We all have mental health
How are you doing?
We all get mad and annoyed sometimes. It’s natural. But when those emotions happen way too often, they can be distracting, stressful, and we need to manage them before things get worse.
Many people struggle with feelings of anxiety. But we can work through and overcome those feelings to make the most of work, school, relationships and life.
From feeling down from time to time to experiencing the persistent sadness of clinical depression, there are things all of us can do to reduce feelings of sadness in our lives.
When life feels bleak, and it’s hard to find hope or figure out what to do next, there are always actions we can take to feel better.
Loneliness can literally mean being isolated from other people, but it’s often about not feeling understood or connected to those around us. Whatever the struggle, there are ways to overcome loneliness.
Stress can be motivating, but when it’s overwhelming it can affect our moods and ability to think clearly. So it’s important to find ways to cope with and prevent negative stress levels.
Sometimes we can easily describe our emotional state, and other times, we just feel weird. When that happens, it’s important to be proactive, understand what’s really going on and find ways to cope.
The end of a relationship can feel like the end of the world, but there are ways to heal, feel better and move on with our lives.
When someone we care about passes away, pain and grief is a normal, healthy part of the healing process. But there are coping strategies that can help along the way.
When technology and social media becomes stressful or frustrating, we have ways to deal with cyberbullying, text-fighting and more, to take back our emotional health.
Mistreatment, judgment, and systemic oppression can cause very real pain, and until we put an end to discrimination, find ways to cope with the emotional pain here.
Financial issues stress out most people, and while we can’t always change our money situation, we can find ways to cope with those challenging emotions.
When we deal with internal pain by causing ourselves physical pain, it’s crucial to stop harming ourselves and start understanding the full scope of our emotions.
Many of us struggle with sexual orientation, coming out or just dealing with pressures related to identity. Whatever the situation, we can do things to support our emotional health.
When mental health challenges go unaddressed, they can lead to serious health problems and can even be fatal. Suicide is preventable if we learn the warning signs and speak up if we’re worried about ourselves or a loved one.
Good question, because “mental health” can mean different things to different people. Mental health is a continuum that stretches from where we’re feeling good to the other end of the continuum where we’re struggling because of a challenge or a condition like depression. Where we are on that continuum is influenced by various factors. Some we can control (how we take care of ourselves or our support networks) and some we can’t (our genetics or how we were raised).
When our mental health is strong it can help us thrive. When we’re struggling, we may need to seek out self-care and coping practices, and/or the support of professionals.
We can feel depressed or anxious without experiencing a mental health condition such as depression or an anxiety disorder. Mental health conditions (sometimes referred to as mental illnesses) are defined by the length and intensity of our negative feelings and behaviors. The distinction between feeling anxious and having an anxiety disorder depends on how deeply those feelings affect our lives and how long that impact lasts. The important thing to remember is that mental health conditions are treatable and manageable. With the right support, we can move from struggling back across the continuum to thriving.
As much as we may try to cope, most mental health challenges will have a negative impact on our lives. We may struggle in school, lose a job because of performance issues, endure financial stress or damage relationships. And the most severe negative outcomes include substance misuse, dangerous behaviors, self-harm, and suicide. That’s why you should never ignore any concerns you have for the mental health and well-being of yourself or someone you know. Speak up, start conversations and find support. You can learn more about where to start here.
When we physically feel sick, get injured, or have pain, we go to our doctor. When things don’t feel right emotionally, think of mental health professionals the same way. Counselors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists are trained to help us with everyday stress, navigating tough break-ups, dealing with grief or financial struggles, as well as treating medical conditions like depression. Their support can include talk therapy, medication, lifestyle changes and coping strategies. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s okay to ask for help and get support. Because we all need it sometimes.
Like our physical health, there are aspects of our mental health that we need to understand and manage the best we can, taking positive actions to feel better today and protecting our emotional well-being from future problems. Actively practicing self-care (exercising, meditation, getting enough sleep) and developing good coping strategies (journaling, talking with friends, gratitude exercises), can make us more resilient and protected when we do face challenges or difficult situations. It’s also important to reach out for support and discuss our feelings if we need it.
Sometimes feelings get so intense, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what we’re feeling, what’s causing us to feel that way and how to even begin to deal with it. We get it, and we’ve got you. Head over to Mental Health 101 to get started.
And if you need support or to talk with someone ASAP, check out these options for finding professional help.
You can reach out for support any time and for any reason. Some people may think that mental health professionals such as therapists, psychologists and counselors, are only for when things get really bad or for medical conditions like depression or eating disorders. But really, these professionals are trained to help us develop plans to deal with stress, manage difficult relationships, cope with tough or traumatic experiences or just feel better and improve our quality of life. If thoughts, feelings or challenges are interfering with work, school, relationships or enjoying life, it’s important to actively reach out for help.
No matter how close we are to someone, it’s not always easy for them to reveal that they’re in pain or they need help. So if you sense that a friend is struggling emotionally or having a hard time, don’t ignore it. Instead start the conversation and be there for them.
And check out the For a Friend page for warning signs that a friend is struggling, tips on talking to them and ways you can offer support while taking care of yourself.
Need help now?
If you’re struggling and need to talk to someone, you are not alone. There are many free, confidential resources available 24/7.