, conversations are shifting from hushed whispers to open discussions, fostering understanding and support. Institutions, workplaces, and communities are increasingly acknowledging the importance of mental health, implementing programs, and offering resources.

In conclusion, mental health is not a peripheral concern but a central one, crucial to our holistic well-being. It's high time we prioritize it, eliminating stigma and fostering an environment where everyone feels supported in their mental health journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the primary focus of a mental health essay?

Answer: The primary focus of a mental health essay is to delve into the intricacies of mental well-being, its significance in our daily lives, the various challenges people face, and the broader societal implications. It aims to shed light on both the psychological and emotional aspects of mental health, often emphasizing the importance of understanding, empathy, and proactive care.

  • How can writing an essay on mental health help raise awareness about its importance?

Answer: Writing an essay on mental health can effectively articulate the nuances and complexities of the topic, making it more accessible to a wider audience. By presenting facts, personal anecdotes, and research, the essay can demystify misconceptions, highlight the prevalence of mental health issues, and underscore the need for destigmatizing discussions around it. An impactful essay can ignite conversations, inspire action, and contribute to a more informed and empathetic society.

  • What are some common topics covered in a mental health essay?

Answer: Common topics in a mental health essay might include the definition and importance of mental health, the connection between mental and physical well-being, various mental disorders and their symptoms, societal stigmas and misconceptions, the impact of modern life on mental health, and the significance of therapy and counseling. It may also delve into personal experiences, case studies, and the broader societal implications of neglecting mental health.

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Personal Health

The Devastating Ways Depression and Anxiety Impact the Body

Mind and body form a two-way street.

essay on personal health

By Jane E. Brody

It’s no surprise that when a person gets a diagnosis of heart disease, cancer or some other life-limiting or life-threatening physical ailment, they become anxious or depressed. But the reverse can also be true: Undue anxiety or depression can foster the development of a serious physical disease, and even impede the ability to withstand or recover from one. The potential consequences are particularly timely, as the ongoing stress and disruptions of the pandemic continue to take a toll on mental health .

The human organism does not recognize the medical profession’s artificial separation of mental and physical ills. Rather, mind and body form a two-way street. What happens inside a person’s head can have damaging effects throughout the body, as well as the other way around. An untreated mental illness can significantly increase the risk of becoming physically ill, and physical disorders may result in behaviors that make mental conditions worse.

In studies that tracked how patients with breast cancer fared, for example, Dr. David Spiegel and his colleagues at Stanford University School of Medicine showed decades ago that women whose depression was easing lived longer than those whose depression was getting worse. His research and other studies have clearly shown that “the brain is intimately connected to the body and the body to the brain,” Dr. Spiegel said in an interview. “The body tends to react to mental stress as if it was a physical stress.”

Despite such evidence, he and other experts say, chronic emotional distress is too often overlooked by doctors. Commonly, a physician will prescribe a therapy for physical ailments like heart disease or diabetes, only to wonder why some patients get worse instead of better.

Many people are reluctant to seek treatment for emotional ills. Some people with anxiety or depression may fear being stigmatized, even if they recognize they have a serious psychological problem. Many attempt to self-treat their emotional distress by adopting behaviors like drinking too much or abusing drugs, which only adds insult to their pre-existing injury.

And sometimes, family and friends inadvertently reinforce a person’s denial of mental distress by labeling it as “that’s just the way he is” and do nothing to encourage them to seek professional help.

How common are anxiety and depression?

Anxiety disorders affect nearly 20 percent of American adults . That means millions are beset by an overabundance of the fight-or-flight response that primes the body for action. When you’re stressed, the brain responds by prompting the release of cortisol, nature’s built-in alarm system. It evolved to help animals facing physical threats by increasing respiration, raising the heart rate and redirecting blood flow from abdominal organs to muscles that assist in confronting or escaping danger.

These protective actions stem from the neurotransmitters epinephrine and norepinephrine, which stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and put the body on high alert. But when they are invoked too often and indiscriminately, the chronic overstimulation can result in all manner of physical ills, including digestive symptoms like indigestion, cramps, diarrhea or constipation, and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Depression, while less common than chronic anxiety, can have even more devastating effects on physical health. While it’s normal to feel depressed from time to time, more than 6 percent of adults have such persistent feelings of depression that it disrupts personal relationships, interferes with work and play, and impairs their ability to cope with the challenges of daily life. Persistent depression can also exacerbate a person’s perception of pain and increase their chances of developing chronic pain.

“Depression diminishes a person’s capacity to analyze and respond rationally to stress,” Dr. Spiegel said. “They end up on a vicious cycle with limited capacity to get out of a negative mental state.”

Potentially making matters worse, undue anxiety and depression often coexist, leaving people vulnerable to a panoply of physical ailments and an inability to adopt and stick with needed therapy.

A study of 1,204 elderly Korean men and women initially evaluated for depression and anxiety found that two years later, these emotional disorders increased their risk of physical disorders and disability. Anxiety alone was linked with heart disease, depression alone was linked with asthma, and the two together were linked with eyesight problems, persistent cough, asthma, hypertension, heart disease and gastrointestinal problems.

Treatment can counter emotional tolls

Although persistent anxiety and depression are highly treatable with medications, cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy, without treatment these conditions tend to get worse. According to Dr. John Frownfelter, treatment for any condition works better when doctors understand “the pressures patients face that affect their behavior and result in clinical harm.”

Dr. Frownfelter is an internist and chief medical officer of a start-up called Jvion. The organization uses artificial intelligence to identify not just medical factors but psychological, social and behavioral ones as well that can impact the effectiveness of treatment on patients’ health. Its aim is to foster more holistic approaches to treatment that address the whole patient, body and mind combined.

The analyses used by Jvion, a Hindi word meaning life-giving, could alert a doctor when underlying depression might be hindering the effectiveness of prescribed treatments for another condition. For example, patients being treated for diabetes who are feeling hopeless may fail to improve because they take their prescribed medication only sporadically and don’t follow a proper diet, Dr. Frownfelter said.

“We often talk about depression as a complication of chronic illness,” Dr. Frownfelter wrote in Medpage Today in July . “But what we don’t talk about enough is how depression can lead to chronic disease. Patients with depression may not have the motivation to exercise regularly or cook healthy meals. Many also have trouble getting adequate sleep.”

