Spring has arrived at last and with it come longer days and soaring spirits—looking forward to warmer temperatures. Maybe even putting on a favorite pair of shorts?
But not everyone will enjoy boundless joy this spring. In the U.S., the National Institute of Mental Health reports that about 1 in 4 adults will experience mental illness. Instead of enjoying the simple pleasures of a sunshiny day these individuals experience dull or numbed responses.
If you can relate to this, you’re not alone. Some forms of mental illness run in families, others stem from changes in the brain. A crisis, trauma, violence, or abuse can also be the culprit. Sadly, mental illness is a common occurrence in the lives of many people.
Luckily, there are ways in which you can overcome the stress, depression, and anxiety.
Depression is often the result of a situation in which a deep desire that you may have is forever thwarted. Sometimes it feels as if your life has been taken away, for example . . . by the death of a loved one, or when your high school sweetheart fell in love with someone else.
We all go through difficult events during our lifetime—some more severe than others, but to heal your heart and recover from the pain, it’s important that you have your true Self to get you through the hard times.
It’s important that you feel connected to your innermost core and use it as a solid base from which you live your life. That’s priority #1: make sure you establish a healthy Sense of Self (SoS).
How to Maintain a Healthy State of Mind
A SoS is a must if you want to be in control of your physical and mental health. For some of us, that’s easier said than done. Some people grow up in an environment where they mimic their parents’ behavior. Other people wonder what was missing from their upbringing, and why they’re so different from their parents or caregivers.
But wherever you come from the best way to keep your mental health intact is by creating the steps to keep yourself healthy and happy. Much like an alcoholic must maintain their sobriety—no matter how many years since their last drink; anxiety and depression need a particular program as well . . . so that you won’t slip back into destructive patterns.
Support, self-care, protection, safeguarding, and preservation all fall under the category of maintenance. Doesn’t it make sense to support and care for your healthy mind?
If you want to be in control of how well you feel, strive to gain knowledge of your mental health and practice healthy habits.
Here are 7 tips to help you find your healthy mind.
Select what will work best for you and stick with them.
- Be alert to changes in your schedule or symptoms that stop you from participating in your usual activities.
- Share about your illness with a trusted group of friends or family, so they know what to look for if you need care.
- Keep a list of your support circle (professionals or friends) and reach out immediately when you feel you might need help.
- Be consistent. Put an extra amount of effort into sticking to your plan. You can add reminders to your calendar.
- Don’t allow yourself to use I’m too busy as an excuse; you must make your healthy sense of Self a priority.
- Stop and take care of yourself when you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (HALT). By practicing HALT, you’ll develop a keen sense of self-awareness.
- Know the resources available to you. Learn about NAMI and its’ peer-to-peer support group and/or bookmark this list from womenshealth.gov.
With practice, your healthy Sense of Self will begin to emerge.
There’s hope for everyone on this path to recovery. It’s a journey. However, one effort to heal yourself may not be enough . . . maintaining a healthy Sense of Self is a lifestyle!
Good mental health strengthens your ability to cope with everyday challenges and difficulties. Sound mental health is essential to designing the life you want. Everyone can benefit from learning how to maintain good mental health.
If you happen to have little of it, of this healthy sense of self, you may want to work toward a restored sense of Self. Not only will you reduce your symptoms but you’ll enjoy more pleasure, appreciation, and gratitude for your life. You’ll grow your self-confidence; you’ll learn to cherish yourself as you are—imperfect and living your life fully aware of your limitations and abilities. And you get to know the real you.
One last note, this is NOT advice we would want you to follow if you’re in a crisis. It’s a plan of action to help you weather the challenges of life each day. Our wish for you is more than to endure; we hope you will flourish! May you have a long, happy, healthy life!
To get going on the path to your natural sense of Self and mental well-being, take our quiz.