When surveyed last year, 9 out of of 10 adults said they felt the United States was experiencing a major mental health crisis. And their perceptions aren’t wrong: From anxiety to depression, more than half of us will be diagnosed with a mental health illness or disorder at some point. And that doesn’t even include the ever-rising levels of chronic stress that most of us are facing, which chips away at our mental wellness, our confidence, and our abilities to live our best lives. And that’s why mental health is the first pillar in the 7 Pillars of Self Care. Today, let’s dig into why mental wellness is important, and how you can boost your mental health.
Editor’s note: This is part 1 of our 7-part series covering the 7 pillars of self-care. You can read more about the article series in our introductory blog post!
Why Mental Health Matters
Mental health is an important aspect of our overall well-being. When we don’t take care of our mental health, it can have a negative impact on all aspects of life. Unfortunately, mental health issues are often misunderstood or ignored, leaving individuals feeling isolated and alone in their struggles. It’s important to remember that you are not alone and that there are many resources available to help you take care of your mental health.
What Is Mental Health Self-care?
This includes activities such as meditation and mindfulness, exercise, journaling, talking with friends/family/therapist or any other activity that helps you manage stress and improve your overall mental well-being.
Research shows that self-care can lead to:
- improvements in mood
- increased resilience to stressors
- improved relationships with others
- better decision-making skills
- and improved overall well-being.
The Benefits Of Mental Health Self-Care
When we take the time to prioritize our mental well-being by engaging in activities such as meditation or journaling, we are able to better cope with stressors, resulting in fewer depressive or anxious thoughts.
Additionally, engaging in regular self-care can help us identify patterns in our behavior that may be causing us distress so that we can start making changes for the better.
Lastly, prioritizing our mental health also allows us to be more present in our daily lives which can lead to increased levels of satisfaction and happiness.
Embracing the First Pillar of Self-Care: How to Improve Your Mental Health
One of the most important things you can do for your mental health is to practice self-care. Self-care involves taking time out of your busy day to focus on yourself and engage in activities that make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. This could mean taking a bubble bath, going for a walk in the park, or even just sitting down with a cup of tea and reading a book. The key is to focus on something that will bring you joy in the moment and allow your mind to take a break from all the stressors of life.
2. Daily Exercise
Exercising regularly has been shown to improve mental health by increasing endorphins (happy hormones) in the body.
Exercise also helps reduce stress and anxiety levels, as well as improve mood and overall well-being.
It doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous; even just 10-15 minutes of activity each day can make a big difference over time!
If possible, try to work out outdoors; this will give you an added boost since being in nature has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels significantly.
3. Mindfulness Practices
This means noticing what emotions come up without judging them or trying to push them away; simply acknowledge them and move on without getting too attached or caught up in their energy.
Mindfulness practices can include meditation, journaling, deep breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, etc., all of which have been found effective at reducing stress levels and improving overall well-being!
Mental health is an important part of living a healthy life and should not be neglected or ignored. Taking care of yourself is paramount for managing stressors and improving your overall well-being. We encourage you to take a few moments each day for yourself – whether it’s meditating for 10 minutes before work or having lunch outside with a friend – whatever it looks like for you! With just a few mindful moments each day dedicated to self-care practices, you will be sure to see improvements in your mental state over time.