Some changes to medical care during the pandemic have greatly increased patient access to depression and anxiety treatment. The expansion of telehealth has enabled patients to access treatment by psychotherapists who may be as far as a continent away.

Patients may also be able to treat themselves without the direct help of a therapist. For example, Dr. Spiegel and his co-workers created an app called Reveri that teaches people self-hypnosis techniques designed to help reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, reduce pain and suppress or quit smoking.

Improving sleep is especially helpful, Dr. Spiegel said, because “it enhances a person’s ability to regulate the stress response system and not get stuck in a mental rut.” Data demonstrating the effectiveness of the Reveri app has been collected but not yet published, he said.

Jane Brody is the Personal Health columnist, a position she has held since 1976. She has written more than a dozen books including the best sellers “Jane Brody’s Nutrition Book” and “Jane Brody’s Good Food Book.” More about Jane E. Brody

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These simple and proven strategies will help you manage stress , support your mental health and find meaning in the new year.

First, bring calm and clarity into your life with these 10 tips . Next, identify what you are dealing with: Is it worry, anxiety or stress ?

Persistent depressive disorder is underdiagnosed, and many who suffer from it have never heard of it. Here is what to know .

New research suggests people tend to be lonelier in young adulthood and late life. But experts say it doesn’t have to be that way .

How much anxiety is too much? Here is how to establish whether you should see a professional about it .

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90+ Strong Health Essay Topics And How To Handle Them

Haiden Malecot

Table of Contents

essay on personal health

You can write about healthy lifestyle, rehabilitation after traumas, childcare, common or rare diseases, global advances in health and medicine, environmental health issues, and more.

How to deal with essay on health?

Your essay will be the most impressive if you choose a topic that is familiar to you or you can write about something you have experience with. It will be easier for you to do a health essay paper and build a convincing argument. Another approach is choosing a topic which is not familiar to you but in which you are interested in. It would be a great opportunity for you to educate yourself.

If you pick an interesting essay topic idea which is too broad to cover in your essay, you should do additional keyword research and look for some specific aspects of this topic to narrow it.

Keep in mind that you should look for a narrow topic which has enough available resources that you can use for researching it.

Before you start writing, make sure you have found enough evidence and examples to support your argument. A good idea is to create a working outline or a mind map for your essay that will guide your writing and help you stay focused on your key points.

First, create a strong thesis statement and think about several main points to support it.

If you are looking for health topics to write about and are not sure what to write about, here we have gathered a lot of exciting ideas that you won’t find on any other essay writing services.

Feel free to use them as inspiration own topic ideas or for writing your essays.

Health topics to write about

  • How Can We Help Children Maintain a Healthy Body Weight?
  • Ethical and Legal Issues of Surrogate Pregnancy.
  • How Dangerous are Long-term Consequences of Anorexia?
  • Principles of Preventing Medical Errors in Hospitals.
  • How Can Doctors Promote Healthy Lifestyle?
  • Why is Homeopathy a Pseudo-Science?
  • What Are Side Effects of Blood Transfusion?
  • Types of Eating Disorders.
  • Can a Vegan Diet Be Healthy?
  • The Best Strategies to Maintain Healthy Body Weight.
  • Psychological Issues of Breast Cancer.
  • Importance of Organ Donation after Death.
  • Can Cloning Help Save Lives?
  • Ethics in Human Experimentation.
  • Symptoms of Heart Attacks in Women.
  • Is It Possible to Cure Diabetes in the Future?

Interesting health topics to write about

  • What is the Difference Between Western Medicine and Alternative Medicine?
  • Health Consequences of Eating Disorders.
  • Bioprinting as the Future of Organ Transplants.
  • Use of Stem Cell Technologies for Cancer Treatment.
  • Ethical and Social Issues of Cosmetic Surgery.
  • How Does Advertising Influence Healthy Food Choices?
  • Role of Nutrition Education in Promoting Healthy Diets.
  • Fast Food Consumption and Obesity.
  • How Can Exercise Help Senior Improve Strength and Balance?
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Weight Loss Surgery.
  • Obesity as a Medical and Social Problem.
  • Strategies for Heart Disease Prevention.
  • How Long Can Humans Actually Live?
  • Pros and Cons of Clinical Trials.
  • Alternative Ways to Treat Depression.
  • Is There a Cure for HIV or AIDS?

Controversial health essay topics

  • Is There a Link Between Sugary Drinks and Cancer?
  • Health Consequences of Caffeine.
  • Can Little Kid Food Habits Signal Autism?
  • Should Euthanasia Be Legalized?
  • Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana.
  • Is Alternative Medicine Dangerous?
  • Is Doing Sports always Healthy?
  • Which Diet Is Better: Low-Fat or Low-Carb?
  • Discuss Measures for Prevention of Communicable Diseases.
  • Social Determinants That Influence People’s Well-being.
  • Are Doctors Responsible for the Opioid Epidemic?
  • Is Religion a Mental Disorder?
  • Is Nuclear Waste Really Dangerous for People?
  • Is a No-Carb Diet Safe?
  • Are We Too Dependent on Antibiotics?
  • Are Natural Medicines a Good Alternative to Pharmaceutical?
  • Can Blockchain Help Improve the Trust in the Accuracy of Clinical Trials Data?

Mental health argumentative essay topics

  • Influence of Environmental Factors on Mental Health.
  • Drug Misuse and Mental Disorders.
  • Social Effects of Mental Disorders.
  • Alcohol Addiction and Psychiatric Disorders.
  • Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of Teen Depression.
  • How to Protect Your Mental Health from Social Media Dangers.
  • Effects of Social Isolation and Loneliness on Severe Mental Disorders.
  • Negative Effects of Total Isolation on Physical and Mental Health.
  • Mental Health Benefits Associated with Physical Activity.
  • Association between Exercise and Mood.
  • Mental Health Problems of Homeless People.
  • Stress as a Risk Factor for Mental Disorders.
  • Effect of Disposer to Violence on Mental Disorders.
  • Common Mental Disorders in the USA.
  • Depression and Anxiety Disorders among Adults.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders.
  • Economic Burden of Depression and Anxiety Disorders.
  • Influence of Anxiety Disorders on the Quality of Life.

