Shame and fear! These feelings discourage individuals from discussing their mental health issues with a doctor. Living a healthy, productive life depends on much more than what you think of as “physical” health—mental health matters just as much as physical health. Sadly, mental illness still carries a stigma in our society.
If you notice any symptoms of mental health problems, inform your doctor. Your doctor will help you develop a treatment plan or refer you to a specialist, whether you experience common disorders like depression or more rare illnesses like schizophrenia.
Begin by being honest with your doctor as their office is a safe space to share your concerns, and there are a lot of reasons you should take mental health seriously. These reasons include the following:
Mental health problems are more widespread than you think
While disorders vary in severity, in any given year, about one in six Americans suffer from some mental health problem. Sadly, so many people don’t seek support.
Your mental health problems can influence your physical health
Mental health is easy to think of as being different from physical health, but your brain is part of your body. The underlying source of many physical symptoms is mental illness. For example, the doctor may want to rule out depression, anxiety or other psychiatric disorders as a possible cause if you have insomnia, heart palpitations or exhaustion.
The American Heart Association has issued a statement in recent years to illustrate the severity, proposing that stress be considered a risk factor for poor outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndrome.
Diseases or injuries may increase the risk of mental disorders
Just as mental illness can cause symptoms in the body, other conditions can increase your risk of mental disorder. These conditions include cancer, multiple sclerosis, stroke, diabetes, Parkinson’s epilepsy, and more. Trauma, including injuries to the brain, is also linked to the conditions that can increase your risk of mental illness. The good news is that doctors are becoming more mindful of these links and are monitoring patients for them.
Early detection makes a big difference
As in most medical problems, early diagnosis typically leads to better results. Getting the treatment you require instantly will help prevent the symptoms of mental illness from getting worse. On the other hand, therapy will help you escape the adverse impact these symptoms have on your life, from strained relationships to career and financial management difficulties.
Tips on how to enhance your mental health
There is a lot more to mental health than a diagnosis. The manner at which you feel about yourself and others, as well as your ability to control your feelings and cope with daily challenges, is your overall psychological well-being.
While having to take care of your mental health can mean finding clinical assistance and treatment, it also means taking action to strengthen your emotional health on your own. Making these improvements will pay off in all facets of your life. It will improve your mood, create strength, and add to the overall pleasure of life. Below are a few tips on how to boost your mental health on your own:
Say good things to yourself
Research indicates that how you think of yourself can have a strong influence on how you feel. If we negatively view ourselves and our lives, we may end up seeing experiences in a way that reinforces that notion. Instead, practice using terms that inspire feelings of self-worth and personal strength.
“For instance, rather than saying,” I’m a loser like that or I’m not going to get the job because I crashed the interview, “try saying things like,” I did not do as well as I would have loved in the interview, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to get the job.
Concentrate on one thing at a time
Being aware of the current moment that encourages one to let go of negative or complicated feelings weighing us down from past experiences. Start by raising awareness of everyday activities, such as showering, having lunch, or walking home. It helps you concentrate by paying attention to the physical stimuli, sounds, smells, or tastes of these encounters. Just put your mind back to what you are doing, when it wanders.
Write down something for which you are thankful for
Appreciation has been explicitly associated, as well as happiness, with enhanced well-being and mental health. Holding a gratitude journal or writing a regular gratitude list is the best-researched tool for increasing feelings of gratitude.
It is also productive to generally ponder appreciation but to experience long-term benefits; you need to have daily practices. Find something to be thankful for, let your heart be filled with it, and indulge in the emotion.
The body produces stress-relieving and mood-boosting endorphins before and after you exercise, which is why working out is a potent solution to stress, depression, and anxiety. Look for little ways to add exercise to your day, such as going on a quick walk or using the stairs as an alternative to the elevator.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to get the most value, and try to do it outside. Sunlight exposure helps the body develop vitamin D, which raises the amount of serotonin in the brain. Also, time in nature is a known reducer of stress.
What you eat nourishes all of your body, your brain included. Serotonin is a chemical that is known to have a calming impact on your mood. It is increased by carbohydrates (in moderate amounts). Norepinephrine, dopamine, and tyrosine, which help keep you alert, are increased by protein-rich foods.
Vegetables and fruits, including those that influence mood-regulating brain chemicals, are filled with nutrients that feed every cell in your body. Research indicates that these nutrients may boost mood and restore structural stability to the brain cells required for cognitive function, including foods with Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in fish, nuts, and flaxseed).
Talk to somebody
Knowing that others appreciate you is vital in helping you think more positively. Also, becoming more trusting will improve your emotional well-being because when you get better at seeing the good qualities of other people, you get better at understanding your own.
Do something for another person
Studies suggest that it has a beneficial effect on how you feel about yourself to be helpful to others. A perfect way to develop self-esteem is to be supportive, kind, and respected for what you do. Your life will improve, and the value you find in supporting others will broaden.
Take a break
In those times, when everything feels too much, step away and do something else until you feel a little better. Quick breathing practice is often the best thing to do: shut your eyes and take ten deep breaths. Count to four for each one as you inhale, keep it for a count of four, and then exhale for four more. This almost instantly works wonders.
Go to bed early
A complete body of research has shown that there is a significant negative impact of sleep deprivation on your mood. Try and go to bed every day at a reasonable hour, and practice healthy habits to sleep better. These involve shutting down computers for at least an hour before bed, using the bed for sleeping or relaxing activities only. Also, minimize the use of morning caffeinated beverages.
Get started today! You have the power to take concrete action in order to boost your endurance and mental health. Don’t wait to make your mental health a priority until you’re in a situation. Besides, when you feel good, it is easier to develop new habits, and when you need them, you can incorporate those behaviours. Select something that aligns with you from this article and try it. Putting practices, actions, and daily patterns slowly in place will make you feel better by continuous progress.