Our state of mind has a powerful effect not only on our mood but on all facets of life. We can all attest to how great it is when we are feeling content and positive — we even get a spring in our step. This is the power of mental wellness. To learn how to cultivate mental wellness, read on!
What is mental wellness?
When we are mentally well, we experience a multitude of positive benefits. Mental wellness is achieving a state of mind that allows us to function more fully and with greater resilience on a daily basis. Some of the benefits we enjoy when protecting and promoting our mental wellness include:
- We manage stress better
- We enjoy better health
- We are more productive
- We live life with a sense of purpose
- We feel more fulfilled
- We have an optimistic outlook
- We experience contentment and satisfaction
- We are more open to new experiences and challenges
- We experience a sense of belonging
- We are able to form lasting relationships
How to tell if you’re mentally well
Neglecting our mental health and wellness will not go unnoticed. Just as we notice when we don’t get enough sleep or exercise, or eat poorly for a period of time, the same can be said for neglecting our mental health. We just feel lousy.
Consider these eight warning signs that we are neglecting your mental health and wellness:
- Our sleep quality suffers
- We are more sensitive and touchy
- We experience more anxiety and stress
- We lose motivation
- We tend to avoid friends and family
- We gain weight
- We feel foggy-headed
- We lack confidence
5 tips for promoting mental wellness
There is no arguing that mental wellness is intrinsic to maintaining our quality of life. If you are noticing the signs of waning wellness, here are some actions you can take:
- Reduce your time on social media: Studies have reported that excess social media activity increases rates of depression and anxiety. Cutting back on social media will not only improve your state of mind but will also lead to more live in-person interactions with friends and family. Healthy relationships are central to mental well-being.
- Become more physically active: Staying active can reduce stress and improve your mood. Whether you prefer walking, dancing, cycling, swimming, free weights, gardening, or hiking, just find an activity that you truly enjoy and are willing to commit to.
- Stop pushing so hard: Our fast-paced culture can leave us feeling like hamsters on a wheel, running and running to complete all the tasks on our daily to-do list. While it’s great to be productive, we should also be aware of our need to take breaks and rest.
- Learn some stress-reducing techniques: Stress is extremely damaging to our health and well-being, which is why learning how to manage it is essential. There are many techniques that are effective in reducing stress, including practicing yoga, deep breathing exercises, meditation, and stretching exercises.
- Improve your diet: Yes, it’s true — our diet impacts our mental wellness. There is plenty of evidence that refined carbs and sugars, processed foods and caffeine can stoke anxiety symptoms. Instead, increase foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, walnuts, Brussels sprouts, eggs, tuna, spinach, and grass-fed beef.
You can improve your mental wellness by adopting these simple lifestyle habits. It is never too late to make the positive changes that can result in a better quality of life.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call 866-313-6307.