January 10, 2023

A Healthy State of Mind: Giving Our Mental Health the Attention It Deserves

We exercise our bodies to stay fit and give us the energy we need to deal with life’s ups and downs. Just as important as it is to continually work on our physical health, it’s also essential to pay attention to our mental health.

According to a 2023 key findings report by Mental Health in America, in 2019-2020, about 20% of Americans experienced a mental illness – that translates to nearly 50 million Americans.* Add to that the troubles facing Americans in the past few years, and it’s clear that it has been anything but smooth sailing for most of us. From the isolation and anxiety that the pandemic caused, the loss of employment and shift in our jobs, to the rising costs of everyday goods and services, we are mentally affected to some degree by life’s ever-changing challenges.

Why Our Mental Health is Important

Mental health refers to our emotional and social well-being. It impacts how we think, feel, and make decisions. Monitoring factors such as how you are eating and drinking, how stressed you feel, how well you are sleeping, the health of your relationships, and how productive you are at work or school are ways to evaluate your mental health. Even if you feel your mental health is in a good state, this is a great time to practice coping skills so you are ready to deal with tough times when they happen to you or a loved one. The negative social stigma often associated with mental illness only worsens the situation. It can cause shame and even go so far as to stop a person from speaking up or getting the help they need. 

Mental Health vs. Having a Mental Condition

Mental health concerns include anything that causes someone to believe their mental health may be suffering. Just like you can be generally unhealthy without having a particular illness, you can have poor mental health from time to time without having a diagnosable condition. Many people struggle with not feeling “sick enough” to seek help for their mental health. It is never too early to seek treatment or advice when our life feels too challenging to handle on our own. Everyone should feel their life is worth the time and deserving of the investment in maintaining a healthy mental and emotional state.

Ways to Improve Our Mental Health

Just as there are many ways to exercise our bodies for physical health, there are many things you can do to improve your mental health. Taking time to get in touch with how we are feeling and doing something about it is a significant first step to taking control of your mental health. Try to hold a more positive outlook, be mindful of the messages sent via social media, and know when to stop watching or reading the news. Think about the things you have to be grateful for as a daily practice–you can even write them down or keep a journal. Other ideas include getting enough sleep, eating well-balanced meals, and mediating to relax our minds.

With all that is happening in our world today, it’s no wonder we can sometimes feel overwhelmed and struggle with managing our mental health. Being brave and honest enough to speak up when you feel like you need help is a sign of strength and a healthy move in the right direction. The more we all speak up about the importance of our mental and emotional health, the more our children and young adults will have the ability to recognize when they need help and speak up. There are many resources for getting help on the internet. A few of them include mentalhealth.gov, mentalhealthamerica.net, and nimh.nih.gov. Also beginning July 16, 2022, there will be a new 988 number available 24/7 for Americans dealing with a mental health crisis. It’s similar to calling 911 that is used in medical emergencies.** We all deserve to live our best lives. With help and support we can start doing that today!

Feelings thermometer

 

 

Source: *mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america 

Source: **samhsa.gov/find-help/988

 

Health is about more than just physical and mental well-being. It’s also about staying on top of your financial wellness. Contact us today, and we’ll help you determine if you have the proper protection in place to keep your loved ones safe. Or, use our handy life insurance calculator tool to find out how much life insurance is right for your situation.