Now more than ever, mental wellbeing is essential.
According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five Americans suffers from mental health issues, in other words, more than 40 million adults annually.
When it comes to your grey matter, there’s no understating the importance of mental health. Your psychological health encompasses the epitome of your entire emotional and social wellbeing, meaning it affects how you feel, think, and behave every day.
Here’s why it’s important to care for your mental health.
Why Emotional Health Matters
Your mental and emotional wellbeing are a core aspect of your life and impact everything from your thoughts and behaviors to your emotions. Having healthy emotional wellbeing facilitates the foundation for everything in your lifestyle. It supports your productivity and effectiveness in all ventures like work, school, and caregiving. It also plays an essential role in your relationships, allowing you to adapt to changes in your life and cope with challenges.
How we cope with stress, relate to others, and our decision-making processes are all intrinsically linked to why mental health is important.
Simple Ways to Better Care for Your Mental Health
Improving your mental health starts from within, and there are steps you can take to boost it. Start with small changes that establish a routine and promote a healthy lifestyle, such as eating a balanced diet, building healthy relationships, taking breaks when needed, and getting enough rest. All these individual elements lay the groundwork for a much healthier and happier outlook on life.
The act of practicing self-care will help you live well and improve your emotional and mental wellbeing. Every small act of self-care can have a significant impact.
Here are some tips to get you started with self-care:
- Take an afternoon stroll: Regular exercise gets all those feel-good hormones pumping. Just a 30 minute walk each day can boost your mood and improve your health. Take a stroll over your lunchbreak to beat that afternoon slump.
- Eat strategically: Food is vital to your health – especially your brain health. Some of the foods you should eat more of for greater emotional wellbeing includes dark chocolate, berries, banana, oats, and anything with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Sync up with your body’s sleep cycle: It’s essential to make sleep a priority, but syncing with your body’s natural sleep cycle is even more important. By doing so, you naturally wake up feeling more refreshed because you’re waking up at the end of a sleep cycle and not in the middle of one. This website is useful for determining what time you should go to bed to sync with this cycle.
- Spend time with the right people: The people you spend the most time with have the biggest impact on your mental health. Along with taking time for yourself regularly, think twice about who you spend your extra time with. How do you feel once you leave them? If the answer is drained and upset, it’s time to rethink who has access to your time and energy.
- Retrain your mind: Practicing gratitude isn’t a new concept but it’s still one of the best ways to change your headspace. When you find yourself thinking negatively, reframe the situation by focusing on the potential positives. If that doesn’t work, try listing 3 things you are grateful for in general to slowly move out of a negative headspace.
When Is It Time To Reach Out For Help?
Mental health is different for everyone, but if you notice any significant changes in your overall behavior and mood, it might be time to reach out for help.
Here are some options:
Connect with other people, friends, and family: Reaching out and opening up to other people in your life can give you the emotional support you need.
Learn more about mental health: Education is key to problem-solving. You can use many online resources to learn more about emotional health, like the National Institute of Mental Health and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Talk to a professional: If you are starting to feel like your emotional or mental health is impacting how you function daily, it may be time to reach out for professional support. Speak to a doctor about getting a mental health assessment or see a psychologist or psychiatrist to get the personalized support you need.
Ensuring that you know the importance of your mental health supports living your best life. Book a consultation on the Air Doctor app to speak to a medical professional who can help you.