Health care essay topics

  • Advantages and Challenges of E-health Technology.
  • Application of Big Data to the Medical Care System.
  • Risk Connected with Untested Methods of Alternative Medicine.
  • Controversial Issues in the US Medical Care System.
  • Telemedicine and Other Disruptive Innovations in Health Care System.
  • How Can We Achieve Health Equity?
  • Impact of Racism on the Well-Being of the Nation.
  • School-based Health Care and Educational Success of Children.
  • Role of School-based Health Care in Preventing Dropout.
  • What Can Be Done to Curb Rising Suicide Rates?
  • Do Adults and Senior Still Need Vaccines?
  • What Human Rights Issues Have an Impact on Public Health?
  • What Measures Should Be Taken to Prevent Heat-related Deaths?
  • Discuss Healthy Housing Standards.
  • What Are Common Strategies for Prevention of Chronic Diseases?

Health essay topics for high school students

  • Can Computers Displace Doctors?
  • Can People Become Immortal?
  • Can Happiness Cure Diseases?
  • How to Prevent Teen Pregnancy?
  • The Biggest Health Challenges Facing Youth.
  • Importance of Balanced Diet for Teenagers.
  • Does Being Healthy Make You Happy?
  • Why Is Exercise Important to Teenagers?
  • Why Is Obesity Becoming an Epidemic?
  • How to Become a Healthy Person.
  • Importance of Healthy Lifestyle for Teens.
  • Negative Impact of Smoking Teenagers.
  • How Does Stress Affect Teenagers?
  • Why Do Teenagers Experiment with Drugs?
  • How to Develop Healthy Eating Habits.

Need a health essay overnight? Here’s a deal! Buy argumentative essay help by choosing any topic from our list and handing it to our writers. Complete confidentiality and the brilliant result are guaranteed.

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essay on personal health

How to Write Essays about Beauty

How to write a discussion post that fetches excellent marks.

16 Personal Essays About Mental Health Worth Reading

Here are some of the most moving and illuminating essays published on BuzzFeed about mental illness, wellness, and the way our minds work.

Rachel Sanders

BuzzFeed Staff

1. My Best Friend Saved Me When I Attempted Suicide, But I Didn’t Save Her — Drusilla Moorhouse

essay on personal health

"I was serious about killing myself. My best friend wasn’t — but she’s the one who’s dead."

2. Life Is What Happens While You’re Googling Symptoms Of Cancer — Ramona Emerson

essay on personal health

"After a lifetime of hypochondria, I was finally diagnosed with my very own medical condition. And maybe, in a weird way, it’s made me less afraid to die."

3. How I Learned To Be OK With Feeling Sad — Mac McClelland

essay on personal health

"It wasn’t easy, or cheap."

4. Who Gets To Be The “Good Schizophrenic”? — Esmé Weijun Wang

essay on personal health

"When you’re labeled as crazy, the “right” kind of diagnosis could mean the difference between a productive life and a life sentence."

5. Why Do I Miss Being Bipolar? — Sasha Chapin

"The medication I take to treat my bipolar disorder works perfectly. Sometimes I wish it didn’t."

6. What My Best Friend And I Didn’t Learn About Loss — Zan Romanoff

essay on personal health

"When my closest friend’s first baby was stillborn, we navigated through depression and grief together."

7. I Can’t Live Without Fear, But I Can Learn To Be OK With It — Arianna Rebolini

essay on personal health

"I’ve become obsessively afraid that the people I love will die. Now I have to teach myself how to be OK with that."

8. What It’s Like Having PPD As A Black Woman — Tyrese Coleman

essay on personal health

"It took me two years to even acknowledge I’d been depressed after the birth of my twin sons. I wonder how much it had to do with the way I had been taught to be strong."

9. Notes On An Eating Disorder — Larissa Pham

essay on personal health

"I still tell my friends I am in recovery so they will hold me accountable."

10. What Comedy Taught Me About My Mental Illness — Kate Lindstedt

essay on personal health

"I didn’t expect it, but stand-up comedy has given me the freedom to talk about depression and anxiety on my own terms."

11. The Night I Spoke Up About My #BlackSuicide — Terrell J. Starr

essay on personal health

"My entire life was shaped by violence, so I wanted to end it violently. But I didn’t — thanks to overcoming the stigma surrounding African-Americans and depression, and to building a community on Twitter."

12. Knitting Myself Back Together — Alanna Okun

essay on personal health

"The best way I’ve found to fight my anxiety is with a pair of knitting needles."

13. I Started Therapy So I Could Take Better Care Of Myself — Matt Ortile

essay on personal health

"I’d known for a while that I needed to see a therapist. It wasn’t until I felt like I could do without help that I finally sought it."

14. I’m Mending My Broken Relationship With Food — Anita Badejo

essay on personal health

"After a lifetime struggling with disordered eating, I’m still figuring out how to have a healthy relationship with my body and what I feed it."

15. I Found Love In A Hopeless Mess — Kate Conger

essay on personal health

"Dehoarding my partner’s childhood home gave me a way to understand his mother, but I’m still not sure how to live with the habit he’s inherited."

16. When Taking Anxiety Medication Is A Revolutionary Act — Tracy Clayton

essay on personal health

"I had to learn how to love myself enough to take care of myself. It wasn’t easy."

Topics in this article

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essay on personal health

Health and Fitness Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on health and fitness.

We have always heard the word ‘health’ and ‘fitness’. We use it ourselves when we say phrases like ‘health is wealth’ and ‘fitness is the key’. What does the word health really mean? It implies the idea of ‘being well’. We call a person healthy and fit when he/she function well physically as well as mentally.

Health And Fitness Essay

Factors Affecting our Health and Fitness

Good health and fitness is not something which one can achieve entirely on our own. It depends on their physical environment and the quality of food intake. We live in villages, towns, and cities.

In such places, even our physical environment affects our health. Therefore, our social responsibility of pollution-free environment directly affects our health. Our day-to-day habits also determine our fitness level. The quality of food, air, water all helps in building our fitness level.

Role of Nutritious Diet on our Health and Fitness

The first thing about where fitness starts is food. We should take nutritious food. Food rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates is very essential. Protein is necessary for body growth. Carbohydrates provide the required energy in performing various tasks. Vitamin and minerals help in building bones and boosting our immune system.

