Mental Health America—an organization that has been around for more than a century now—released its annual State of Mental Health in America report recently. In it, MHA revealed that more than 44 million Americans are dealing with a mental health condition like depression or anxiety at the moment.
The good news is that about 20 million people are improving mental health issues by seeking out the necessary treatment. But unfortunately, that means that about 24 million people aren’t getting the treatment that they need to get their mental health issues under control.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health condition or not, it’s important for everyone to work on improving mental health for themselves. Your mental health is every bit as important as your physical health.
Here is a guide that will help you make your mental health more of a priority moving forward.
Begin By Getting A Good Understanding Of What Mental Health Is
For years, mental health wasn’t something that most people liked to talk about. As a result, there are a lot of people, both young and old alike, who don’t know what mental health is.
Mental health is, quite simply, a term that’s used to describe a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Your mental health affects everything from how you’re able to handle stress to what choices you make in your life.
There are still extensive studies being done on why some people have no mental health issues while others have multiple mental health conditions. But generally speaking, researchers believe the factors that lead to mental health conditions include:
- A person’s brain chemistry
- The life experiences that a person has
- A person’s family history as it pertains to mental health
They also believe that improving mental health is possible when people take the right steps to address any issues.
Seek Help If You Suspect You Have A Serious Mental Health Condition
As we mentioned a minute ago, everyone needs to be concerned about their mental health, regardless of whether they have a mental health condition or not. But it’s especially important for those who suspect they have issues to get the help they need.
Do you think that you might have a mental health condition? There are some common symptoms that you can keep an eye out for as far as mental health conditions are concerned. Look out for symptoms like:
- Eating too much or not eating enough
- Getting way too much sleep or struggling to sleep on a consistent basis
- Finding that you don’t have energy to take part in everyday activities
- Feeling hopeless or like your life doesn’t matter
- Turning to drugs and/or alcohol to numb the pain sometimes associated with certain mental health conditions
You should take the time to find help if you’ve noticed any of these symptoms in yourself. You should also try talking to loved ones about mental health if you see these symptoms in them.
Strengthen Your Relationships To See An Improvement In Your Mental Health
One great way to go about improving mental health is by making a strong effort to build solid relationships with others.
In theory, it might seem as though people are more connected with one another than ever before thanks to the rise of the internet and other forms of technology. But loneliness has turned into an epidemic in this country in recent years.
If you feel lonely a lot of the time, try spending more of your time hanging out with other people in person. The connections that you experience with them can go a long way towards improving mental health.
Make Your Mental Health Better By Exercising More Often
About 80% of Americans don’t exercise as often as they should. It’s one of the big reasons why so many people are overweight and even obese these days.
It’s also one of the reasons why mental health has turned into a problem for some people. Exercise can work wonders for a person’s mental health. So if you’re not getting enough of it, it could lead to a decline in your mental health overall.
You can improve your mental health and feel better about life in general by exercising at least a few times every week. You’ll start to feel the difference almost right away.
Eat Foods That Will Have A Positive Impact On Your Mental Health
You’ve probably heard the cliche, “You are what you eat,” a million times throughout the course of your life. But it’s true!
If you don’t eat healthy foods more often than not, you’re not going to be a healthy person, both in a physical and mental sense. This article breaks down some of the best foods to eat to keep yourself healthy.
It’s almost impossible to steer clear of eating junk foods all the time. But the more high-quality foods that you eat, the better off you and your health will be in the long run.
Start Conversations With Others About Mental Health
The mental health stigma that exists is very real. Even though it’s 2019, there are many people who refuse to talk about mental health or even acknowledge its existence.
Don’t let this be you!
You can fight the mental health stigma in a variety of ways. But the best way to do it might be by sharing your mental health experiences with others and talking openly about them.
You’ll feel better when you share your thoughts on mental health with family members and friends. You’ll also encourage them to speak on their own experiences with mental health.
This will help both of you when it comes to improving mental health.
Improving Mental Health Is A Never-Ending Task
Far too often, people try to treat mental health issues in the same way they treat physical ones. They think that they can just pop a pill and make mental health problems go away.
But it requires more work than that. Improving mental health is something people need to do throughout their lives without taking breaks. The more you work on improving your mental health, the better your results will be.
Learn more about mental health and find out other ways to improve it by checking out the articles on our blog.