6 habits for better mental health
May 7, 2018, 2:35 PM | Updated: May 15, 2018, 12:01 am
According to the CDC, almost 50 percent of Americans will develop at least one mental illness over their lifetime. Anxiety, depression, and overall stress is on the rise amongst Americans and getting access to affordable healthcare isn’t getting any easier.
The stigma of mental health issues will subside the more we bring the topic out into the open and discuss it as a facet of one’s overall health. The World Health Organization cites the cost of mental health as one of the largest economic burdens in the world, with the actual cost harder to pin down than any other illness.
There does seem to be some lifestyle changes to support better mental health. We’ve compiled six healthy habits that you can enact today to bring yourself to a better state of mind.
Mental well-being is often directly linked to physical health. If you struggle with your weight or overall body image, it can add to the burden of psychological problems you may be experiencing.
Obesity is a great unspoken epidemic in the US, and the effects of obesity and depression go hand in hand. In fact, they can often trigger or escalate each other and lead to a further spiral.
Make small adjustments to eat better for a more sustainable way to treat yourself right. Try trading your daily soda habit for sparkling water. Rid your pantry of processed chips and crackers and replace them with easy-grab veggies and hummus. By getting prepared with healthy alternatives, it’s easier to set yourself up for success.
Create an exercise routine
Sometimes the best prescription for some mental health issues can be as simple as getting your heart rate going. Exercise is a powerful tool to ease anything from depression, PTSD, anxiety, and more. The best part is, it doesn’t take a 10-mile run or a heavy lifting session to experience the benefits of exercise.
It can be hard to be inspired to move about if you’re experiencing exhaustion, pain or are hopelessly overwhelmed. Overcoming the mental hurdles of beginning exercise can often be more challenging than the work out itself.
Set yourself up for success by starting small. Tell yourself you’ll go for a 5-minute walk today. Maybe increase it to 10 minutes tomorrow. The confidence and energy that you gain from exercise will inspire you to keep going for longer each time.
Spend time meditating
From addiction to depression, to eating disorders, those experiencing challenges with their mental health can benefit immensely from a meditation practice. Millions of people who have practiced meditation over thousands of years have come to the same conclusion; meditation and mindfulness work to ease challenges accompanied with mental well-being.
A simple meditation program takes just a few minutes of the day and can make a powerful difference. If you have trouble knowing where to start, there are a few mobile apps that offer free guided meditations to help you find your best practice.
If you think you only have five minutes to spare…take those five minutes. Let your mind wander, allow random thoughts to come in, and simply spend time in the moment.
Create a gratitude journal
Gratitude has a surprising impact on your overall well-being. Benefits include everything from more patience, to improved self-care, to better relationships.
Find a blank journal and try the “Three Good Things” approach to writing every single day. By choosing three things that made you feel grateful that day, you bring yourself one step closer to happiness with every entry.
If you’re experiencing an episode, make a point to check in and be honest with yourself about what is heightening your stress. Maybe it’s certain people, locations or activities that can trigger a reaction that puts you in an uncomfortable place. If you feel yourself heading into an episode of stress or anxiety, prepare yourself with one-minute stress techniques like focused breathing and tension release. Knowing you have the tools to alleviate the pressures that lead to breakdowns can make getting through the day a little bit easier.
Know when it’s time to ask for help
Even with all the best practices and self-awareness, the challenges of mental health can sometimes be too much to overcome on your own. The best thing you can do for your mental health is known when it’s time to ask for help.
When choosing a wellness care center, it’s important to find one with a philosophy that works for you. Healthcare facilities, such as Copper Springs, that take a holistic approach to mental health can create meaningful changes to ensure lifelong success. By working closely with patients and using advanced technology to develop recovery programs, Copper Springs is able to offer personalized wellness programming that can help you maintain your highest state of mental health.
Copper Springs is dedicated to helping our patients face challenges with mental health and addiction and build a better life in recovery. Our multi-disciplinary team approach makes a wide range of support resources available to those who are ready for help. Copper Springs Inpatient and Outpatient services are designed to provide an intensive, highly structured treatment program for patients. Our programs address all aspects of an individual’s life including mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, cognitive and social elements. We strive to offer more opportunities to conquer new challenges and achieve new victories- important steps on the way to a better life.