Updated: 1/31/2020 Your mental health affects how you think, feel and act. It can also determine how you handle stress, relate to others and make everyday decisions. Mental health includes…

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How to Maintain Control of Your Mental Health

Updated: 1/31/2020

Your mental health affects how you think, feel and act. It can also determine how you handle stress, relate to others and make everyday decisions. Mental health includes our psychological, social and emotional well-being.

Even if you have sound mental health now, different circumstances in your life can alter that at any moment so it’s important to know what to do to maintain control of your mental health.

  1. Value yourself. If you don’t value yourself, you won’t have much motivation to overcome the obstacles you’re confronted with on a daily basis.
  2. Take care of your physical health. Make sure you’re getting plenty of exercise, drinking lots of water, receiving quality sleep and staying healthy. This can help with depression, anxiety and moods. Also, don’t smoke or drink alcohol, as the side effects alter your state of mind and mood.
  3. Socialize. As hard as it may be to make yourself sociable when you’re feeling down, depressed, anxious or alone, force yourself to be around people. Feed your mind with the warmth and love that people can give you. It will make your heart feel fuller and give you good memories to dwell on when you are at your lowest.
  4. Volunteer and help others. One of the best ways to distract yourself when you’re struggling with your mental health is to help others. It takes your focus off yourself and gets you in community.
  5. Quiet your mind. You can learn to quiet your mind through meditation, prayer or being outside, listening and observing the beauty around you.
  6. Break up your normal routine. If every day looks the same to you, do something different. Be spontaneous and creative and do something you’ve never done before. Doing the same old thing day after day can become monotonous and dull, and it can aid to feelings of depression.
  7. Find a hobby that allows you to express yourself. This could be through journaling, blogging, painting, sculpting, singing, playing an instrument, etc. Or maybe it’s a sport, like boxing or football, that can help you get out some of your frustration. (Granted, don’t take the other player’s head off or anything. They didn’t do anything to you.)
  8. Watch what you eat. Eating healthier can help you feel good—physically and mentally. It gives you the vitamins and minerals you need to be happy and healthy and get through your day.
  9. Identify what you’re feeling. Learn to identify problems when they come (anxiety, stress, depression) and know how to deal with them. Stress is a part of life, so it’s important you learn how to deal with it in the right way.

Other Helpful Tips:

  • Be organized. If the spaces around you are organized in a way that makes sense to you, your thoughts will be too.
  • Think before you speak. This can be hard to do sometimes, but take a moment before speaking to ensure you say only positive and harmless words.
  • Understanding emotions. When you are angry or upset about something, take a moment to think about what made you angry or upset. Most of the time, what set you off wasn’t the problem. There’s usually a deeper reason behind it.
  • Practice the five coping skills. These include: keeping positive support systems, exercising and maintaining good health, practicing a hobby and spirituality.
  • Process your emotions. Journaling is a great coping mechanism for your mix of emotions—sadness, anger, loneliness, etc.
  • Find a good balance. Don’t allow these helpful coping mechanisms to take control of your life. If your hobby becomes the only thing you do and the center of your life, it’s time to let it go or figure out how to minimize its place in your life.

(Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Have-Good-Mental-Health)

When to Seek Help

The action steps listed above may help you for a time, but if you have a mental illness, they can never fully restore your mental health. If you find that your mental health is not improving or you are becoming a danger to yourself or those around you, it’s time to seek help.

Here are some of the most common mental illnesses out there:

    • Anxiety Disorders. A person is diagnosed with an anxiety disorder if their responses to everyday situations are uncommon. If the person cannot control how they’re responding to the situation, or if the anxiety interferes with their ability to function, they most likely have some type of anxiety disorder. Some of the most common anxiety disorders include:
      • Post-traumatic stress disorder
      • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
      • Panic disorder
      • Social anxiety disorder
      • Generalized anxiety disorder
      • Phobias
  • Personality Disorders. People who suffer from this disorder often have extreme and inflexible personality traits that cause problems in school, work or their social relationships. Typically, people with this disorder have patterns of thinking and behavior that differs from society in a drastic way. Some of these disorders include:
    • Antisocial personality disorder
    • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
    • Paranoid personality disorder
  • Psychotic Disorders. This disorder is most commonly defined as distorted awareness and thinking. Often people with this disorder experience hallucinations or delusions. The most common disorder categorized as a psychotic disorder is Schizophrenia.
  • Mood Disorders. Often described as going from one extreme to another—persistent feelings of sadness and then persistent feelings of being overly happy. Some of these disorders include:
    • Depression
    • Mania
    • Bipolar Disorder
  • Impulse Control and Addiction Disorders. People who have this disorder struggle to resist impulses or urges to hurt themselves or others. Some of these include:
    • Pyromania (starting fires)
    • Kleptomania (stealing)
    • Compulsive gambling
    • Alcoholism
    • Other
  • Eating Disorders. These disorders involve extreme emotions and attitudes toward food and weight. The most commonly known eating disorders are:
    • Anorexia
    • Bulimia
    • Binge eating

(Source: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-types-illness#1)

If you find that your emotions, anxiety or moods are out of control, it’s possible you may be suffering from one of these disorders. Make an appointment with your doctor or a psychologist to discuss what’s going on. They may be able to recommend something that can help or offer you more advice on what lifestyle changes you can make to significantly help your specific mental health problem.

Seeking help for the betterment of your mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. The quality of your life and the friendships and relationships around you depends on it.

What have you found that aids your mental health? How did you discover it?

Natasha is 1Dental’s managing editor and copywriter, focusing content on dental and health news, advice and tips straight from the experts. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and has since been a book editor and now copywriter and managing editor on dental and health. You can find her on Twitter and all of 1Dental’s social networks.

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