Easier said, than done, the first step to improving your mental health is taking ownership and acknowledging the work that lays ahead. Depending on the severity of symptoms, patients can positively contribute to their own recovery through practicing healthy habits, such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet. If these basic needs are met and negative symptoms still prevail, seeking a clinically proven mental health assessment and the prescribed treatment plan that follows is the best path to improving mental health.
The first, and most important step towards improving your mental health before seeking professional help is self awareness. The more you can understand your positive and negative triggers, the better you will be able to identify and rationalize the connections between your thoughts and behaviours. Self awareness is the most import aspect of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) which is often prescribed to patients experiencing anxiety and depression; self awareness is also the best preemptive step towards mental health recovery that can be practiced alone from the comfort of your home.
Equally important to a healthy mind is a healthy body. Becoming self aware and identifying you aren’t firing on all cylinders is important and the next step is to ensure that physiologically the machine that is your body has all the fuel it needs to support the brain. Healthy diet, sleep and exercise are imperative to give your brain the resources it needs to work towards positive mental health.
You’ve taken ownership that you’re experiencing mental health symptoms and want to improve them, you’re fuelling your body with a healthy diet, sleep and exercise, what else can you try before seeking help? Another way to improve your mental health is to involve yourself in community! Whether it is support groups, special interest hobby groups, fitness clubs, or even supporting a social cause. In addition to being a helpful distraction from negative thought spirals, feeling a sense of belonging and being around like-minded individuals can be really impactful because it helps us not feel so alone and can help give life purpose.
When you’ve done all of the above, and negative mental health symptoms remain affecting your daily life, it's time to seek help. If you’ve exhausted local mental health resources or simply aren’t happy with the service, Cognito Health is here for you.