The Ultimate Guide To Achieving Good Mental And Behavioral Health – The challenges you face in your daily life can become too much, causing you stress and anxiety. As a result, it may affect your mental and behavioral health.
Managing your behavior and feelings while handling everyday challenges effectively is the key to maintaining your overall well-being. While it’s not easy, there are things you can do to navigate safely down this unfamiliar road and achieve good mental and behavioral health.
Aside from working with experts from treatment health centers similar to Jacksonhousecares.com, you can also improve your quality of life by reading the guide below.
The Difference Between Mental Health And Behavioral Health
When distinguishing between mental and behavioral health, it’s crucial to know that behavioral health is a blanket term that generally includes mental health. It also covers how behaviors affect one’s physical and mental health.
For example, behavioral health experts might look at how one’s behavior might have contributed to their obesity. It’s a problem that mainly affects one’s physical health. Hence, behavioral health issues don’t always have to fall into the mental health category.
On the contrary, mental health is under behavioral health. This is why people who deal with mental health problems may benefit from some behavioral health principles. For instance, changing behavior and thinking patterns may help people cope with their mental health conditions.
Best Practices To Achieve Good Mental And Behavioral Health
Anyone may experience mental and behavioral health problems at some point. To help you enjoy life more, elevate your mood, and be more resilient, here are the tips to achieve better behavioral or mental health:
Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Professional Help
You should never take your mental health for granted. Everybody needs help, and you don’t need to go through everything alone. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help for your well-being.
Whether you feel the need for professional services or want to confide in trusted friends, seeking help is always a smart thing to do. Although there’s still a stigma about seeking professional help, more and more people are starting to understand how important mental health is.
When finding a professional for behavioral and mental health, it’s vital to understand that it isn’t enough to simply look for the best one in the field. If possible, choose the one that meets your unique needs.
Food is like fuel to the body. It provides essential nutrients that help your body function well. So, it only makes sense to eat nutritious and healthy food like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
To take care of your body properly, here are things to consider:
- Eat regularly so that your body will have enough fuel to perform well throughout the day. Skipping meals could make you feel irritable or tired.
- Watch your alcohol consumption. Drinking too much alcohol may increase anxiety because of that constant pursuit of relaxation. This causes a disconnection between your spirit, mind, and body, leaving you feeling more in pain.
- Avoid too much caffeine. Even if it provides you energy, it may also add to feelings of anxiety. It may also hinder you from sleeping well, which is essential for mental health.
- Check how much sugar you eat. Too much sugar can make you feel tired and may lower your mood.
Find A Hobby
Decreased pleasure and lack of motivation to do pleasurable activities are symptoms of depression. Finding enjoyable activities may help you combat the onset of anxiety and depression. The reason behind it is that it can be a healthy outlet and a positive distractor from negative thoughts.
Engaging in activities that bring enjoyment and pleasure has physiological effects on the brain, as it releases neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. All of these can help fight anxiety and depression.
If you don’t know your ideal hobby, start by knowing what you’ve always wanted to do. For example, if you love being in a wood shop, you may enroll in a few woodworking classes or experiment with do-it-yourself (DIY) woodworking projects.
Give Yourself A Mental Health Break
It’s crucial to try focusing on the positive side of things. One of the ways to do that is to take a break from things or activities that affect your mental health and behavior. For instance, you can stop reading or watching the news if the content generally upsets you. If necessary, use social media only when you want to connect with others or reach out for support. To avoid impulse buys, avoid browsing through e-commerce sites or uninstall shopping apps on your phone.
You can also promote optimism by finding a balance between negative and positive emotions. Staying positive doesn’t always mean you don’t feel any negative emotions, such as anger or sadness. Sometimes, you must feel them to move through the most challenging situations. They could also help you find better solutions to each problem. However, you may need to regulate or balance out your positive and negative emotions with the help of a professional—especially if it seems too overwhelming.
Limit Technology And Media Use
Try minimizing your amount of media consumption and technology use regularly. You might not be addicted to mobile devices or social media, but reducing or limiting technology use and media consumption is more challenging than you’d expect.
The effects of prolonged and excessive social media can be detrimental to your mental health. Even consuming too much news may harm your well-being. Although you don’t need to cut them out entirely from your life, knowing how or when to use them can make a difference in your mental and behavioral health.
To limit media consumption or technology use successfully, do the following:
- Challenge yourself by not checking social media the entire day
- Put your mobile device in your cabinet during work hours or meal times
- Never use your phone before bedtime or as soon as you wake up
- Keep your mobile device out of your room
Expressing gratitude means being thankful for the good things in your life. Doing this regularly is beneficial, either by writing it in a journal or by thinking about what you’re grateful for. These can be little or big things, such as enjoying a delicious meal or being able to spend quality time with your loved ones.
Practicing gratitude may help you see life differently. For instance, when you’re stressed, you might forget the good things that happened to you on that day. By practicing gratitude, you’ll be able to recognize them.
