We currently see mental health disorders increase at alarming rates in our society. Our minds are getting sicker by just about any metric you can measure.
One of the issues contributing to the rise of mental health issues is the lack of privacy. Though we live more individual and independent lives, it seems that our lives are less private than ever.
Privacy plays a crucial role in mental health, and it is often underestimated. Though a connection with others is vital in alleviating mental health disorders, privacy can also fulfill an innate psychological need.
The following are important factors to consider about the importance of privacy to mental health:
Confidence and self-esteem are crucial for mental health. Most people feel more confident when they are alone and away from judgmental eyes. If you are someone who sings or dances alone in the shower, you know just how confident you can be.
Privacy is hence essential to developing confidence and self-esteem. It is especially so if you are developing competence in a skill or discipline. As the saying goes, ‘competence breeds confidence.’
Some of the most confident people you will ever meet spend a lot of time by themselves. They can then express their confidence when they go out into the world, whether in a social or professional setting. Without privacy, they would feel judged and may not develop the self-esteem they feel when alone and free to be themselves.
Most people with mental health issues claim to have many negative thoughts about themselves. However, when they delve deeper, they find that most of the negative thoughts they have about themselves originate from other people. In worst-case scenarios, their negativity may come from parents or caregivers who tore them down instead of empowering them.
Therefore, other people can be a significant source of negativity and mental health issues in people. It would be best if you could have your privacy and create a barrier from such people. Building a wall/fence or even placing blinds on your windows could be enough. Whatever measure you take to protect yourself against such negativity will be beneficial to you.
With the internet, negative people don’t have to be near you to affect you. There are plenty of people spewing incredibly harmful and hateful things online. Privacy is very important, and being offline will help avoid such people, resulting in better mental health.
You definitely cannot have good mental health if you do not feel safe. Privacy, especially in our homes, is crucial to feeling safe and protected hence its importance in mental health.
Soldiers and victims of war develop severe mental health afflictions due to being in a constant feeling of angst. They are used to expecting danger and threats, with the behavior continuing even when such threats and danger are non-existent.
Even as it pertains to online activity, you feel safer when surfing the internet if you know that you can maintain your privacy. Therefore, privacy enhances feelings of safety and security which will promote better mental health.
Privacy is crucial for mental health because it promotes self-reflection. Everyone must have the time and space to observe their thoughts, feelings, and emotions to have good mental health.
Monks and spiritual teachers have the healthiest minds among human beings, and many of them owe it to their capacity for self-reflection. Meditation is essentially a practice of self-reflection, and the benefits require no repetition here.
Only by observing our minds can we see our negative thoughts and our capacity to cause ourselves pain & suffering. Self-reflection, if done correctly, leads to tranquility and inner peace, which are prerequisites for excellent mental health.
As mentioned earlier, a connection with others is vital for good mental health. For some people, that may mean having scores of friends and associates. However, for most people, it means having a few people in their lives with whom they can have a genuine connection.
Intimacy is essential to develop proper mental health, and privacy is often vital for intimacy. Privacy affords us the chance to connect with others in a non-judgmental setting in which we can express ourselves honestly.
Therefore, privacy is indispensable in developing strong and meaningful relationships, which can only happen when intimacy is present. When you have such relationships in your life, excellent mental health will undoubtedly follow.
In conclusion, we significantly undervalued privacy in our society and culture. If you suffer from a mental health disorder, take the necessary steps to ensure your privacy and work on your mental health. It is in solitude that most people deeply connect with themselves and discover their value as human beings.
Featured Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash