Whenever we feel something other than joy and positivity all the time, this doesn’t mean we have a mental health problem. However, recognizing the signs of good mental health is important, as this provides a gauge for when and if more serious issues arise, such as anxiety, depression, and complicated grief.
- Use various preemptive management techniques
- Practice effective coping skills
- Rely on therapeutic methods
- Follow medication treatment prescribed by medical professionals, if necessary
With the right assessment and continuum of care plan, there’s no reason why mental and emotional health can’t be navigated for a lifetime in the same conscious ways as chronic physical health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.
- Have reliable ways to cope with general stresses of life
- Are able to be productive at work
- Recognize and realize their individual potential
- Feel as though they belong to a type of community
- Are able to contribute to society in some way
The organization also notes that someone with good mental health “might have emotions including happiness, love, joy and compassion, and…feel generally satisfied with life, and have a sense of spiritual wellbeing, a sense of meaning or purpose, and feelings of peace.”
- Feeling in control of your life and personal decisions
- Being optimistic–having hope that good things can, do, and will happen in your life
- Feeling physically healthy
- Getting enough sleep
If upon review you realize your mental and emotional health can be improved, it might be time to speak with a professional.
Can Mental Health Problems Be Prevented?
Many factors contribute to the development of mental illness including, but not limited to:
- Current environment, such as an individual’s conflicts, medical issues, stressors, and other life components
- Early environment, which may feature three or more adverse childhood experiences or other forms of trauma
- Epigenetics, which relates to transgenerational trauma, such as systemic racism or descendents of war survivors
- Family patterns, which influence our coping skills and interpersonal relationship abilities
- Genetics, although there’s not a concrete test for predicting heritability of certain conditions
- Impairment of a person’s neurobiology, which may cause dysregulated behavior
For mental health problems to be addressed, contributing risk factors need to be acknowledged by an individual and their health care providers. There also needs to be a more unified effort to cultivate better awareness of mental health issues, reduce the stigma of mental illness, and broadcast various resources that can help.
Resources You Can Use
A popular term now is “health equity” and with good reason. To ensure essential whole-person wellness, medical providers need to consider the unique needs of each individual. This is especially important for members of the BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ communities, who’ve been overlooked in many areas of health care.
Knowing where to find culture-forward health care, support groups, family education, and other resources enables quick action on mental health issues. Here are just a few:
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides numerous resources for support and healthcare, especially for members of the BIPOC/AAIA community.
- The Wounded Warrior Project provides a network, hotline, and other initiatives to help former military personnel improve their mental health after issues with PTSD, sexual assault, traumatic brain injury, and other circumstances.
- The National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network, as the name suggests, works specifically to broadcast access to various mental health professionals skilled with the unique issues of this community.
- Mental Health America offers a wide range of resources for everyone and has various screeners to help you, as the organization states, “Get a check up from the neck up.”
How to Maintain Good Mental Health
You have the opportunity every day to focus on improving your mental health, even if you’ve been diagnosed with a particular condition. Here are some ideas that may help:
- Focus on self-care routines. More than just a bubble bath by candlelight (although that’s one way to reduce stress!), self-care routines and rituals involve numerous aspects, from proper nutrition and regular exercise to engaging in meaningful relationships and activities.
- Express gratitude. Why does this matter? Because research indicates redirecting your thoughts to what you’re thankful for instead of to complaints and fears helps change your brain for the better.
- Identify your purpose. When we don’t know our place in the world, life feels even more challenging. Trust that you have unique gifts and an intent to give back in ways that have lasting impact.
- Ask for help. Yes, this is hard sometimes, especially when you’re not sure what you need help with or why, but as the above resources demonstrate, you have options to help you feel better.
Another Behavioral Health Resource Is Cottonwood Tucson
For more than 35 years, the board-certified professionals have provided real solutions and new hope to individuals just like you who want to feel their best. If you or a loved one isn’t sure you need mental or emotional health care, or what you’ve tried before doesn’t seem to be working, try these self-assessment quizzes, or ask for guidance from a member of our admission staff.