How To Prioritize Your Mental Health

Millions of Americans suffer from mental illness, and changes in the global environment are having an influence on how children and adults deal with, treat, and discuss mental health. Anxiety, sadness, addiction, and substance misuse are among the mental illnesses that affect one in five American people each year. Many people continue to suffer with untreated mental health illnesses despite younger generations’ efforts to de-stigmatize mental disease and Americans’ increased focus on mental health. In 2020, just 46.2% of American individuals with mental illness received therapy, and the yearly treatment rates for males are considerably lower (37.4%) than those for women (51.2%). This article will help you discover how to prioritize your mental health.

Tips On How To Prioritize Your Mental Health

Setting mental health as a priority takes ongoing work. Our brains require the same care and consideration as our bodies do in order to function properly, just as they do. The basic tenets of health are sometimes overlooked yet are incredibly potent when it comes to maintaining mental wellness. But let’s say you have undetected or untreated mental disease. In such scenario, you ought to seek medical advice or go see a clinical mental health specialist to learn more about your alternatives for therapy.

Eat For The Mind

Trauma is not who we are. Our brain chemistry is not who we are. We are so much more than that, while that is a part of who we are. You become what you consume. When it comes to mental health, this notion is utterly true. Gut health and brain chemistry are influenced by diet and nutrition. Recent research demonstrates that the human microbiota and stomach function as a “second brain.” According to the same research, functional bowel issues such constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, discomfort, and stomach distress as well as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may cause emotional changes in sufferers of these conditions.

For many years, scientists and medical professionals believed that despair and anxiety led to these issues. The Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology’s director, Jay Pasricha, M.D., claims that our investigations and others’ data suggest that it may possibly be the other way around. According to this study, stomach discomfort may cause the central nervous system to produce signals that cause mood swings and may exacerbate mental health conditions. You can: To maintain a healthy gut, which in turn supports mental wellness:

  • Cut back on processed and sugary meals.
  • Eat more fermented foods or take prebiotics and probiotic supplements.
  • Identify any food intolerances you may have and eliminate them from your diet.
  • Eat more fresh produce, other whole foods, and other healthy foods.
  • Eat foods high in fibre.

Improve Your Chemistry By Working Out

A healthy diet and exercise are two examples of self-care. Sometimes it involves relaxing or spending time with loved ones. And occasionally it involves binge-watching an entire TV season in a single weekend while lounging about in pyjamas. anything that calms your soul.

According to recent studies, regular exercise and physical activity have an influence on more than just our bodies. It improves mental health and increases the hormones in your body that give you a sense of fulfilment, happiness, and contentment. A statistically significant, favourable link between physical activity or exercise and mental health was discovered in 89% of the 1,158 papers that researchers reviewed. General physical activity, cardiovascular/aerobic physical activity, and yoga were three main workouts that were strongly associated with improved mental health. It may seem difficult to get up and move your body if you’re dealing with depression or other mental disease symptoms. You may include regular exercise into your routine in a number of ways, such as:

  • Try out various workouts and focus on the ones that make you happy.
  • Find a walking or virtual yoga buddy who will accompany you on your outings.
  • Create an exercise schedule on your calendar to commit to moving more.
  • Pay more attention to how you feel after exercising than how it can permanently change your physique.

Never Undervalue The Impact Of Sleep

The same level of assistance should be given to mental and physical health because they are both equally vital. People frequently underrate the importance of sleep. The quantity and quality of our sleep have a big influence on how our bodies and minds work. Every stage of the sleep cycle has an impact on brain health, promoting improved reasoning, memory, and learning. Additionally, studies demonstrate that sleep deprivation makes mental health conditions like melancholy, anxiety, schizophrenia, and ADHD worse. If you want to create a comprehensive strategy to enhance your mental health, you may start by enhancing the quality of your sleep by doing the following:

  • Establish a regular bedtime, turn off technology before bed, block out extra light, and solely use your bedroom for rest and relaxation to practice “sleep hygiene.”
  • To sooth your mind before night, try cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • Keep a sleep diary and note how much sleep you get each night and how it affects how you feel during the day or week.

Watch What You Drink

Wash the day off with a shower. Take a sip of water. Darken the space. Close your eyes as you lay down. Take note of the quiet. Aware of your heart. ongoing heartbeat Fighting on. You did succeed after all. You survived another day. And you may add another. You’re doing well.

Although eating a balanced diet is essential for any mental health journey, being aware of what you drink may have an even greater influence. According to some, drinking too much alcohol or coffee might make mental health problems worse. According to Alexander Blount, a psychologist and retired professor of family medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, drinking alcohol raises one’s chance of developing depression, and drinking alcohol raises one’s risk of developing depression. Additionally, Bount claims that consuming too much coffee throughout the day might exacerbate already-present stress and anxiety symptoms. Try the following to enhance your connection with these substances:

  • Fill a number of huge water bottles, then empty them all before the day is up.
  • Alcohol and caffeine should be avoided at least 4-6 hours before bed.
  • Attempt to use coffee and alcohol on fewer days each week or month.
  • Replace your favourite alcoholic or caffeinated beverages with enticing substitutes like flavoured or sparkling water or alcohol- and caffeine-free options.

