Checking in With Ourselves and our Mental Health

Written by Caitlynn Woods (Features Writer)

Skills like decision making, acting on events, and social interactions are impaired by unhealthy mental health states. In a world with so many problems, issues, and imperfections, the ability to make good healthy decisions is very much so needed. Without a healthy mental state, it could potentially bring impulsive, reckless decisions through outbursts of anger or sadness. This correlates with your reactions to certain events. Without the ability to handle them properly could result in worse circumstances. Social interactions are involved through your ability to help others as long as you’ve helped yourself first.

In accordance with the reasons to keep your mental state healthy, here are ways to help yourself. One of the main things that can help with solving or managing your issues is simply talking about them. Even if talking about it won’t completely rid you of the issue, being listened to will offer support. This makes it important to find the right person to talk to for every situation. Problems at home can be talked through with counselors to find a solution while talking about it to friends may help you relate to someone the same age and understanding as you. Problems with addiction are less easy to overcome when influenced by the wrong people, and because of that, being in this situation friends and peers would not be the best people to talk to.

Asking for help from anyone possible will always help. It does not make you weak, it does not make you any less strong, it does not make you any less capable of managing yourself, and it will help you. If anything, talking about your emotions and your problems would just make you brave for bringing yourself to vulnerability. Whether it is friends, parents, counselors, etc. talking about your problems is a healthy way to manage and figure out what’s in your mind with clarity.

Keeping active and exercising is also beneficial as it releases hormones like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine which bring happiness while suppressing the ones that cause anger and anxiety. Not only that but being active will help with concentration, sleep, and to make you feel better overall. Doing something that you enjoy or are talented at will also release these happy hormones and bring the feeling of capability.

There may be reasons and ways to manage your mental health but unknown issues and signs of mental health problems are important as well. Early signs of mental health issues are: eating or sleeping too much or too little, pulling away from people and usual activities, having low or no energy, feeling numb or like nothing matters, having unexplained aches and pains, feeling helpless or hopeless, smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual, feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared, yelling or fighting with family and friends, experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships, having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head, hearing voices or believing things that are not true, thinking of harming yourself or others, and an inability to perform daily tasks.

As easy as it is to set your emotions to the side and pretend like they aren’t there, it does not make it any less important to get help and deal with them as soon as you can to avoid later issues and developing and pent up problems. And as the CDC states, “More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime,” so watch out for your mental health as it’s instability is not uncommon at all. You can only postpone your problems for so long before they get in your way.

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