However, taking food in uneven quantity is not good for the body. Taking essential nutrients in adequate amount is called a balanced diet. Taking a balanced diet keep body and mind strong and healthy. Good food helps in better sleep, proper brain functioning and healthy body weight.

Include vegetables, fruits, and pulses in daily diet. One must have a three-course meal. Having roughage helps in cleaning inner body organs. Healthy food habit prevents various diseases. Reducing the amount of fat in the diet prevents cholesterol and heart diseases.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Impact of Exercise on our Health

Routine exercise helps improve our muscle power. Exercise helps in good oxygen supply and blood flow throughout the body. Heart and lungs work efficiently. Our bones get strong and joints have the pain free movement.

We should daily spend at least twenty minutes in our exercise. Daily morning walk improves our fitness level. We should avoid strenuous Gym activities. Exercise burns our fat and controls the cholesterol level in the body. Various outdoor games like cricket, football, volleyball, etc keeps our body fit. Regular exercise maintains our body shape.

Meditation, Yoga, and Health

Meditation and yoga are part of our life from ancient time. They not only make us physically fit but mentally strong as well. Meditation improves our concentration level. Our mind gets relaxed and thinking becomes positive.

A healthy mind is key for a healthy body. Yoga makes us stressfree and improves the endurance power of the mind. Yoga controls our blood pressure. With yoga, a strong bond with nature is established. Meditation is considered the best way to fight depression.

A person stays happier when he/she is fit and healthy. A fit and healthy person is less prone to chronic diseases. The healthy mind reacts better in a pressure situation. The self-confidence of a person is increased. Risk of heart failure is reduced drastically. With the increased immunity power body could fight cancerous cells. The intensity of the fracture is decreased with regular exercise.

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Writing the Personal Statement for Health Professions Applications

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The personal statement gives you the opportunity to present a compelling snapshot of who you are and perhaps why you want to be a doctor. Use your personal statement to say what others can’t. The personal statement can be a tricky genre to master. On the one hand, you want to give the admissions committee a sense of your personality and who you are. On the other hand, you must sound focused and professional, which sounds like it might impede your ability to capture your personality.

But this does not have to be the case. What you need to do is figure out how to say what drives you to want to become a healthcare professional in as specific a way as possible. The more specific you can be, the more the admissions committee will feel as if they have a sense of who you are.

You don’t need gimmicks, jokes, artificial drama, or hyperbole to express who you are or why you would make a good medical student or doctor. All you need are carefully selected details that you can craft into a unique and compelling story that conveys a sense of purpose and motivation.

What Makes a Good Personal Statement?

  • There is no exact template for an effective personal statement. Often, however, strong personal statements combine a concise description of a personal experience with reflection on how this experience either led the writer to pursue medicine or indicates the writer’s character or commitment.
  • Good personal statements often have a strong sense of narrative. This does not mean that they read like short stories, though they can relate a few scenes or anecdotes from your life. They have a strong sense of narrative, rather, in how they convey the writer’s sense of dedication to medicine. Strong personal statements often give readers an idea of how applicants see their experiences as leading to the decision to pursue medicine.

How to Get Started

The personal statement is an exercise in self-reflection. Questions to consider:

  • Who are you?  I am driven to… I have learned to… I believe…
  • What are your most passionate interests or concerns?  What problem(s) most occupy your thinking and your efforts?
  • How did you develop those interests?  (Not just the story, but what drives you.)
  • What errors or regrets have taught you something important about yourself?
  • When does time disappear for you?  What does this tell you about your passions, your values?
  • What ideas, books, courses, events have had a profound impact on you?  How so?
  • To what extent do your current commitments reflect your most strongly held values?
  • When have you changed?  Consider yourself before and after; what does this change mean?
  • How do your interests and who you are relate to your goals in medical school and as a doctor?

Start a “shoebox”; a place to keep random notes for your personal statement; be ready to write at any time. Review these items occasionally; let them tell you more about what you want your personal statement to say. Start writing drafts, experiments; you will know when a paragraph begins to gel.

A Suggested Writing Process

Everyone writes differently, so these are potential strategies rather than rules.

  • Make a list of some of your most defining experiences – extracurricular activities, specific classes, volunteer work, research, hobbies, etc. Try not to include overly personal experiences (breakups, trouble with parents, illnesses in the family, and so on). It’s difficult to write about such things without being sentimental or cliché. You want experiences in which you did something and had to make a choice.
  • From this list, try to select an experience that particularly demonstrates your intellectual curiosity, your dedication to service, your composure under pressure, your leadership ability, or any other personal trait that you think is particularly relevant to your case that you would make a good doctor or medical student.
  • Start writing a draft based on this experience. You want to be specific, but don’t get bogged down with an abundance of anecdotes or minutiae. Try to use your draft to craft a succinct story that demonstrates your character and your motivations.
  • Set the draft aside for some time (a number of days or weeks), and then revisit it with fresh eyes. Be as honest with yourself as you can be: What works in this draft? What doesn’t work? What sounds cliché or unspecific? Would a reader who doesn’t know me at all get a sense of my personal character and dedication?
  • Revise, revise, revise: tighten the structure, add new things to make your point clearer, take away sentences or sections that now seem unnecessary, use the active voice as much as possible, and anything else that needs to be done. If what you have just doesn’t seem to be coming together, do not be afraid to start over.
  • Solicit feedback from a couple of trusted readers and revise again based on the suggestions that you find most useful. Don’t solicit feedback from too many people though – too many responses can be overwhelming.
  • Edit your work for grammatical mistakes, typos, clumsy repetitions, and so on. Make your prose impeccable before you submit your statement. Asking help from other readers can be especially helpful with editing, as sometimes it gets difficult to read your work with fresh eyes.

Things to Do

  • Use the experience that you describe to tell a story of personal progress, particularly progress towards your commitment to medicine.
  • Write with active verbs as much as possible.
  • Strive for concision.
  • Sound humble but also confident.

