Your mental well-being includes how you think, act and feel. It also helps you cope with stress, relate to others and make decisions. Mental well-being includes mental health, but goes far beyond treating mental illness. For example, you could go through a period of poor mental health but not necessarily have a diagnosable mental illness. And your mental health can change over time, depending on factors such as your workload, stress and work-life balance.
Mental illness refers to a variety of conditions that affect your mood or behavior, feelings or thinking. Mental illnesses can occur occasionally, while others are chronic and long-lasting. Common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental illness in any given year, and more than 50% will experience mental illness at some point in their life.
Mental health is extremely important and doesn’t just affect the mind, but can also have affects on your physical well being causing weight gain, heart attack or stroke. Because it’s such a crucial component of your health, it’s important to focus on maintaining or improving your mental health. While it’s not always easy, there are ways to help improve your mental health. Here are three simple ways to do so every day:
- Express gratitude. Taking five minutes a day to write down the things that you are grateful for has been proven to lower stress levels and can help you change your mindset from negative to positive.
- Get exercise. You probably hear all the time how beneficial exercise is to your overall health, but it’s true. Exercising can improve brain function, reduce anxiety and improve your self-image.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Strive for seven to eight hours of sleep a night to improve your mental health.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255