Baby steps to improve your mental health

One of the most overlooked aspects of our lives would be our mental health. The reason that it was not taken seriously over the past years is that it doesn’t scar someone physically. You can’t put a caste around your problems to make it better like we do to fix broken bones. It doesn’t get better with a band-aid but the norms have changed drastically through the years. Previously, there was no concept of being stressed or depressed. A person going through a bad phase was considered to be ‘insane’. But now people are understanding the importance of being in a good mental space. Mental health awareness programs are taken seriously and people are being more cautious about each other’s feelings.

About 60 to 70 percent of the world’s population right now is going through one thing or the other. Worried about work, home or relationships. This stress leads to depression which is harder to get out of. Most of the time, there is no way to tell what a person is going through or if they need any sort of help. Except when they decide to open up about it themselves. A lot of people don’t even realize how stressed they are because they are so busy stressing.

mental health awareness

Being in that constant state of worry and wretchedness might harvest the idea of self-harm or other kinds of abuse. This is why the World Health Organisation has created and promoted plenty of mental health awareness programs that help prevent mental illness. Not only that, but a wide range of resources for people going through mental illness have also been established. Resources and support systems like suicide prevention helplines, therapists, rehabilitation centers, counselors and social workers. There are self-assessments like these to help you keep a check on yourself:

Mental Health Tests, Quizzes, Self-Assessments, & Screening Tools

It is important to keep a check on yourself and ask for help from family, friends or doctors whenever you feel the need. Being in a bad mental space is only going to cause hindrance in achieving your goals and make your relationships, everyday tasks and even the simplest of things more complicated. However, it is not possible for some people to open up about their problems. Whether it is with their families or friends! Therefore, here are a few vital pieces of advice to live by for better living. These things do not promise you a happy and worry-free life but it definitely will help you in your everyday life.

mental health awareness

  1. Exercise

One of the major reasons why in today’s world it is so easy to fall into depression is because the physical activity of any sort has gone down to a minimum. Kids would rather play a video game at home instead of going out to play football. The same goes for adults! They would rather take the train or a bus to go to their nearest store rather than taking a walk. If the body isn’t active enough it won’t produce enough endorphins which relax you and reduces pain. It is scientifically proven that doing yoga, working out, going on a hike or really doing any sort of physical activity improves your mood and releases chemicals to your brain which distracts you from your worries.

mental health awareness

  1. Better company

Close your eyes, think of all the friends you have. Think of all the people who are close to you. Now think of each person individually. Is there anyone who makes you feel a little less than who you really are? Kick them out of your lives!

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a good support system. How important it is to have a family that backs you up and helps you reach your full potential in the nicest manner. The group of friends you hang out with should be your personal cheerleaders! Imagine being in a bad mood because of school or work. You call your ‘loved ones’ to tell them about your day and all they have for you are taunts and insults. The more you hear them say these things, the more you’ll start to believe their words! This is why your family and friends should be a safe space for you.

mental health awareness

  1. Better sleeping pattern

Now we all know how important sleep is for the human body, how important it is for our brain and body to take a break and recharge. We’ve heard, “the more you sleep the better you function”.  This statement might be approved on some levels but not on all the levels. It is proven that oversleeping makes a person lethargic throughout the day and also affects their memory. It also increases the rate of obesity and depression. However, sleeping less can make you weak, inattentive and indifference. This is why it is so important to have an appropriate sleep schedule and adhere to it religiously.

mental health awareness

p.s: avoid taking unprescribed sleep-inducing medicines or substances that make you stay awake. Improve your sleeping patterns naturally.
  1. Taking a break from time to time

Who doesn’t like to take a vacation? We all do! Taking a break not only rallies your mental well-being but also your physical health. Neuroscientists have found that brain structure is altered by chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol which is a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression. Being away from daily routine and work makes a person feel calm, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure. Taking time out for yourself every year or two reduces the risk of high blood pressure and heart diseases.

mental health awareness

  1. Expressing your emotions in the right way

It is okay to express your anger and sadness. It is completely okay to tell someone about any of their words that hurt you or made you feel uncomfortable. In fact, it is encouraged that you express yourself and not bottle it up inside. If you keep your emotions inside you’re only setting yourself up for a bigger meltdown. Ranting to a trusted family member or a friend does help uplift your mood. It makes you feel lighter!

However, what’s not okay is you taking out your anger or frustration on someone else. It is not okay to abuse someone because you are in a bad mental capacity. It is not okay to be passive-aggressive towards someone who might be trying to help you. This type of coping mechanism will stick to you and make things worse for you and everyone around you. Have a healthy way to express your feelings.

mental health awareness

All the things that I’ve explained above are a few distractions and temporary relief from the problems that you might be facing. These are just the things you can work on while you get help from doctors. for people who know someone who might be in a state of apprehension, listen to them, help them!

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Myra Malik

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