When was the last time that you gave serious thought to your own mental health? If you’re like many Americans, it was all too long ago. Not nearly enough of us are addressing our mental health needs.
But you have the power to change things. Now is the time to tackle mental health. Now is the time to craft the lifestyle that you deserve and to seek the help that you need. Here’s what you need to know.
It doesn’t help that so many Americans lack access to basic mental health resources, but the problem is deeper than that: due to stigma and other types of erroneous thinking, many Americans don’t seek out the mental health care that they need.
And that’s a real problem. More than 46 million Americans suffered from a mental illness in the last year alone, and many of them went untreated. Even for those without a mental illness, mental health is immensely important. It’s a spectrum, not a binary system. You can be free of physical illness without being as healthy as a pro athlete, and you can be free of mental illness without being as happy and mentally healthy as you could be.
There’s a lot that you can and should do in order to improve your mental health through the choices that you make every day, and those things will be discussed in just a moment. But before moving on, it’s worth getting into something that everyone should consider: therapy.
Contrary to popular belief, therapy is not just for those with serious mental health challenges. In fact, therapy can help just about anyone. One of the most widely practiced types of talk therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on understanding thoughts and behavioral patterns.
Think about how much better your life would be if you could identify your own thought patterns and their errors. You could stop negative thinking in its tracks and respond better to stresses and emotional triggers. Therapy could help you improve your mood, your relationships, and even your career, just to name just a few things.
And getting a therapist doesn’t have to be difficult. Just use an online tool like the one at withtherapy.com or turn to your primary care provider for a referral. Many therapists take insurance and offer reasonable rates and flexible appointment times, so what are you waiting for?
Turning to a mental health care professional is one of the best things that you can do for your mental health. But it doesn’t release you from the obligation to care for your mind every day!
What does that entail? For starters, it entails living in a healthy way all around: You should eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and drink only in moderation. Sleep is extremely important as well: try to get into a rhythm by going to bed and rising at the same times every day.
Protect yourself from excessive workplace stress and burnout by paying careful attention to your work-life balance. Are you bringing too much work home with you? Are you failing to take your vacation days? Make sure that you’re giving your mind a break.
You can also consider activities like meditation, which is a great way to proactively improve your mindfulness and mental health. Whatever you do, make sure that you’re paying attention to how you feel and what you’re thinking.
Mental health issues can sneak up on you, but making your mental health a priority — and that means taking care of your mind and using resources like With Therapy — is the first step toward protecting your mind and achieving a happier and healthier life.