If somebody asked you to explain what being healthy means, what would you say? Most of us would talk about being a healthy weight and eating the right foods. Although it’s very important for our bodies to be in good shape, sadly, we tend to prioritize physical health over mental wellbeing.
Being healthy isn’t just about having muscle definition or getting your 5-a-day every day. It’s also about being content, confident and free from psychological pain. As statistics show that up to 1 in 5 people in the US have a mental health condition, it’s more important than ever to ask if you should be paying more attention to your psychological wellbeing?
Common mental health disorders
The most common mental health disorders are depression and anxiety. Both of these conditions can range in severity, and they can be difficult to spot. This is largely because mild symptoms are often confused with natural human emotions. Anxiety in itself is a natural response to certain situations, and we all have days when we feel low. If you feel anxious when you’re at the dentist or you’re awaiting test results, or you feel distressed because you’ve lost a loved one, this doesn’t automatically mean that you’ve got anxiety or depression. These emotions are an expected response to challenging scenarios. What’s not ‘normal’ is learning to live with symptoms over a prolonged period of time or experiencing severe symptoms, which start to impact your daily life. If you feel on edge even when you’re surrounded by people you love in an environment that appears harmless to everybody else, this is a sign of anxiety. If you struggle to get out of bed every morning, you’ve lost motivation and enthusiasm, and you question your self-worth, this may indicate that you have depression.
There are medical treatments available for mental health disorders, but often, medical experts will recommend self-help techniques as a starting point. Exercise is a very effective remedy for stress, anxiety, and depression, as it lifts your mood, boosts your serotonin levels and helps you to clear your mind. Other options that may be beneficial include meditation, self hypnosis, and creative activities. Talking to others can also help you to control your emotions. It’s also important to look after your physical health. Eat well, try and be as active as possible and get enough sleep. It’s very common to experience sleep disturbances when you have a mental health condition. If changing your bedtime routine, exercise, and therapies like massage and hypnosis don’t help, speak to your doctor.
Other treatment options
In more severe cases, treatments such as talking therapies and medication may be recommended. These therapies can be used in conjunction with self-help techniques. It can often take a long time to overcome psychological disorders, and some people may feel that they’re never really completely free from symptoms. If symptoms do persist, rehabilitation programs may be beneficial.
When it comes to health, we tend to think about dieting and working on our abs, but mental health should also be a priority. Millions of people suffer from psychological disorders in the US, and nobody is immune.
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