We are constantly bombarded with bad news. We receive them through different media, such as television, radio, press, the Internet, social networks, etc. While it is true that these are the order of the day, not limiting the amount of negative information can have serious consequences.
Although it is important to be informed of what is happening in the world, staying glued to the television listening to bad news generates stress, anxiety, panic attacks, and hopelessness, among other negative emotions.
However, when this situation lasts longer than expected, it could end up causing damage that is difficult to remedy and that requires the attention and care of mental health professionals.
The condition, in which the world finds itself today, due to the coronavirus pandemic, has made these negative emotions generalize within the population. Unfortunately, discouragement and worry are often more contagious than the virus itself.
However, you do not have to fall prey to these emotions. You can do something about it to prevent this from happening, just as you can do to protect yourself from the spread of a physical illness. But what?
Throughout this short article, I will give you some practical recommendations that will help you take care of your mental health now and in future stressful situations.
Keep in mind that the mind is the one in charge of controlling the body. Which means that if your mind gets sick, so wills the rest of your body. Hence the importance of getting down to work and not letting the problem get out of control.
Let’s see what you can do to take care of your mental health and that of everyone who lives with you.
Instructions to take care of your mental health
Taking care of our mental health is such a serious matter that there is an anniversary that reminds us of the importance of doing so. October 10 is World Mental Health Day. This is a wake-up call about how important it is to identify, treat and prevent different mental and behavioral disorders.
Some of the keys to taking care of your mental health are the following:
- Maintain a healthy diet. Eating healthy is not only essential for good physical health, but also mental, as it makes your brain feel better, keeps it active and provides it with the necessary nutrients to stay healthy.
- Therefore, make sure that the foods you eat are rich in fatty acids, omega 3 and vitamins, so that you can maintain good mental health.
- Show yourself grateful. Before the end of the day, make a list of at least 3 things that you feel grateful for. This short exercise will help you stay focused on the positive side of your day. No matter how bad it has been, there will always be something to be thankful for.
- Cultivating the virtue of gratitude will help you face the adversities of life with a better attitude, which will have benefits for your mental health.
- Give yourself a purpose in life. In general, people who strive to achieve something tend to be happier. When you pursue a goal you feel motivated to continue doing what you do.
- Practice meditation. This activity can help you lift your spirits almost immediately. In addition, it produces a gratifying feeling of well-being. You can also do a little yoga to disconnect from the exhausting daily routine and relax.
- Laugh more. It is scientifically proven that laughter helps in the prevention of some types of brain damage, since it is responsible for releasing certain chemical substances that contribute to the strengthening of certain parts of the brain that could not be healed in any other way.
- Learn to manage stress. Prolonged stress can have serious consequences for your brain, leaving it exhausted and overloaded. Therefore, the best thing you can do is determine what will be the times when you will find yourself busiest, to make the most of your free time to take a break.
- Avoid the consumption of harmful substances. These substances alter inhibitory control and give you one more problem. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you be happier and not lose your enthusiasm easily.
If you make an effort to put these simple instructions into practice, you will be sure that you will enjoy optimal mental health. However, these are all preventative measures. But what do you need to know to determine if you are suffering from a mental health problem?
What do you need to take care of your mental health?
All you need to maintain mental health is inner peace; for this, sometimes you will need professional help or help from other people such as family or friends who can guide you to achieve that peace.
It is true that it is difficult to identify which emotions are normal and which are not when we are anxious or sad; some warning signs to start seeking help are the following:
- Dietary and sleep pattern changes occur.
- They begin to isolate themselves from people.
- You are not enthusiastic about activities you used to enjoy.
- Feeling of constant emptiness and that nothing matters or makes sense anymore.
- Unexplained aches and pains.
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
- They begin to take refuge in harmful activities, such as the use of cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.
- They experience sudden changes in their emotions. They begin to feel unusually confused, forgetful, upset, worried, or frightened.
- They suffer mood swings that affect their relationship with others.
- They have recurring memories and thoughts.
- They think they hear voices or see things that don’t exist.
- They have suicidal thoughts.
- They self-harm.
- They cannot carry out their daily activities, such as taking care of their children or going to work.
If some of these features have turned on a warning light in you, you do not have to worry too much. Actually, what you should do is get busy looking for a quick solution.
Tips to take care of your mental health
If you think you are suffering from a mental health problem, do not sit idly by. Just like any other organ in our body, the brain also gets sick and has to be treated so that it can fully recover.
Your family doctor can be a gateway to the health system. For this reason, it is the first place you should go, both you and your closest relatives.
Keep in mind that only doctors have the knowledge and experience needed to make a diagnosis of mental illness. Avoid guessing and speculating about the current state of your mind.
Today mental illnesses can be controlled and even cured with the help of proper treatment, which can vary depending on the illness.
In general, pharmacological treatment is combined with certain socio-occupational rehabilitation measures, psychotherapy and the support of family members.
When a mental illness is controlled, the person suffering from it regains the ability to reintegrate into the community and lead a normal life. He can once again enjoy his social, family and work network.
Also, do not forget that all people, regardless of their mental condition, have the same rights. This will help you not fall victim to the prejudices that still exist in society. These prejudices limit people with mental health problems and prevent them from enjoying and exercising their rights more fully.
However, the best thing you can do is avoid suffering from any mental health problem. The key is in prevention. Therefore, stay away from everything that can affect you, more than it should, on an emotional level. Welcome everything that adds to your life and makes you fuller and happier.
It is inevitable to suffer setbacks in life. However, if you learn to cope with them with a good attitude, you will be taking care of your mental health. Inculcate this culture in yours to protect them against this scourge.