Staying in your Right Mind: How to Remain Mentally Healthy

Mental health is one of the most prevalent crises of our era. According to Mental Health America, major depression affects 8% of American adults and 15% of American youth ages twelve to fifteen. Moreover, it is estimated that 19.1% of adults and 31.9% of adolescents have an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Though these numbers are certainly staggering, there is still hope for those who are currently facing mental health challenges, and even more for those who are not. Luckily for all, there are many ways one can remain mentally healthy. According to the NIMH, mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Obviously, these things play major roles in our lives, so remaining mentally healthy ought to be among one’s top priorities. 

The first way that one can remain mentally healthy is to exercise regularly. 30 minutes of exercise each day can improve one’s mood and cardiovascular health. Time can add up, so one does not need to do it all in one sitting (NIMH).

 Another great way to keep oneself mentally healthy is to keep a nutritious diet. A balanced diet and drinking plenty of water can improve one’s energy and focus throughout the day. One should also make sure to pay attention to caffeine intake and how it affects one’s mood – increasing or decreasing intake may be helpful to some. Of course, one should also stay away from narcotics and alcohol, as these can negatively affect people both mentally and physically (NIMH).

The next tip to remain mentally healthy is to make sleep a priority. It is important to keep a consistent sleep schedule, but if one feels that they are not getting enough sleep, then one should definitely change their sleep schedule. Moreover, blue light from TV or devices can inhibit sleep temporarily, so reducing blue light exposure before bedtime can be extremely helpful in getting a good night’s sleep (NIMH).

Another way for someone to reinforce their mental health is by simply relaxing. One might want to explore relaxation and wellness apps, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Of course, one could also do these things by themselves too, so whatever a person’s preference, this should be an easy activity. One should schedule regular times for the aforementioned activities, but they should also be sure to incorporate other, healthy activities they enjoy such as listening to music, reading, or spending time in nature (NIMH).

Many of the aforementioned tips include, to some degree, goal setting. So it is only natural that another key tip to staying mentally healthy is to set goals and priorities. One must decide what needs to be done immediately and what can wait, as well as be willing to say, “no,” to new things that come up if they feel they would be taking on too much. Organization is a vital skill in life, and it can make one’s life much easier to manage (NIMH).

Lastly, people ought to stay connected to others. Humans are social by nature, so talking and gathering with others is important, but beyond that, people really need genuine relationships to remain happy. These can come in the form of family and friends, and odds are these people will be more than willing to help or talk to one who is struggling mentally (NIMH).

Mental health problems are affecting millions of Americans right now, but there are still options open to those who are suffering from mental health conditions and for those who are just wishing to remain mentally healthy. Remember the Scout Oath, “To help other people at all times.” So if you see someone struggling, then reach out to them and offer them help, as it can make a world of difference to that person.

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