Avoid Harmful Substance Use
Never use harmful substances, such as tobacco, alcohol, or drugs to cope with what you’re going through. Even if they may help you feel better at the moment, it’s just a quick fix and will only cause bigger problems over time.
Such substances may affect your central nervous system, affecting how you feel, behave, and think. Once substance use affects your mood, it may increase or trigger new symptoms, such as aggression, anxiety, and depression.
Aside from putting you and others around you in danger or at risk of injuries, excessive drug and alcohol consumption may also interact with some medications. So, if you’re taking antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and anxiety medications to improve your mental health, substance use could make them less effective.
Exercise isn’t only good for your physical health, but it may also benefit your mental and behavioral health. Exercise can help you:
- Cope with stress
- Lift your mood
- Lower anxiety
- Boost your energy
- Improve sleep quality
- Feel good about yourself
You don’t need to spend an enormous amount of time to experience those benefits. Just exercising for at least 30 minutes a day is enough to see significant changes in your overall health.
To make the most out of your exercise, consider the following tips:
- If you’re feeling sad, stressed, or worried, go for a walk. Walking is one of the easiest and fastest ways to feel better.
- Exercise with a friend or family member. You can enjoy the advantages of exercise if you do it with someone else. It’s not only good for your well-being, but it’ll likely help you keep up with your regular exercise sessions.
When you don’t know what exercise program to consider, you don’t have to follow someone’s session. You can choose any type of exercise as long as it’s an activity you like and gets you moving. However, if you suffer from a certain medical condition, consult your doctor first and ask for suggestions regarding the best exercise program.
Try To Slow Down
Everybody needs to relax and slow down. This allows you to enjoy life and manage stress effectively. When you don’t slow down, your stresses in life will only add up, making you feel overwhelmed to do something.
If you relax, seeing solutions and understanding problems is much easier. It’s also easier to deal with difficult feelings and see the bright side. Moreover, focusing on what’s happening is easier than worrying about the future or past.
How you relax may depend on your preferences. Tai chi, meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga are popular relaxation activities. Some people relax by doing art, playing with pets, spending time outdoors, and reading.
To produce the body’s natural relaxation response, you can consider other relaxation techniques. These slow down your breathing, reduce stress and muscle tension, and lower your blood pressure. Some of the relaxation techniques include:
- Guided Imagery – It’s where you can learn to focus on positive images, allowing you to feel more focused and relaxed.
- Progressive Relaxation – This technique relaxes and tightens various muscle groups using breathing exercises or mental imagery.
- Biofeedback – This uses electronic devices to help you control particular body functions, such as muscle tension, breathing, and heart rate.
- Self-Hypnosis – This will get you into a trance-like, relaxed state once you see a particular cue or hear a specific suggestion. During the process, it may help relieve your stress, ease feelings of anxiety, and boost mindfulness.
Volunteering in your community is beneficial for your well-being. While you’re helping those in need, you’re also improving your mental health. This is because volunteering enables you to connect with other people, which is crucial in fighting stress and depression.
If you want to be a volunteer, it’s easy to find opportunities regardless of where you reside. Depending on your preferences, you can search over the internet or read local newspapers for more information. Asking around may also help you find volunteering opportunities near you.
Get Enough Sleep
When you always get enough sleep, it’s easier to handle problems, cope with stress, remember things, think positively, and concentrate. The amount of sleep you need may depend on your body. You know you’re getting proper sleep when you don’t feel sleepy during the daytime.
It’s easy to think you can get more done if you cut back on sleep. However, it’s harder to get any task done if you didn’t have enough sleep in the first place.
If you can’t sleep well, here are the things you may do:
- Avoid exercising before bedtime. Instead, try relaxing activities like meditation and yoga to calm your body before bed.
- Don’t take sleeping pills. They may help you fall asleep faster, but they don’t often give you a restful or good sleep.
- Avoid long naps during the day.
- Choose quiet activities like reading.
- Ensure your room has a comfortable environment to make you fall asleep quickly.
- Avoid caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, and meals before bed. Caffeine will make you feel awake.
If your anxiety is keeping you awake at night, it’s best to speak with a professional about it. This way, a therapist can target the root cause of your anxiety and help you sleep better at night.
Focus On Creating Meaningful Social Connections
Regardless of your efforts to improve your mental and behavioral health, you’ll still need the presence of other people to function and feel your best. While you can connect with others via social media and phone, nothing beats the mood-boosting and stress-busting power of quality face-to-face connection with others. But to build better and stronger connections, only interact with people who are good listeners. These individuals can be anyone you can talk to in person regularly and will listen to your thoughts and feelings without judging or criticizing you.
If you’re mentally healthy, you’ll be in a better mood and attitude. This will help you enjoy life to the fullest and create good relationships with others. But to maintain good mental and behavioral health, you need to work on yourself. There would be ups and downs in life, and you need to know how to balance those positive and negative emotions to face every challenge and cope with unexpected adversities.