Tips for Good Mental Health

Mental health literally means our emotional, social, and psychological well-being. In order to lead a happy and smooth-sailing life, it is important to maintain your mental health. This Buzzle article offers some of the best tips for your good mental health. Take a look.

The rigors of daily life often take a toll on our mental health, and under such circumstances, we experience negative feelings like anger, anxiety, depression, etc. However, such emotions can be controlled, if we do some simple things that give us positivity. Here are some essential tips to stay positive despite all adversities.

Share your Feelings
Sharing feelings is a very good idea, because when you speak about your feelings, you get a clear picture of your own thoughts. Also, the person listening to you, can give you some fresh insights or valuable suggestions. In case, you don’t have anybody to share your feelings with, call up or write to a helpline. They can provide you with information on where to go for help.

Pen Down your Feelings on Paper
Write down all those thoughts, that are bothering you a lot, on a piece of paper. It helps to offload the heaviness of your mind. As a result, with a light mind you can think of better solutions for your problems (if there are any). This is good, particularly for people who are introverted. Many people keep a record of their thoughts and feelings on a regular basis. It helps them to be aware of and deal with changes in their thoughts over time.

Keep your Goals Real
We should set goals for ourselves to move forward in life, but the goals should be real and achievable, or else, it may add up to your stress. Do not expect too much from yourself. Our long term goals often appear too distant and unachievable. So, it is better to break up the long-term goals into a series of short-term goals. Chalk out a plan to complete each short term goal. Make changes in those plans, as and when required. Lastly, do not forget to compliment yourself generously, each time you succeed in achieving a goal.

Maintain Physical Fitness
Do some physical exercises regularly to keep your body fit. If you are not interested in hitting the gym every day, then start playing your favorite sport or just go for a brisk walk on alternate days. When you are physically active, your body releases some useful chemicals that make you feel better.

Eat Healthy, Sleep Well
Take a good, healthy, and balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that when you eat good food, it makes you feel better. Along with diet, proper sleep routine is also extremely important. A good eight hours night sleep helps you stay fresh and healthy throughout the day. On the contrary, lack of sleep may lead to problems like fatigue and irritation all through the following day and it may also pass on to the next day.

Avoid too much Alcohol
When one is feeling low or has a restless mind, one tends to consume alcohol to feel better. But that ‘better’ feeling is temporary. For the long term, alcohol is not good for mind or body. Consumption of alcohol can also lead to sleep disturbances .

Be Social
Your friends and relatives can make a lot of difference to your life. So, try to be in touch with them. However, sometimes, you may find it difficult to contact your loved ones, especially when you have experienced a bad day at work or college. Get rid of that inhibition as fast as possible. Make some extra efforts and give a call or send an email or a text message. The support that you receive from the person will help to lift up your mood within some time.

Listen to Music
Music has great healing powers, as it helps you to unwind your mind. It works wonders to uplift your mood and energize you. When you feel low, you can listen to songs that deeply touch your emotions. Some songs might remind you about certain special moments of your life and bring forth the inner joy.

Seek Help from Professionals
In case of some adverse situations, we tend to feel depressed. However, if the depression continues for a long time, you should opt for professional help without any hesitation. Remember, if you have identified your problem and are seeking for help, it shows your strength, not your weakness. It is one of the best ways to resolve your tensions.

Our wellness largely depends on the state of our mental health. Our abilities, disabilities, and productivity are all dependent on our mental fitness. The best way to keep our mind free from all anxieties, is to nurture only positive thoughts.

How Mental Health Affects Physical Health

There is an inextricable linkage between your physical and mental health. A slight shift in the well-being of one of them is bound to affect the other. This article discusses in detail the connection between mental wellness, its effects on the physical health of a person, and the importance to maintain a balance between the two.

According to The American Psychological Association, if you are mentally ill, your physical health will also show signs of distress. Similarly, if you are physically feeling down and weak, your mental health will also be affected. Thus, there is a strong connection between your mind and body, which affects your overall well-being.

Many people still tend to ignore the plain truth that our body’s physical health is interlinked to our mental health, and both cannot be separated. A decline in one of them causes disruption to the other. Whenever you are stressed, disturbed, or feeling emotionally low, you suffer from physical ailments that make you inactive and unhealthy. There are hundreds of studies that have demonstrated this strong connection. Researchers at Bangor University in Wales had this to say. Participants who were mentally fatigued prior to doing a difficult exercise test got exhausted quickly, as compared to those were relaxed before performing the same physical exercise text. Thus, resting before a big day of physical activity is definitely going to help you last longer through the day.

Effects of Poor Mental Health on Your Physical Well-being
» According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, poor mental health reduces the immunity of your body, making you more vulnerable to physical ailments.

» Lifestyle changes have increased stress, and other mental health problems are taking its toll on the overall well-being and health of the population. Stress has been linked to many diseases and physical ailments. Negative feelings as well as poor mental health aggravates any physical discomfort experienced by the body.

