5 Ways to Care for Your Mental Health

Everyone has mental health challenges. Perhaps you failed a test or didn’t make the basketball team. These may sound like normal experiences most people go through, but discouragement can negatively impact a person’s thoughts and produce the same symptoms people with depression suffer from.

There are also 57.8 million American adults living with mental illness. The majority have mild to moderate mental health issues, while 19.3% of these individuals have a serious mental illness that may require hospitalization or may prevent them from being able to work.

Whether you have a mental health diagnosis that will need ongoing treatment or are struggling with disappointment, there are some things you can do to improve your mental health.

1. Combat Stress

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A 2017 study revealed that 75% of Americans had experienced at least 1 symptom of stress in the month prior to the survey. 45% of respondents had difficulty sleeping. Many also felt irritable, anxious or angry. Prolonged stress can take a toll on a person’s physical health and mental well-being. You may be able to reduce your stress by eliminating the cause. Limit the amount of time you spend watching the news. If possible, reduce your spending so that you can improve your finances.

The constant activity in cities can interfere with your sleep and cause stress. You may benefit from taking a vacation to one of North Carolina’s mountain homes in Ashe County or making a permanent move. Spending time in nature has been proven to reduce stress and provide physical and emotional health benefits.

2. Seek Guidance

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Treatment for mental illness is crucial. Ignoring even minor mental health issues can have a long-term negative impact on your well-being. Addressing your issues can prevent the need for hospitalization. It can also equip you with the skills or resources that you need to manage your mental health issues from day-to-day.

You may benefit from talking to a friend or family member if you are experiencing disappointment. Receiving emotional support can keep the disappointment from escalating to the point where it produces serious symptoms. You may need to talk to a professional if your issues are serious. Counselors, therapists, social workers, and psychologists are all professionals who are equipped to offer guidance. They can help you develop coping strategies. Some of these professionals are qualified to prescribe medication and formally diagnose mental illness.

3. Focus on the Positive

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Your mindset can have a significant impact on your mental health. If you think negatively you are less likely to work to achieve your goals. You are also more likely to avoid activities or situations that make you happy. A negative outlook can lead to feelings of unworthiness and despair.

Turn to sources of inspiration with a positive emphasis. Buy a Common English Bible and mark favorite passages that reaffirm your self-worth. You can also print these verses out on paper and place them by your bathroom mirror, bedside and on your refrigerator so that you will have easy access to inspiring words when you need them.

4. Care for Your Physical Health

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Your physical health can impact your mental health. If you do not get enough sleep you can begin to struggle with fatigue and feel anxious. You may also find you’re short-tempered or have difficulty focusing, which can lead to relationship problems or issues at work.

Exercise is an effective way of improving your mood. Your body releases endorphins when you exercise. These endorphins can reduce stress and improve your mood. Consuming nutrient-rich foods can also improve your outlook. Consuming carbohydrates and protein can increase your levels of dopamine and serotonin. These natural chemicals are proven to promote positivity and mental health.

5. Find Your Purpose

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People need direction. When you set goals you provide yourself with a focus. Attaining these goals improves your sense of self-worth. When you succeed you will have a more positive outlook on life.

You do not need to limit yourself to one purpose. You can opt to make your goals small. One of your goals could be to compliment or encourage someone else every day. You could also have a goal to make healthier choices. This could mean walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Find ways to be successful. Experiencing these successes will help reduce feelings of discouragement. You will have a more positive outlook and feel a sense of fulfillment. You will also have the confidence to set new goals.

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