Things Not to Do – Common Pitfalls

  • Don’t talk in hyperbolic terms about how passionate you are. Everyone applying to medical school can say they are passionate. Instead, show your readers something you have done that indicates your passion.
  • Don’t adopt an overly confessional or sentimental tone. You need to sound professional.
  • Don’t treat the personal statement like a piece of creative writing.
  • Don’t put your resume in narrative form.
  • Don’t use jargon, abbreviations, slang, etc.
  • Don’t use too many qualifiers: very, quite, rather, really, interesting…
  • Don’t write in overly flowery language that you would normally never use.
  • Don’t include famous quotations. If you must quote, use something that shows significant knowledge.
  • Don’t write about yourself in an overly glorifying or overly self-effacing manner.

What to Remember

  • They are read by non-specialists, so write for an intelligent non-medical audience.
  • Actions sometimes speaks louder than words so give examples of experiences rather than describing them.
  • All information must be accurate – don’t pad, but don’t be falsely modest either.
  • The personal statement, in part, serves as a test of your communication skills.  How well you write it is as important as the content.

Writing Resources

  • AAMC: 7 Tips for Writing your AMCAS Personal Statement
  • Graduate Admission Essays: What Works, What Doesn’t and Why , Donald Asher, Ten Speed Press
  • On Writing Well , William Zinsser
  • Elements of Style , Strunk and White, Macmillan
  • Article :  2 Med School Essays that Admissions Officers Loved
  • Guidance for Writing Personal Statements, Work & Activities Section, Secondary Applications

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2024 Mental Health Essay Contest Awardee: Silver

The Roots Affect the Fruit: A Personal Journey of Trauma to Triumph

Ciniyah, illinois.

Ciniyah, 2024 NIH Mental Health Essay Contest awardee

In the 16th century, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Portuguese traders began acquiring larger populations of African individuals for American enslavement which became known as The Transatlantic Slave Trade. As this persisted, many enslaved people being packed onto these ships became fully aware of the dangers that lay ahead. Throughout these voyages, thousands of enslaved men and women would make the very difficult choice to end their lives, as on these ships rape, murder, and beatings were a consistent occurrence. While trying to escape a far worse fate of American enslavement, many enslaved people refused eating to starve themselves to death, leaped overboard to drown themselves, and some even gained possession of weapons to end their lives on their own terms. There existed some solace in the fact that their final act of rebellion directly resulted in a loss of profit for those who enslaved them.

As time continued, enslaved African Americans had to assimilate to the moral corruptions and injustices of White America. Plantation life was arduous. On plantations enslaved people were either tasked with working on the fields to create profit for their owners, cooking and cleaning property, or to raising "Massa's" offspring. Their work was often scrutinized and even the slightest mistake resulted in extremely harsh punishments: Whipping, murder, mutilation, imprisonment, or being sold away. As the strictness of tasks and the pleasure of giving punishment was prominent, many Black families were separated from one another; particularly Black men as their economic value and sustainability was viewed as high.

For generation after generation this was the lived experience of the vast majority of folks that looked like me. Our shared trauma literally lasted for generations. This generational trauma has negatively impacted not only the Black community, but the foundational structure of Black families. As enslaved men and women became accustomed to having to eventually leave their families, these broken habits and cruel punishments were subconsciously rooted within their psychology and passed down the family tree. In the United States, Black families make up the largest population of single-parent homes, 66%. Unfortunately, this has also been my experience as a family has fallen victim to this generational trauma.

On March 23, 2022 my entire life changed, this experience felt like a circus act. It was so unbelievable it had to be an act. An act similar to that one time I called the police on him, or the two times DCFS chose to get involved, oh and the many times my little sister and I were attacked by him that led to this unbelievable moment. It was finally showtime, as this circus opened its curtains for the finale I saw him hovering over my 98 pound little sister, screaming at the side of her face, violently shaking her, grabbing her, yelling at her, flipping her over, and punching her all over her back. Not only did I see it, but my camera saw it too as at the start of his show I began to immediately record, the police would have to believe us this time! But as this part of the act became much more terrifying, I tried to intervene, but when I did my camera went off. He pushed me face-down onto the air mattress, suffocating me and everything went black. My sister defended me by throwing objects at his head and trying to beat him down to help free me from his grasp. I proceeded to call the police and he finally stopped and stormed upstairs. That night, my sister, Mom, and I waited for the police to come, but they didn't show. So after a hot bath and some Epsom Salt, we all laid together praying the show was over. The next day, my Mom took us to the doctor and then to the Aurora Police Department. At APD, we would begin the process for an Order of Protection. I was absolutely mortified, because the last time I tried seeking help from an officer resulted in him shaming my sister and I, telling us to be grateful, swearing at us, and interrogating us for calling our Mom for help too. I promised myself that day that I would never call the police again. Yet here I was, I had broken that promise and was now at a police station filled with officers.

I feel like this experience and all its resulting trauma is a part of me, like it's etched itself into my bones. I know these experiences resulted in Post-traumatic stress disorder. I became extremely anxious when interacting or seeing police officers, I began slowly detaching myself from my friends during school, and I stopped remembering to do normal everyday things. The trauma continued as a few weeks went by, at age 14, I had to testify against my father in court. I was anxious and emotional the entire time, but I persisted and retold the event, answered questions, and saw not one glimpse of remorse within my father's eyes.

The following year, my good friend had recommended me to try a free summer program at Aurora Police Department's Law Enforcement Youth Academy. The thought of once again entering that police station three times every week was beyond frightening. I had only tragic stressful memories and traumatic hauntings living within that building. I discussed the program with my Mom and Grandma who said to give it a chance, seize the opportunity, learn new information, and to simply "do it afraid". These words of wisdom encouraged me to join the Youth Academy and I am eternally grateful for that experience. Those three months allowed me to interact with four amazing officers, meet new friends, participate in community service, learn about various public service careers, be voted into the vice president position, lead the graduation ceremony as the emcee, and establish a positive relationship with a special community leader, and also connect with a member of the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.

If I had not taken a chance despite my doubts, fears, and hesitations; I would have missed an awesome experience which opened many amazing doors for me. The following fall, I was invited to speak for Kane County State's Attorney, Jamie Mossier's, Prenative Approach Against Crime about what APD's program meant to me. As a part of a panel talk, I shared my experience and performed a rendition poetry piece titled Black Girl Magic. Many individuals in the audience congratulated me for my journey towards success and were interested in me applying for an internship within the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.

