Many of us immediately think about our hearts and muscles when the subject of health crops up. We know that we can prevent some physical health issues by looking after our bodies but we tend to pay less attention to mental health. We all have mental health, and there are many steps we can take to protect, nourish and manage wellbeing. In this guide, we’ll offer some tips to help you put your mental health first.
Recognizing the signs of mental health disorders
It’s natural for human beings to experience and display a range of emotions, such as fear, anxiety, sadness, frustration and anger, but it’s not healthy to go through prolonged periods of feeling stressed, down or helpless. It’s crucial to learn to recognize the signs of mental health disorders and to reach out for help or advice if you are struggling, or life has become increasingly difficult to navigate. If you’re turning to drink or taking drugs to help you cope with trauma in your life or pressure at home or work, you’re not sleeping, or it’s hard to summon up the energy to get out of bed in the morning, there is help available.
Mental health disorders can impact behavior, and they vary in severity. Facilities like Enterhealth provide specialist treatment for people who have mental health conditions and those who need assistance with addiction but there is also support and advice available for those who have milder symptoms. Talking therapies, medication, and self-help techniques can all help with managing stress, bouts of anxiety and panic attacks or depression. Don’t ever feel embarrassed or ashamed to see a doctor, to speak to a therapist, or to open up to a friend or family member. Many of us wouldn’t think twice about seeing a medical expert if we had a bad back or a leg injury but we’re reluctant to talk about our mental health. The sooner you seek help, the better.
Utilizing self-help techniques
It’s not always possible to rely on self-help techniques to alleviate or reduce the severity of symptoms of mental illness but most people can benefit from being proactive in protecting their psychological wellbeing. Simple things like exercising frequently, ensuring you get enough rest, spending time in the open air, seeing friends and relatives who make you feel happy and confident, and devoting more time to hobbies and interests can all have a positive impact.
Exercise is often associated with building muscle, losing weight and improving stamina and endurance but it can also provide incredible benefits for mental health. Being active triggers the release of endorphins, known as happy hormones, and levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain increase. Exercise can also be cathartic, and it can help you manage or express your emotions. From yoga, swimming or kayaking on a lake to make you feel calm and relaxed to boxing, sprinting or martial arts to channel anger or frustration, there are several activities to try. Physical activity is also a proven stress-buster, and it can aid sleep and make it easier to switch off and unwind after a hectic or difficult day.
Humans are naturally sociable creatures but the relationships we have with others can affect us in different ways. Some relationships make us feel incredible but others can be detrimental to our mental health. Try to surround yourself with positive people who make you feel good. Avoid those who put you down or make you feel anxious or worthless, and try not to compare yourself to others.
Studies show that having hobbies can reduce stress levels and help you process and express thoughts and feelings. From physical activities to creative pastimes, it’s beneficial to make time to do things you love. Whether you enjoy painting, fishing, writing, sewing, baking, gardening, hiking or Pilates, schedule time for your hobbies. Being in the fresh air is particularly beneficial for health and wellbeing.
We all have days when we feel upset, nothing seems to go our way or we feel a little flat for no apparent reason. There’s nothing to worry about if you experience a range of emotions but you may find that you develop symptoms or you go through prolonged periods when you don’t feel quite right as a result of changes in your life or triggers. It can be incredibly helpful to understand what makes you feel stressed, anxious or upset, and to learn to identify and avoid triggers. Stress at work, financial pressures, relationship troubles, health problems, and a lack of time can all affect us, and we have different ways of responding and reacting to triggers. In some cases, stressful situations and pressure can bring out the best in us but often, they have the opposite effect.
It can be beneficial to try to eliminate or dilute sources of stress or distress in your life. This is not always easy but if you know why you’re experiencing symptoms or signs of mental illness, it may be possible to protect your mental health and prevent the situation from getting worse. Don’t hesitate to speak to your employer if work is getting on top of you, or your work-life balance is out of sync. Spend less time with people who make you feel upset or uncomfortable. Seek help and advice for money troubles, and speak to people you trust or see a therapist if you’re keen to talk and open up. If you feel like things are bubbling up or getting too much, look after yourself. Get enough rest, take time out to enjoy activities that make you feel calmer and more relaxed, exercise, and lean on those closest to you.
We all have mental health but we tend to devote more time and attention to our bodies than our minds. Looking after your mental wellbeing can make all the difference. Seek advice if your behavior has changed, you experience symptoms such as feeling isolated, down or stressed for a prolonged period, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re struggling to cope. Take care of yourself, try to avoid triggers where possible, and be proactive in utilizing self-help techniques not only to reduce the severity of symptoms but also to enhance and nourish your psychological health.