Practical Ways to Improve Your Mental Health and Become Your Best Self
Mental illness is a silent epidemic that’s not getting as much publicity as it deserves. Sure, the government has set up agencies and there are many nonprofits promoting and fighting for the cause. Yet, for something that affects over 50 million American adults –that’s more than 20 percent of the population, it should get a lot more attention.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Many individuals dealing with mental health issues are often just given a prescription for specific pills and sent on their way. Sadly, this has contributed to a rise in opioid and other addictions that are further plaguing our country.
Many individuals are talking about the mental hardships that they went through at the height of the lockdown, including children. In fact, there’s a subtle shift in perspective regarding the state of things in the world. Many are now unsure of the certainty of things.
The fact that it took just one pandemic to threaten the very existence of humanity has shaken many. While all these can be somewhat overwhelming, the good news is all is not lost. You may not be able to do anything about the world out there. However, you can do something about your state of mind. In this post, you’ll learn coping mechanisms, strategies and Practical Ways to Improve Your Mental Health.
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
It may look bleak right now, but the truth is you’ve got something to be grateful for. There’s one thing in your life that’s working. How about you focus on that for now. Every morning and evening, think about this and express some gratitude for it.
Sometimes, people are depressed because they feel that nothing is going well in their lives. Please note that this type of depression is different from clinical depression. That monster is a chemical issue, and medications have been known to ease the symptoms.
Depression that is brought on by feelings of lack, scarcity, worry, anxiety, failure, and sorrow can be easily rectified by a simple mind shift. So, if you’re willing, how about you try just being grateful for what’s working in your life over the next week.
If you find yourself falling into familiar negative patterns of self-criticism and derision, stop yourself and talk about the good things in your life. Start journaling and just writing about the good stuff.
And whenever you’re feeling down, pick up the journal and remember that what you wrote there is true. With time, you will find that your mood will lift and you’ll feel much better.
Eat Brain Enhancing Foods
You probably don’t know this, but your foods may be affecting your mental health. Studies have shown that foods that are high in refined sugar can affect your brain function, and affect your moods. Some of these foods have been linked to depression.
Consider this for a moment: isn’t it weird that the number of people who were suffering from depression drastically increased when fast foods became a staple? Just think about that for a minute.
According to Northwest Primary Care, you can improve your mental health and lower your risk of depression by as much as 35 percent if you just ate healthily. So, maybe there’s some truth to the speculation that junk food and high-sugar diets might just be a contributory factor to your mental health.
So, start eating better. Cut out the junk food, soda, or any drink with high fructose corn syrup, and just eat more natural foods. Then see how you feel.
Since 90 percent of the serotonin in your body is made in the gut, it makes sense that if you’re able to give the gut the necessary ingredients to produce serotonin, your moods might become better and you just might be less depressed.
This might sound like generic advice but too many people spend too much time sitting or lying down. Humans were not created to be sedentary. You’re more likely to become sad, gloomy, give in to mental torture, or become depressed if you spend too much time sitting on your behind.
Studies have shown that when we sit for too long, the body starts mimicking the state of death. Everything, including your bodily processes, starts to slow down.
This is why you’ll notice that you tend to feel dull, tired, lethargic, and “down” when you’ve been sitting or lying down for too long. In fact, sitting for too long is now the new smoking.
This is why you need to start doing more physical activities. If you haven’t been exercising, start with something as simple as walking for 20-30 minutes a day. You’ll find that doing this provides the immediate benefit of an improved sense of well-being.
This is because of the dopamine and endorphins that flood your body when you exercise. Once you get comfortable with walking, graduate to doing more intense exercises. People who work out frequently tend to cope better with mental health issues than those who don’t.
Share Your Pain
The increased awareness of mental health issues has led to a huge outpouring online. People are telling their stories and are finding healing from being open about their issues.Share on social media and use the hashtag #mentalillnessfeelslike and others like it. Thi helps people to learn and become more hopeful. Click To Tweet
If there’s one thing this openness and transparency has brought, it’s that the feeling of taboo surrounding the topic of mental health has been lifted. Also, it’s helped people who are going through this realize that they are not alone; that there’s hope and they can actually get the help they need.
In fact, some people whose mental illnesses were caused by terrible domestic abuse situations have gotten the help they needed from family law lawyers, healthcare organizations, and even law enforcement agents who got them out of the situation so they could start healing and living again. So you can try this form of therapy.
The good thing is it can be anonymous. Thanks to platforms like Twitter, you can tell your story and unburden yourself to the world, without really revealing your identity. The outpouring of love from well-wishers on these platforms has helped many recover, start their healing process, and actually stay on track.
If you’re struggling with mental health issues, don’t fret, and don’t be ashamed. Help is available if you’re willing to just take one step.