In recent years, it seems as though the stigma is lifting from the topic of mental health. This is an amazing development for everyone, really. It’s safe to talk about and foster good mental health. And if you’re having issues, you can discuss and address them without stigmatization.
So now, let’s talk about getting healthy.
You don’t need a mental health disorder in order to want to improve your mental health. Think of your mental health like a vehicle. If you don’t actively maintain it, it will decline. You’ll start seeing warning signs that are difficult to ignore. Your mental health works much in the same way.
So, if you’ve been neglecting your own maintenance, it may be time to actively work to improve your mental health. There’s no shame in this game.
Here are a few things you need to focus on in order to develop better mental health.
Many people separate mental health from physical health, but this is a mistake. It’s all connected, and when one is in distress, the other will show signs.
Have you ever gotten a knot in your stomach when you’re worrying about something? This is proof that the mind and body are connected.
If you want to be mentally healthy, take care of your physical body by eating right, exercising and staying away from things that detract from your health. Such things may include smoking, drinking alcohol or doing drugs.
If you have trouble quitting any of those things, it’s time to make it a priority. Research types of treatment that may work for you and get help.
When you’re trying to be your best mentally, it’s important to surround yourself with positive people. Avoid anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself in any way. Even if these people are family members, do your best to steer clear until you feel mentally healthy again. Once you’re there, you can spend time sparingly with these people.
Your coping mechanisms
Aside from taking care of your body, one of the best things you can do to take care of your mind is to find healthy coping mechanisms.
When stress attacks, what do you do? Do you have a plan? If not, you’re likely to do something like have a panic attack or curl up into a ball until the moment subsides. These are not healthy coping mechanisms.
Consider taking up yoga or meditation to help you cope with stress. In addition, breathing practices can help you get through acute stress at the moment. The practice of breathing slowly can slow your pulse and in turn, slow your mind.
We’re all creatures of habit to some extent, but if your routine is running your life, it may be time for a change. Whenever we step out of our comfort zone, we’re forced to take our minds out of autopilot. This means being more aware and alert.
That’s not to say that you should completely buck your routine but try taking small steps outside of the box. For example, take a different route to or from work. Sit in a different chair at home. Make an effort to talk to someone you don’t know.
Once you get the hang of stepping your toes out of your comfort zone, try taking a leap. Do something that seems adventurous to you, whether it’s taking a tango class or jumping out of an airplane.
Mental health is equally as important as physical health, but we can’t forget that the two work in harmony. If you have a bad habit that’s getting in the way of your mental or physical health, try to stop. You’ll feel a lot better when you do.