Through these experiences, I was able to get out of my comfort zone and create new positive memories despite previous negative ones. This process towards mental and emotional well-being did not happen overnight, it took time for me to process my trauma with officers. I still am taking time to fully process my trauma with my father. Honestly even after almost 2 years I still have occasional nightmares and anxiety about ever seeing him in-person again. I still am anxious whenever I participate on our speech team, when I act out another role, or perform a poetry piece, but I do it anyway, I do it afraid.

Here, reflecting on my traumatic experience is where I discovered the title to this essay; The Roots Affect The Fruit: A Personal Journey of Trauma to Triumph. Unfortunately, trauma is often a dark, and hidden part of children's lives. Children like my sister and I. Yes, my sister and I may live in a nice home and attend a good school in a good district, but we too experience trauma in a way that by just looking at us no one would know. To others who look like me, smile like me, laugh like me, while silently suffering like I had, I want you to know nothing lasts forever. Generational trauma is a poison handed down to Black families across the nation that we continue to sip from each day. I have made a conscious choice that this cursed cyclical trauma stops with me. We must all come to terms with our emotional and mental state, but you cannot allow a condition to hold you back from your own self growth, self love, and journey towards the peace and success you deserve.

NIH recognizes these talented essay winners for their thoughtfulness and creativity in addressing youth mental health. These essays are written in the students' own words, are unedited, and do not necessarily represent the views of NIH, HHS, or the federal government.

Page published May 31, 2024

May 2024: NIH Announces Winners of High School Mental Health Essay Contest

Dec. 2023: High School Students Invited to Reflect on Mental Health Stigma in National Essay Contest

National Institute of Mental Health

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

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I'm HIV Positive. Here's What I Wish People Knew.

Representatives of Positively UK join over 20 HIV organisations marching along Whitehall to stand up against HIV stigma on 18 March 2023 in London, United Kingdom. HIV and HIV-related stigma disproportionately impact LGBT+ communities. According to the mo

I never thought about death until I received my HIV diagnosis . I had made plans to get my degree, start my career, get married, and possibly have children. But I tossed all my hopes and dreams in the trash that fateful day in September 2021.

I was in the lab with a technician in a small hospital. I stared long and hard as the first stripe formed, then the shock came when I saw the slow faint formation of the second, which meant I was positive. Suddenly I was sweating; the room was too small, almost claustrophobic. I was suffocating.

"It took me a year and a half to accept that HIV could not limit me."

Until you are diagnosed with HIV, you will never understand how that first moment puts you in a state of grief: all of the enthusiasm I had previously possessed for life was suddenly gone. In its place, shame, guilt, loneliness, and shattered dreams overwhelmed me. I thought I would be dead within a few years, so why make any plans at all? Instead of grieving a lost loved one, you grieve for yourself. Denial, anger, bargaining, and depression all take over the smidgen of hope you might feel. Sadly, because of enduring stigma, society has made it so that to most people living with HIV (PLWH), acceptance remains a continuous journey that takes a much longer time than it should.

It took me a year and a half to accept that HIV could not limit me. "Your world is still vast," my counselor promised. "You can get the career you want, be in that relationship you dream of, and even have children. All you need to do is adhere to your medication." It took me some time, but eventually I learned that she was right. After my diagnosis, I started taking antiretroviral medication , which at first entailed two pills a day and now only requires one. Within eight months of my diagnosis and after I'd started taking the effective HIV drugs , my CD4 count, which is a measure of the strength of my immune system, was skyrocketing, and my viral load was already undetectable, which meant I could not pass HIV to another person.

But the realities of living with HIV are still grossly misunderstood and stigmatized by others. Before my diagnosis, I was going to travel the world — I planned to become a stewardess for an airline. And I still pursued it a year after my diagnosis. I vividly remember my interview to determine my admission to a six-month training at a local airline. I learned that I'd have to take a medical exam, but "this was just formality," I was told. I never thought my HIV status would be an issue. A month later after my interview, though, I received my rejection email. It was short and straight to the point: I was not accepted because "I failed my medical examination." Failed. Failed!? To say I was dumbstruck is an understatement.

When I was told I wouldn't get my dream job, I wanted to blame someone or something. The person who gave me HIV, these restrictive policies, even myself for getting HIV. I could feel the grief coming back to me. I was fighting the monster of bitterness.

I started digging into why this had happened. Could my HIV status affect many of my other plans of adventure? I learned that it could. Apparently, many countries can deny entry to people with HIV — including Russia, Dubai, and Australia. The internet says these places "may deny entry," as if there is a choice, but on the ground, the reality is much starker. Officials don't care if you're carrying your six-month medication, or if your viral load is Undetectable=Untransmissible. In some countries, you can be deported .

Although countries like the United States don't have such restrictions, PLWH still face stigma. Some states, for example, still have laws that treat the medical condition as a crime .

And it's not just traveling. Many countries still require people to take HIV tests to work in certain industries like hospitality, and may not offer employment to PLWH regardless of whether they are untransmissible and asymptomatic. Despite having the qualifications for my dream job, my diagnosis prohibited me from landing it.

Around the same time of getting the devastating news about the job, I was inundated with messages on social media trying to raise awareness of HIV. But the message of those postings was that PLWH are dangerous — that others should avoid interacting with them.

"The fact that it is still highly stigmatized means that HIV rates have been rising in the last decade — something that should absolutely not be happening."

And that's when I truly realized that even decades after scientists have found ways to suppress it, HIV remains highly stigmatized. The fact that it is still highly stigmatized means that HIV rates have been rising in the last decade — something that should absolutely not be happening. No country with access to antiretroviral therapy should be reporting new infections. And countries should have reached the UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment target , which aimed, by 2020, to have 90 percent of all people living with HIV to know their status; 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy; and 90 percent of people receiving ARV therapy having viral suppression. But the global community failed to meet all three goals.

I have experienced firsthand society's hatred toward PLWH, instead of the disease itself. People warn others about us, laugh at us. In most postings about HIV that I have seen online, social media users openly discuss PLWH as people to be avoided and cast out.

But amid the rejection and hatred, I can feel the fear, too: the fear that being HIV+ is a death sentence. It was the same fear I had before I ever thought I could be directly affected. It is this feeling that can keep individuals ignorant of how HIV actually works.