» Stress, anxiety, and depression can lead to hordes of disturbances in your physical health, such as sleep disruptions, digestion problems, back pain, headache, fatigue, etc. Stress hormones are released in the body, which may increase blood pressure and trigger anger, aggressiveness, fear, or any negative feelings. If this continues for a long time, the persistent high level of stress hormones in the body causes changes in the brain chemistry. This could culminate into heart diseases, stroke, sleep problems, headaches, and other chronic illnesses.

» Obesity is prevalent among children and adults alike, which makes them inactive, lazy, and more vulnerable to various diseases and infections. Again, if you are physically unfit, your mood changes, which makes you irritable and cranky and affects your general well-being and health.

» Intense emotions, breakups, loss of a loved one, etc., make you feel low. These stressful situations leave you depressed. If you bottle up your feelings, they tend to come out in the form of aggression, anger, rejection, etc. A person with a mental health condition is more likely to indulge in risky and unsafe actions, like substance abuse, violence, self-destruction, or suicide.

» According to the Harvard Medical School, pain is depressing, and depression causes and heightens pain. People with chronic pain are thrice at a risk of developing a mental health condition and those suffering bouts of depression are three times more at a risk of developing continuing long-term pain.

» Research has also shown that a mental health condition aggravates the physical disturbances and vice versa. It is a vicious circle, which can be broken with the right attitude and necessary treatment to overcome both these hurdles. Getting treated for only one of these may not help.
Hence, it is very important to take care of your emotions, and preserve a balance between your physical and mental health.

Maintaining a Balance Between Mental and Physical Health
» Taking care of yourself is vital in the first place. Our body gives out signals to convey that all is not well with it. Look out for these signs. Do not ignore them as they are ways of communication between you and your body.

» Venting out your feelings and indulging in an activity to relax and soothe your nerves is extremely essential. Exercising and yoga are ways through which you can keep stress at bay. Exercise reduces stress, increases blood circulation, and improves immunity.

» Studies were conducted on elderly adults who are physically fit and compared to those who were less fit. According to psychology professor Art Kramer (who led the study), “The higher fit people have a bigger hippocampus, and the people that have more tissue in the hippocampus have a better spatial memory.”

» Crying is also an excellent way of dealing with stress, grief, and other negative emotions. The emotional tears contain higher amounts of the stress hormones, which are eliminated from the body. This is the reason why crying makes you feel good.

» Indulging in your favorite hobby, like reading, traveling, trekking, cycling, etc., which you thoroughly enjoy doing, will help keep stress at bay. It will help you relax and rejuvenate.

Mental Health Therapist

The responsibility of a mental health therapist is to ensure the mental and emotional health of his patients. The therapy may done in different formats such as individual, group, and family. The following article provides information about the various tasks of a therapist and the things a person must consider before going to a therapist.

Mental health therapists are trained professionals who counsel individuals, families, and groups to identify and work through the problems that a person is facing. These professionals help their patients deal with stress, substance abuse, addictions, low self-esteem, and grief. Some of them even specialize as marriage counselors and career counselors. These professionals work with other mental health specialists like psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, and school counselors to promote emotional and mental health of their patients.

Job Description

These therapists work though observation, interviews, and tests, to gather information and identify the problems of a person. Based on their observation they decide the right type of therapy for the person. These professionals counsel their clients and help them make informed decisions about themselves, their lives, and their relationships. They help their patients to analyze their problems and address various issues. These therapist also carry out mental health evaluation and risk assessment of their patients when required. They also monitor the treatment of their patients by maintaining accurate records and documents.

Mental health therapy is a holistic approach that takes into account a person’s external and societal influences, while also considering his physical and emotional health. To fulfill the requirements of the job, one first needs to get a master’s degree in mental health counseling with a certification or license in a specialty like:

  • Educational, school, or career counseling
  • Rehabilitation counseling
  • Marriage and family counseling
  • Substance abuse counseling

Most of the master’s degrees are a two-year program. Apart from this, the person is also required to complete an internship during this period. This internship involves, working with people and gaining hands-on experience in the field. For better career opportunities, one may get a doctoral degree in mental health counseling or related field.

Choosing the Right Therapist

Mental health problems often stem from deeply personal and often painful episodes. Due to such a personal nature of the problem, it is very important that one is careful while looking for the therapist. Refer to your physician first to confirm that the symptoms are not caused due to a medical problem. Getting referrals will be a great help in finding the therapist. Ask your friends, family members, or medical health professional for reference. While you consider a therapist, be sure to check his certification. Also, confirm if he has relevant experience in treating people with problems similar to yours. Go to him only if you are satisfied with the findings.

According to a survey done by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in 2007 the median salary that mental health counselors earned was $36,000. The highest earnings are made by those who are self-employed and work in well established practices. It takes almost 5 years for mental health therapists to develop a private practice after getting a license.