an image of people holding hands discussing the importance of mental health

When it comes to overall health and well-being, it is vital to consider your mental health. Mental health is something that affects how you think, feel, and act, and if it is not cared for properly, it can lead to a number of issues. 

Some problems related to mental health that can occur include depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, drug addiction, and more. While there are therapists and rehabs, like Cornerstone Healing Center, available to help solve these problems, the best thing you can do is take stock of your mental health early and look to avoid them entirely. 

Let’s take a closer look at the concept of mental health.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is a blanket term used to describe an individual’s social, psychological, and emotional well-being. While your mental health is something that changes over time, it can be affected by numerous factors including genetics, family history, childhood upbringing, and more.

As mentioned previously, mental health affects nearly every aspect of your life, and having positive mental health leads to great outcomes like being able to positively cope with stress, work productively, realize your full potential, and more.

Unfortunately, if your mental health is not a priority, it can lead to dangerous consequences. That said, there are a number of warning signs that you can look for in yourself or your loved one if you are worried. Some of the most common early warning signs include:

  • Unusual eating or sleeping habits
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Confusion
  • Thoughts of self-harm
  • Numb feelings

If you notice these things in yourself or your loved one, it is time to make a change. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to improve your situation.

Improving Your Mental Health

There is no silver bullet for improving your mental health, what works for some may not work for others. The best thing you can do is take a multi-pronged approach and make a number of positive changes in your life.

One of the best things you can do for your situation is to try and exercise if you aren’t already. Exercise is one of the most common things you’ll see on lists like this, there’s a reason for this: because it works. Exercise is a natural anti-depressant and has been shown to have great positive effects on mental health, the best part is that your physical health will improve simultaneously. 

When it comes to exercise, many people never start because they don’t know how to start. If this describes your situation, the best thing you can do is start slow and expand your efforts as you continue. Start with a daily walk around your neighborhood. After this becomes consistent, you can expand to start going on hikes, going to the gym, running, swimming, or something else. 

Along with exercise, it is vital to make sure that your diet is in order as well. For instance, drinking too much alcohol, eating too much sugar, and relying on fast foods for your main diet will have you feeling down, lethargic, and unhealthy. If you can take the time to start cooking your own meals more regularly, putting down the bottle, and focus on balanced meals, you will be surprised how much your mood improves. 

These two pillars will do wonders for improving your mental health, but it will also be helpful to look into these changes as well:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Connecting with friends and family
  • Helping others

All of this said it is important to note that it is always best to seek out professional help when dealing with serious health problems, don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist or counseling service for help.