Although stigmatized and overlooked, mental health is crucial to our overall well-being. It combines our emotional intelligence, coping skills, and resilience to face life's challenges. But, just like our physical health, our mental wellness can suffer too. It could be inherited or due to societal stressors and tragic life experiences.
A shaken mental state can affect our relationships, career, and physical health. However, we can take essential steps to keep our mental health in good shape. Here are several ways that can help:
Have you ever noticed how some people seem to effortlessly radiate positivity, even in the face of challenging situations? It's not that they don't have bad days. But they choose to stay positive and hopeful. It enables them to overcome obstacles and enjoy life's simple pleasures.
A positive mindset can do wonders for your mental health and overall well-being. It involves training your brain to focus on the good things and finding opportunities even when you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You can try positive affirmations, make gratitude lists, read inspiring stories or quotes, and practice mindfulness. It will help you focus on the present moment without judgment or expectations.
Mental health doesn't show physical symptoms like a broken arm or the flu. But that doesn't mean it isn't real. If you're overwhelmed and can't seem to put yourself back together, seek professional help.
Find a nurse practitioner with a holistic approach to mental health so they can focus on the root cause of your issues. The therapist should also examine how your lifestyle, relationships, and career affect your mental health.
Therapy can be incredibly helpful and inspiring. It provides an opportunity to:
Besides medical assistance, having a strong support network is another way to protect your mental health. It's important to find people who will understand and motivate you to become your best self. These people should listen without judgment and be there to celebrate your successes. It could be your childhood friends, family members, colleagues at work, or even like-minded people you meet online.
When your social circle is non-toxic, it becomes easier to discuss growth opportunities, relationship struggles, and life in general. So, you don't always have to highlight what you're going through to feel better.
We all know at least some benefits of physical activities. Regular exercise has been associated with improved moods, better sleep, and higher self-esteem. So, there's more to physical exercise than just staying fit.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These are natural mood boosters that help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. It doesn't have to be anything intense or time-consuming. Even a brisk walk around the block or a few minutes of stretching can significantly affect how you feel.
Understanding what makes us feel good is a big part of managing our mental health. If traveling the world makes you feel better, save up and plan a trip. Or, if painting helps you express yourself better, pick up a brush and start painting.
It could also be something small like reading an inspiring book during lunch break or listening to a podcast that teaches something new.
Some activities, like spending time in nature, can be incredibly calming and therapeutic.
We often overlook how much of an impact our diet has on our mental health. While cheese-dipped fries may bring instant gratification, they won't do you any favors in the long run. Studies claim that fast food consumption can hamper the signaling of neurotransmitters, leading to depression. You may also feel hurried and anxious after eating unhealthy snacks.
So, do your best to incorporate more nutritious foods into your diet, such as leafy greens, whole grains, and lean proteins. They help nourish your brain and influence how you think and feel.
When life seems too tough, alcohol and drugs may be viable solutions to temporarily forget the pain. They make you feel good temporarily, but this feeling wears off quickly and can lead to addiction.
Moreover, excessive alcohol use has been associated with increased risks of depression and anxiety.
So, it's best to avoid using alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism. Instead, practice healthier methods such as mindfulness or deep breathing to ground yourself in difficult times. You can also talk to someone you trust about what's bothering you.
Burnout is a real issue. You'll eventually crash if you're constantly biting off more than you can chew. So, try to prioritize self-care and ensure it's in your schedule. Give yourself dedicated time and space to unwind without feeling any guilt.
Take breaks during the day, disconnect from work emails at night, or spend time with yourself. You can also consider disconnecting from social media platforms. According to Help Guide, constant exposure to news feeds can lead to feelings of inadequacy and a fear of missing out. You might feel like you're not doing enough or can't keep up with all that's happening in the world.
So, why put yourself through that?
Have you managed to figure out what triggers your negative emotions? It's important to identify them and create a plan of action for managing them.
For example, if being in crowded places makes you anxious, practice deep breathing or take a break when you start to feel overwhelmed. Or, if you're constantly bombarded with negative comments, limit the amount of time you spend talking to that person.
At times, it can be hard to recognize our stress triggers. In such cases, try journaling or talking to a therapist for more insight.
Your mental health is precious. So, make it your mission to take better care of it. While medical assistance is always an option, there are plenty of self-care practices that can help you stay positive and productive. From understanding the impact of food on your mental health to taking breaks and unplugging, you can adopt many lifestyle changes for a better life. Take one step at a time, and you'll soon be the happiest version of yourself. You got this.