Some people believe only individuals diagnosed with a mental illness need to pay attention to their mental health. In reality, all people need to pay attention to their mental health. Mental health is a valuable part of a person’s wellness throughout every stage of life, from early childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being,” describes the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, “It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.”
- Connect with others. Developing and maintaining connections with others provides assistance when you need an extra hand. Connections also provide emotional support, perspective, advice, and validation when you need to process an experience or develop a plan-of-action.
- Stay positive. Everyone experiences stressors throughout day-to-day adventures. Approaching life in an optimistic fashion doesn’t mean you ignore danger signs and run from problems. Choosing to have a positive outlook helps you focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on the issue. It also increases gratefulness and promotes recognizing strengths as tools to achieve goals.
- Create joy and satisfaction. Identify a special interest that makes you happy. Maybe it is spending time with family at the supper table, playing a sport, or reading a good book. Maintaining positive mental health is achieved when you take time to have a little fun, laugh, relax, and put creativity to work. Activities that incorporate joy and satisfaction into your daily routines encourage flexibility, offer a break from life’s stressors, and boost confidence.
- Take care of your spirit. The spiritual dimension of mental health provides a connection to whatever helps a person recognize their meaning and purpose. Many people choose to care for their spirit through a religion, interaction with nature, volunteer service, or by practicing meditation and art. Whatever you focus on, spirituality can improve your mood, help set and accomplish goals, and provide a sense of belongingness.
It is not necessary to wait until you are in a crisis to reach out for help. Many people discover great benefits from seeking professional help and utilizing community services on a regular basis.
To learn more strategies that can improve and maintain positive mental health visit Mental Health America at http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/.
You can also contact your local Post Rock District Office, http://www.postrock.k-state.edu/.