Ethnicity — The Secret Recipe For Mental Health


Growing up in a black community comes with lots of fun and challenges. One of such problems is the likelihood of comparing your ethnic group with others.

Worse off, if you’re raised in Africa where everything seems to be stagnant with no visible development, you may tend to assume that people from other parts of the world are better than you.

This sense of insecurity may follow you on your arrival into the United States (or any other western country).

On your arrival, you’d have a mixed feeling of happiness and fear — happy because you’re in a better place and you can build your dream life. And the fear is a sign of uncertainty because you don’t know what the future holds for you.

The several shooting and discrimination against black folks coupled with the lack of justice in the judicial system would make you ask lots of questions.

Aside from the fear that comes with the feeling of insecurity in your neighborhood, the insecurity feeling would lead to some psychological issues.

One of such is the lack of confidence which occurs when you don’t take pride in your ethnicity and ancestral origin.

Studies have shown that adolescents who have ethnic pride and feel good about their ancestral background tend to experience high self-esteem.

Low pride in ethnicity leads to low self-esteem and poor mental health among teens and adults.

As an African immigrant, you can boost your self-esteem and mental health through positive affirmation — by continually reminding yourself about the accomplishment of the black community, you’d develop a sense of pride which would boost your mental health in the long run.

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Studies have shown that having a sense of belonging, a feeling of pride, and a secure attachment to your ethnic group could lead to success, academic achievement, and also reduce your chances of visiting a psychiatric clinic.

Here’s the thing — living in the western world as a black folk is not easy — especially if you’re an immigrant or a first generation immigrant.

People who don’t have a strong tie to their ethnicity, but have a strong perception of discrimination are likely to experience a feeling of hopelessness.

Furthermore, the effects of ethnic identity are independent of your gender, age, and economic status.

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Achieve More By Accepting Who You Are

Self-acceptance is the first step towards mental health. And by recognizing your uniqueness, you’d be able to see the beauty in others, thereby fostering a greater interpersonal relationship in your neighborhood.

When you accept yourself, the mental barrier would be broken. And others would become more attracted to who you are and what you represent.

To reprogram your mind and start developing the self-acceptance mantra, you should eliminate all self-destructive phrases and start using words that remind you of your strengths.

The reality is — to get anything done in the United States or anywhere else around the world, you’ve got to love yourself.

Without self-love, people would hardly see you for who you are. You’ll be radiating a false reflection of yourself into the world.

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