There’s little doubt that the collective mental health is worsening. Anxiety rates are skyrocketing, depression is at an all-time high, and more people are developing diseases because of stress than ever before in the history of our world.
A lot of things are contributing to this – the main issue being the incredibly fast-paced, action-packed lifestyles that most of us are living. Driving for an hour each way to get to an 8-hour shift in the office is not only exhausting, but it also takes a toll on a person’s mental health.
How Can We Improve Mental Health?
Fortunately, just because mental health is worsening doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way. There are a few things that we can keep in mind to help improve our mental health, individually and for the collective.
- Take it easy. While most of us are conditioned to believe that it’s unacceptable or unprofessional to take that extra day off work or to simply quit our jobs, this isn’t true. The most professional thing that you can do is to take care of yourself, and if working long hours is stressing you out to the point that your mental health is suffering, you need to dial it back – otherwise, you’ll end up unable to work anyways!
- Utilize counseling or e-counseling. It’s well-known that therapy and counseling are the pinnacles of helping to improve mental health. Not everyone knows about e-counseling, though. E-counseling is an online form of therapy that is more accessible and approachable than traditional counseling, though it offers all of the same benefits.
- Mindfulness and meditation. Areas like Tibet, where monks traditionally practice mindfulness and meditation as they have for thousands of years, have remarkably low levels of mental health problems. This is because of mindfulness and meditation – two similar but not identical practices – help to prime the mind, relieve anxiety pain, reduce stress, and increase appreciation for life.
- Keep it simple. As technology and the workforce become more complex, so too do our lives. Mental health issues seem to increase in number and complexity alongside this. New mental health conditions that were unheard of before are arising at an alarming rate, so it could be wise to think back towards simpler times when we weren’t juggling so many tasks at the same time. If you’re the type of person who feels like they need to be busy all the time, slow down and ask – what are you trying to distract yourself from?
- Watch your intake. We put a lot of stuff into our bodies and minds. Be cautious of what you ingest, physically and mentally. This doesn’t consume poisonous things like cigarettes, junk food, or violent television, all of which can contribute to stress.
Mental health might be getting worse, but in the long-run, that’s a result of the lifestyle changes that we have chosen to make as a collective. The best ways to combat mental health problems are to start at the root and build a lifestyle that doesn’t provide rooms for these problems to thrive.