Spend Money On Your Social Network

You don’t have to, shouldn’t, or have to perform your inner work alone just because no one else can cure you or do it for you. Humans are inherently social beings that want for belonging and connection in order to feel satisfied and fulfilled. People all throughout the world struggled with social isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 epidemic. According to studies, social connection is associated with mental wellbeing, while a lack of it is associated with increased rates of smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity. A 50% greater likelihood of lifespan was positively connected with strong social ties. The same studies also demonstrate that those who are profoundly linked had lower rates of anxiety and despair, higher levels of self-esteem and empathy, as well as improved emotional and physical wellbeing. You can: to improve your connections and social well-being:

  • To stay in touch with friends and family even when life becomes busy, set up a day and time to call them.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities or sports to meet new people and form a network of like-minded people.
  • Plan gatherings and hangouts to preserve enduring relationships and fulfil promises.
  • When you feel lonely or alone, connect with distant friends and family via video calls, group chats, and social media platforms.

Take up Mindfulness Training

Like clouds in a windy sky, emotions change with time. My mooring is conscious breathing. Mindfulness techniques are becoming more popular, and meditation is becoming more widely accepted. However, a lot of individuals find it difficult to take a seat and set aside some time to do nothing but breathe. Establishing a mindfulness practise is like joining a mental gym. When you first go back to the gym, the exercises could feel taxing and difficult, but as you practise more consistently, you get stronger. Meditation is the same way. According to sources, meditation is supported by research and has several advantages, such as boosting attention and concentration, enhancing self-awareness and self-esteem, reducing stress and anxiety, and even increasing compassion. Regular meditation has also been demonstrated to lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety and depressive symptoms, and reduce stress. You may begin a mindfulness practise of your own by:

  • Locate a peaceful area where you won’t be bothered.
    Start off small with a 2-minute meditation and increase it gradually to 5, 10, or 20 minutes.
  • Use an app to help you with your meditation, such as Insight Timer or Headspace.
  • Establish a daily meditation period (in the morning or at night).
  • To find the type of meditation that works best for you, experiment with a variety of practices, such as body-scan meditation, mindful breathing, and walking meditation.

Create a routine

Regaining your power via self-care is possible. Implementing a regular practice can help you make putting your mental health first part of your everyday life. The use of routines to promote lifestyle modifications that eventually improve a patient’s health and quality of life is encouraged by healthcare professionals. It takes time to develop good habits; you must make a conscious effort every day to change your behaviour. It takes preparation to include the recommendations from the list above, such as a new dietary regimen, exercise programme, sleeping pattern, and daily meditation. Start with the advice in the following section from the book Atomic Habits to create habits that stick:

  • Make new behaviours clear, appealing, simple, and enjoyable to promote consistency (Ex. prepare healthy foods that taste good ahead of time)
  • By combining a new habit with an existing one, try habit stacking (Ex. meditate right after you brush your teeth)
  • Change your surroundings to discourage bad behaviours and promote new ones (Ex. charge your phone outside of your bedroom before you go to sleep)
  • Create a tribe of healthy people who will encourage and support you.
  • Create a habit tracker and record each accomplishment of a beneficial behaviour (Ex. mark down your workouts on a calendar)
  • When you achieve, pamper yourself (Ex. if you successfully meditate every day of the month, treat yourself to a healthy purchase or experience)

Establish Limits At Work

Saying no to things I don’t want to do is a part of who I am. I ask myself often during the day, “Do I really want to do this?” I don’t do anything if the response is no. And neither should you. The line separating personal and professional lives frequently blurs as more businesses and employees adopt remote work arrangements. Higher stress levels brought on by work may have negative effects on mental health. Set limits that safeguard your time away from the workplace if you’re feeling overburdened with work. Start by putting the following into practise to achieve a better work-life balance:

  • Discuss your workload and available time with your manager in an honest and transparent manner.
  • Establish defined office hours and avoid checking emails or working after hours.
  • Utilize your time off and your newly discovered meditation techniques to reduce work-related intrusive thoughts.
  • Write down your values and rank the things that are most important to you—work, relationships, health, etc.—then conduct your life in accordance with those principles by making time for the things that matter most to you.

Confront Your Negative Self-talk

Start paying attention to how you speak to yourself. These conversations will reveal your level of self-awareness, self-respect, and lack of healthy boundaries. One of the most effective methods for change is to reframe negative ideas. There are several advantages to your health from reframing negative ideas as good ones. The Mayo Clinic claims that positive thinking can lengthen life, reduce the chance of depression, enhance cardiovascular health, and improve coping mechanisms under pressure. By doing the following, you may begin challenging negative ideas and swapping them out with constructive ones:

  • Decide which of the following describes your negative self-talk:
  • Filtering: Exclusively focusing on a situation’s drawbacks while ignoring its advantages.
  • Personalizing: Believing that you are the only one to blame for negative outcomes.
  • Catastrophizing is the automatic assumption of the worst case scenario.
  • Having a binary perspective on events, with little room for middle ground.
  • Choose which negative ideas you need to reframe.

Consult A Mental Health Counselor

The best part of treatment, in my opinion, is when the therapist points out your blind spots. It’s unpleasant and uncomfortable, but it offers you something to work with. A clinical mental health counsellor has received training in assisting people, families, and organisations in overcoming obstacles and achieving their objectives. Consulting a professional may help you create objectives, look into treatment choices, and put into action significant changes that enhance your quality of life if you’re dealing with mental health issues.

Learn more about the human mind, discover yourself and remain motivated with Evolve! If you liked our article, try the Evolve App to help you move on and focus on your growth. Evolve has a range of guided audios that help you proactively manage stressreduce anxiety and make mindfulness light and joyful, so you can be balanced at any time! The Evolve app is now live globally on Android and Apple. Click here to try it for free!