Despite all the stigma, I must say I am luckier than most. My partner is among the kindest individuals I have been blessed to know. He always takes the initiative to continue to learn about the virus as much as he can. I never feel any stigma coming from him; I never feel unloved. We also have plans to start a family soon. "We can," he tells me. My low viral load would not place our baby or him in any danger, thanks to the freely available ARV medication I take.

As a PLWH, I have made a decision to live — and this means taking care of myself and my partner to ensure no chances of reinfection.

I believe it will take open-mindedness, a willingness to learn, and kindness if we really want to stop the spread of HIV. Choosing to use supportive rather stigmatizing language and policies is how we begin to reach the 90-90-90 goal. My partner has shown me that it is possible to have an open conversation and take initiative to educate yourself instead of spreading fear, hate, and panic. Only then will more people be willing to disclose their HIV status, seek testing, and adhere to treatment without fear of social consequences. It is a pity we have not grasped the enormity of this yet.

  • Sexual Health
  • Personal Essay

The power of a personal mission statement, and other lessons from a recent graduate

Joel Burt-Miller

By Joel Burt-Miller, MPH ’23

June 3, 2024 — I am about to begin an exciting new chapter of my career as one of 10 new residents in the U.S. pursuing dual training in family medicine and psychiatry. Reflecting on how I got to this point, I have learned some important lessons. I’ve laid them out here in the hopes they might resonate with others seeking to define their paths.

Define your life’s mission

My introduction to the field of public health came as a freshman at Brandeis University, in a course on inequities in health care and health outcomes. It ignited a flame in me and led me to define a clear mission for my life: I would advocate for the inequitably resourced, both locally and globally. I would serve and heal both individuals and communities. I would focus not just on treating disease, but on supporting a holistically healthy life.

My journey from that point took many twists and turns, but throughout, I held tight to that mission statement. It helped me evaluate each opportunity with clarity and purpose.

Be open to new interests

When I entered medical school at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, I planned to go into primary care. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which also exposed an ongoing mental health crisis. I became invested in finding a solution. I designed a research study based on the South African philosophy of Ubuntu that used small groups, called Ubuntu groups , to effectively address the social isolation and burnout experienced within my learning community while promoting a sense of belonging. That project sparked my interest in psychiatry. Yet, I remained committed to preventive medicine as well.

Was it possible to accommodate my interest in both fields of medicine? Through a quick Google search, sure enough, I found five residency programs combining family medicine and psychiatry.

Seek mentors (even when it’s daunting!)

The existence of these programs was promising — but I wanted to know more. With piqued curiosity, I entered the same search terms, “family medicine and psychiatry,” on LinkedIn. To my delight, someone popped up: Rohit Abraham. His bio described him as a ‘Combined Psychiatry & Family Medicine Resident at Boston Medical Center.’

I decided to take a leap of faith. Though I’d never met Rohit, I sent him a message. I hoped he would be kind enough to respond but was also prepared for a reality where he would not. A few hours later, he replied, and we scheduled a time to speak over Zoom.

In our conversation, I gained much more than knowledge of his career path in medicine. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I gained a lifelong mentor.

Don’t be afraid to take detours

In our initial conversation, Rohit explained why he saw his combined residency as an ideal pathway: He was training to provide comprehensive primary care that would let him address both the physical and the mental health needs of urban underserved populations, with an intersectional focus on substance use disorders.

Reviewing his bio on LinkedIn, I noticed that during medical school, Rohit had pursued an MPH in health policy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as a Zuckerman Fellow. When I asked him about the program, he explained that he wanted to address health disparities at both the clinical and policy levels. He expected the dual MD and MPH degrees would help him do that. His goal sounded so much like my own life’s mission. I was inspired.

In just one conversation, my new mentor had opened the door to a possibility I had not dreamed of before.

I applied to the Zuckerman Fellowship program and gained acceptance, prompting me to take a year away from medical school to pursue an MPH.

The degree program exposed me to many new experiences. In my practicum, I worked with MassHealth to disseminate state funding to local communities to expand mental health services. A Harvard case study also introduced me to Boston Medical Center’s model of care, which aims to provide consistently excellent and accessible health services to all in need, regardless of status or ability to pay.

With each new experience, I was able to better articulate how I could achieve my life’s mission.

Keep looking for new lessons

I returned to medical school for my final year shortly after receiving my MPH. And just a few months ago, I learned that I matched at my first-choice residency program at Boston Medical Center — following in Rohit’s footsteps.

As I reflect on my path, I can see how much it helped me to define my life’s mission clearly — and then to keep myself open to considering different ways to achieve it. I can also see how important it was to take a few leaps of faith along the way, including reaching out to a stranger I hoped might be able to give me some guidance.

I’m thrilled to launch into this new stage of my career. I know I’ll learn many new life lessons along the way, so long as I keep myself open to the power of possibilities.

Joel F. Burt-Miller is a resident in the combined family medicine and psychiatry program at Boston Medical Center. He holds an MPH in health policy from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, an MD from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, an MS in biomedical sciences from Duke University, and was a 2022-2023 Zuckerman Fellow at Harvard.

Photo: Kent Dayton

It's more than just a parasocial relationship: BTS and their impact on my mental health

Listening to bts may not have cured my depression, but it helped me get through it, by lily doton.

2018 was one of the worst years of my life.

I was in my second semester of college, which was supposed to be part of the "best years of your life," but for me was anything but. I was severely depressed and could barely get myself out of bed to eat — let alone show up to my classes and do my homework. I felt isolated and lost. 

And then I found a love for K-Pop boy group BTS .

BTS, who you've likely heard of by now, consists of seven members — RM, Jin, SUGA, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. When I got invested in BTS, they had just started blowing up in the west the year before. 

When I watched a video of one of their live performances of "Answer: Love Myself" for the first time, I started sobbing.

And despite what people often think, they weren't important to me because of how handsome they are or because Jungkook is boyfriend material. It wasn't because of the fashion and the dyed hair, or even because of the elaborate choreography and jaw-dropping performances. 

While those are pretty valid reasons to love K-pop, and definitely helped grab my attention, the reason BTS became so special to me is less surface-level. 

I had heard of them before. In high school, my best friend loved K-pop, especially BTS, and I had listened to and liked some of their songs. But as a Korean adoptee growing up in Vermont , one of the whitest states in America, I wasn't eager to make myself come across as any more Asian than I already was.

