How to be a Healthier You - Mental Health

**In this 3-part blog series, you will gain insight into different areas of health**

 

When we think "health," what's the first thing that comes to mind? Looking physically fit? Eating fruits and vegetables? Maintaining a certain body weight?

Society has us fixated on what being healthy means, and often times, this can lead to negative behaviors and health practices. Examples include binge eating, limiting food options, lowering self-esteem and confidence, displaying negative body images, lacking social networks, and so much more.

However, health is so much deeper than our physical looks. Health incorporates a variety of aspects such as our physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual well-beings. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, health can be defined as the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit, especially from physical disease or pain. Also, health is a condition in which someone or something is thriving or doing well.

So why is this important? Well, fellow viewer, when we learn and understand health's true meaning, we can make positive and healthier decisions in our life. We can make informed and impactful choices and realize that we have the power to be a healthier.

 

Areas of Health

As mentioned earlier, there are different areas of health that we can all focus on: Physical, Mental, and Social. Of course, we all want to physically “look” healthy, but sometimes it’s deeper than how we look. Think about physical health for example. Our bodily organ systems are all interconnected - what happens to one system, will affect other organ systems. Even when our bodies are distressed, riled up with emotions and feelings, that has a visceral reaction. We don’t think of it that way, because society implies that being healthy is only external. With a drastic increase for mental health needs, there are “invisible” diseases and issues that society cannot see. This leaves many individuals fighting their inner demons silently, which can play a role in their quality of life. Additionally, this affects how we approach different situations and how we handle different relationships. Even friendships, relationships, and social networks affect how we interact with the world. This should not stop us from befriending others, but encourage us to find common interests with people around us.

When we radiate confidence, good energy, and happiness, it shows. This also attracts the right people who will support you during harsh times

**I am not a licensed clinician. However, I hope to provide some insight, advice, and words of encouragement that worked for me and inspire you to view health as a positive thing.**

 

2. Mental Health

As more people begin to open up about their struggles and their mental health, it's important to be considerate and supportive. For this portion, I will be discussing practices that helped me express my emotions and how I continue to overcome daily challenges.


Realistic & Positive Thinking

I like to consider myself a realistic optimist, someone who maintains a positive outlook and approaches things in a realistic manner. What does that mean? This means I like to create ideas and follow-through on them, so long as they are attainable. Remember SMART goals? I'm not going to go in-depth, but that's the general outline of my positive thinking. When things get hard - work, school, relationships, etc. - I like to believe that things will be okay, and they usually are. I do my best not to dwell on the negatives or the past, because then I will sulk instead of being proactive.


Action Creates Motivation

It takes courage and energy to create ideas, but it takes a little extra effort to turn it into action. The moment we tell ourselves "I can do this!" we win half of our battles. There's this saying that goes "action speaks louder than words," and I believe in this quote wholeheartedly. I believe the more we "do" something, rather than "say" we do something, we feel accountable and motivated. In fact, once we see the results - whether it's doing something kind, doing service for others, or hanging out with someone we have not seen in a long while - we can feel more motivated. This may not apply to everyone, but a little action goes a long way.


Failing =/= Being a Failure

Many of us correlate failing as being a failure. When we fail - receiving rejections, scoring poorly on exams, messing up work tasks - these are simply opportunities to try again. On the contrary, being a failure means once you failed something, you refuse to jump back and try again. I cannot express how many times I've failed things - rejections, work tasks, new work skills, and so much more. Yes, I've cried, stressed, and even ridiculed myself for feeling like a failure. However, I am fueled with fire and ready to keep going. I use these failings as opportunities to learn and improve, rather than dwell in the past. Although it takes time and practice, I feel much better about myself when I keep doing my best.


Don't Try, Do Your Best

Whenever someone asks me to do something, instead of saying "I'll try," I say "I'll do my best." When you vocalize you'll do the best you can, you begin to feel you can do anything. Here's what I mean. There's a level of reassurance and confidence when you hear "I'll do my best." It means you'll give the best effort possible, work hard to get where you need to go, and solidify your decision to keep going. No one can shoot you down when you're doing the best you can. It's quite the opposite when you hear "I'll try," which can lead to responses like "try harder." Additionally, "I'll try" sounds very half-hearted. Even our minds believe you can do better, so change your "I'll try" to "I'll do my best," and you'll find yourself doing better.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read Part 2 of 3 on how to be healthier. These are all of my personal life inspirations and changes, many of which come from my experience in work, school, and life. I hope you found something positive and I hope you find ways to make 'healthier' decisions.

If you have any comments, questions, and/or concerns, feel free to contact me!


Stay tuned fellow viewer!

Best Wishes, Sienna N. March 23, 2020

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