For decades, the stigma around mental health conditions has prevented many people from talking about the issues they may be having and seeking professional help. Nowadays, however, the public is more open about discussing their emotional, psychological, and social well-being. This 2020, you should also begin taking care of yourself. Here are a few things you can do to improve your mental health:
Go to Therapy
If you are experiencing symptoms of mental health conditions or going through a tough time, you would benefit from undergoing therapy. There are many different types of therapy, and one of which is cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT). CBT a practical approach to problem-solving that focuses on changing patterns of thinking or behavior so an individual can approach and respond to difficult situations more effectively. Fortunately, you can find clinics that offer CBT in Westport and other parts of Connecticut.
However, even if you do not believe you have a mental illness, you will benefit from regularly seeing a therapist. A professional can help express your emotions and talk about uncomfortable things more openly, navigate big changes happening in your life, improve your relationships, and learn to appreciate yourself.
Make New Friends (or Strengthen Your Bond with the Ones You Already Have)
Humans are social creatures. We need other people to survive. It is unhealthy to isolate yourself because our brains crave companionship.
Creating a supportive circle of family and friends with whom you can share your problems and concerns without judgement would significantly improve your mental health. However, do not keep your relationships on social networks alone. Strive to take time out of your week to catch up with a friend over a cup of coffee or a glass of beer.
The people around you do not think that you are a burden if you confide in them about the difficulties you may be having. It would show them that, when they need a person to talk to, you would be open to comfort and support them. If you do not have someone you trust, you can build new connections by having positive interactions with people you see every day. Start by saying hello to the person serving your coffee or asking your co-worker about their weekend.
A Healthy Body Equals a Healthy Mind
There is evidence suggesting that physical health and fitness improve well-being. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are associated with happiness and stress relief. This is why exercise helps prevent or alleviate anxiety and depression.
Similarly, eating the right kinds of food can lift your mood. Carbohydrates increase serotonin, the chemical that keeps you calm. Fruits and vegetables give you the nutrients that feed every cell of your body, including those that regulate your mood. Most of all, sleep. Sleep allows your brain and your body to recharge so it can be ready to face the challenges for the next day.
Take a Break Every Once in a While
When things get too overwhelming, you need to step back and take a breath. There is nothing wrong with spending a few minutes of your busy day to care for yourself. Even if it is just a 30-minute pause during your lunch break, give yourself time to take a deep breath and relax.
When it comes to your mental health, the saying “prevention is better than cure” also applies. Do not wait until you have a mental health crisis to care for your well-being. You can start today by incorporating tiny, positive changes in your life. Get a journal and write about everything you are grateful for. Recognize something good about yourself. Your mental health is important, too.