When we both went away to college, we kept texting. Sharing details of our day, talking about how hard things were.

Even though my mental health was declining, I was also beginning to come to terms with what being Korean American meant to me. It had always made me uncomfortable, made me feel "other," but I wanted to know more now.

And when BTS came up again in conversation, I decided to finally really look into them. 

Discovering the Bangtan Boys

I started with reading translations of the lyrics as I listened. Then I watched all their music videos. Soon, I was making my way through every live performance and every interview I could find and even going down the rabbit hole of watching fan-made compilation videos on YouTube. 

When I watched a video of one of their live performances of "Answer: Love Myself" for the first time, I started sobbing. I didn't even need to understand all of the lyrics — just hearing the crowd sing, "You've shown me I have reasons I should love myself," along with the seven of them on stage struck me. 

I was struggling to like myself enough to take care of myself in the simplest ways, but soon enough I was singing along:

I'm looking for myself again But I don't wanna die anymore Me, who used to be sad Me, who used to be hurt It'll make me more beautiful

BTS was not only my connection to the culture I had resisted and ignored my entire life, but also became a light for me when everything else felt bleak. 

At first, I might not have believed it when I was singing along to Jin's solo song "Epiphany" and declaring:

I'm the one I should love in this world Shining me, precious soul of mine I finally realized, so I love me Not so perfect but so beautiful

But I began to. 

It sounds corny, but they helped me through that extremely difficult period of my life in a way that nothing else really could. Listening to BTS didn't cure my depression , but the openness in their lyrics provided me with a sense of comfort and reassurance that I desperately needed. 

The song that made the biggest impact on me, and still does, is from RM's 2018 solo mixtape "mono." In "지나가 (everythingoes)," RM repeats over and over "It all passes, someday, for sure, certainly / It passes (Everything goes)." 

But instead of being a message of toxic positivity, he goes on to say that rather than using "unclear words saying to have strength" and "instead of the lies that it's all just the way things are," he prays that "like the winds it will pass." 

BTS

It may be hard to understand why BTS fans are so ride-or-die for them, but moments like that are part of the reason why. It's not just me who's been affected by them this deeply — seeing their impact is as easy as searching "BTS Answer: Love Myself reaction" on YouTube or googling "how BTS changed my life." 

Embracing the community

I first saw the widespread impact they've had when I rejoined Twitter and rebranded as a stan account. 

BTS was not only my connection to the culture I had resisted and ignored my entire life, but also became a light for me when everything else felt bleak.

At the time, the BTS members didn't have their own individual Instagram accounts, and Twitter was the place for updates, selfies and personal posts from each of them. Their Twitter account currently has 48.4 million followers and a quick scroll through will show you stan account after stan account dedicated specifically to them, with edited photos of one of the members as the icon and a handle that references their lyrics. 

It may appear that those accounts are faceless and impersonal, but when I was feeling isolated at a new school , I found a community there. There are countless examples of how toxic stan Twitter can be, but it doesn't always have to be. I joined group chats to talk about favorite albums, rehash the latest performance and dissect lyrics, and I ended up making friends across the world. 

It's easy to look at all of this and only see how it contributes to what we've come to know as the parasocial relationship between celebrities and their fans. Especially within the K-pop community, when fans do things like spend thousands of dollars on albums for a short video call, stay up all hours of the night to catch a livestream and even buy expensive and elaborate gifts for their bias on their birthday. 

While this certainly exists within BTS' fanbase, what sets the band apart is that they've consistently shared their personal struggles and journey to self-love throughout their career, in their music but also in interviews, livestreams and letters to fans. 

In 2016, SUGA released a solo mixtape under his alter ego Agust D in which he details his struggles with depression and OCD and how he's gotten treatment for it. 

In 2017, RM put out his song "Always" on SoundCloud that contains the lyrics:

One morning, when I opened my eyes I wished that I was dead I wish someone killed me In this loud silence I live to understand the world but the world has never understood me, why

In a 2019 interview with Entertainment Weekly , SUGA emphasized the importance of open dialogue about mental health . "I think for not just us but other celebrities, if they talk about it openly — if they talk about depression for example like it's the common cold, then it becomes more and more accepted if it's a common disorder like the cold," he said. "More and more, I think artists or celebrities who have a voice should talk about these problems and bring it up to the surface."

BTS

The members' willingness to speak about their own mental health struggles and counseling is not only important because it normalizes it for their fans, but because it sheds a light on mental health in Korea and within the K-pop community. 

According to The Korea Times , South Korea has held the highest suicide rate of OECD nations for almost 20 years, with a suicide rate of 24.1 deaths per 100,000 people as of 2021. 

Just this April, 25-year-old ASTRO boyband member Moon Bin passed away by suicide. This comes after other losses that have hit the K-pop community, like SHINee's Jonghyun who was only 27 when he passed in 2017. In 2019, 25-year-old former f(x) member and actress Sulli also passed away from suicide, with 28-year-old Goo Hara from Kara following just weeks after.

With far too many examples of young people in the K-pop industry, and Korea in general, taking their own lives, it just makes publicly speaking to these issues even more important. Especially when it's being communicated to a fanbase like BTS' that consists of so many young people.

As much as I love K-pop, I can see how damaging the industry can be. It's rightfully criticized for setting impossibly high beauty standards , highlighting issues with fatphobia and colorism, and for the immense pressure put on idols to be "perfect" both while they're performing and when they're offstage. 

With these kinds of standards, BTS being willing to acknowledge that they're human — that they struggle, question themselves and sometimes need help to get through it — is essential. At the height of fame, with the eyes of the world on them, they choose to be vulnerable and show others that they can do the same. 

The flaws in the industry still exist, but there's no doubt that BTS will leave a lasting impact.

If you are in need of help, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Hours of operation are 24/7 and it's confidential.

about this topic

  • Representation heals: How watching K-dramas lifted the weight of white supremacy and freed my tongue
  • "Oegugin" influencers are rising to stardom in Korea. But there's a dark side to pop-nationalism
  • K-dramas cured my prejudice against Asian men

Lily Doton is an intern at Salon and will graduate from Castleton University in May. Though her true love is K-Pop, she is studying Media and Communication with a concentration in journalism and a minor in film studies. She is passionate about telling stories and seeking out Asian representation, whether that's in movies, shows, music or writing.

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