Are you watching out for your mental health?

Making time for your mental health may be difficult. Fatigue and stress set in, work takes over, and you’re oftentimes unable to spend the time you need to recover. However, making a mindful and intelligent effort, you can meet these needs. This article from the Winnipeg Free Press [1], has a couple of great tips in it that I’ll share here.

Understanding the foundation of positive mental health can help us think about the things we can do to work toward a more flourishing life every day. There are, of course, a whole variety of strategies that enhance positive mental health. But here are a few key tips:

• Stay active. Find ways to move your body more and reduce time spent sitting. Physical activity has been shown to improve sleep, increase concentration, improve mood and energy levels and reduce anxiety and stress.

• Nurture relationships. A large component of positive mental health is based on relationships with others. Some ways to connect with others in meaningful ways include finding like-minded individuals through hobby groups, sports teams, clubs, volunteering, spiritual organizations, etc. Take a reflective look at the relationships in your life and ask yourself if they are healthy and meaningful.

• Maintain hope and optimism. Find a few minutes each day to nurture your own personal needs and interests. A positive frame of mind helps us by cultivating a sense of gratitude, recognizing our own strengths and the strengths of others and re-framing challenging experiences in life as opportunities for growth.

• Find meaning in your life. Other ways to enhance and strengthen mental well-being is to ensure there are things in your life every day that bring meaning. If we are constantly trudging along meeting everyone else’s demands, we will soon feel depleted and resentful.

It’s especially important to be considering how to care for your mind in the modern era. We’re constantly barraged with the nuances of social interaction, many of our actions are public, and even what we consider our private lives have a level of scrutiny. A recent Huffington Post [2] article states:

Close to 10 million Americans suffer from chronic depression, bipolar disorder, or another serious mental illness. Depression alone is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In the United States, mental illness — including depression — takes an enormous toll on health outcomes, quality of life, and economic productivity.

Despite its importance, mental illness is often poorly understood and subject to misperceptions by the general population, government officials, and even those who suffer from mental illness. Partially as a consequence, just under one-third of individuals with serious mental illness — defined as diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders that result in functional impairment — go untreated in the United States. In 2014, an estimated 44.7% of the 43.6 million adults with any mental illness, and 68.5% of the 9.8 million adults with serious mental illness received mental health services in the past year

For more about it, check out the original articles here and here. For more about mental health, check out our article on childhood anxiety, or its second part on depression here.

[1]Winnipeg Free Press
[2]Huffington Post
[Original Image]PixaBay

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