What is Mental Health?

Let’s start today with a pop quiz.

What is Mental Health?

  1. a)    Understanding what mental issues we struggle with.
  2. b)    Understanding our overall well-being.
  3. c)     A diagnosis so we can get help from insurance.
  4. d)    Everyone is just crazy!

If you answered B, you are correct! Mental health is so much more than just understanding our illness, receiving assistance from healthcare providers, and having “crazy” relatives. It is about our overall lifestyle and the impact it has on us on a daily basis.

Why are we breaking down what mental health is today? Because May is Mental Health Awareness Month!!! And how can we, as a generation, as a society, as individuals,  move forward towards a healthy future if we don’t openly talk about what it is and how it impacts us.

Most of our conversations, unfortunately, include specifics of some diagnosis.  But what about those “gray” experiences that doesn’t completely qualify one in certain diagnosis but are impacting your life. What about those individuals struggling with High Functioning Depression or Anxiety where no one would believe that you are struggling with a mental health difficulty because you do not fit the poster image for “X” diagnosis?

So, let’s clearly define and discuss what mental health is and what it’s comprised of. Mental health is in a nutshell- US. It is our overall emotional, physical, social, psychological well-being. I do include physical because we have studies now showing the importance of accepting the body-mind connection. Your stress manifests physically while your physical illness impacts your emotions. Mental health also includes details from your genes and experiences so it has to be a blend of physical and emotional being.

Some of my personal favorite tools to improve your mental health use are:

  1.     Journaling
  •      It is a great tool to recognize patterns.  It helps us notice possible triggers, behavior changes, etc to help us grow and many times provides specifics that professionals need to have a better understanding of the symptoms.
  1.     Self-care
  •      Believe you are worth it! Some of you I’m sure are rolling your eyes at me as parents because every moment of your life is focused on your child but children learn more from observation than anything you say.  Teach them to value themselves by valuing yourself.
  1.     Invest in yourself
  •      Whether it is finding classes you enjoy or investing in therapy, you need to invest in your growth. Challenging yourself allows you to learn areas you need to focus more on.

My passion for mental health led me to become a therapist. I absolutely love working with individuals and seeing the shift that occurs as they are regaining more control over their own lives rather than allowing “X” control them. I am also aware of how nerve-wracking it could feel to reach out for help. My blogs generally consist of some steps because wherever you are in your journey, you deserve to have tools that can help you reach your goals. But truth be told that these steps I provide cannot truly take the place of the benefit you receive from working with a therapist- one on one- to create an action plan that is personalized for you.  We are available to discuss the details of the client-therapist partnership when you are ready.

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