Mental Health Throughout Your Life


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In the end, everything comes back to your health. Your work, your passions, and meaningless distractions can all keep you busy, but you would be in no shape to be busy doing anything if you didn’t have your health. That’s why most Americans consider their health to be a top priority, even if they don’t always treat it as such. The health and wellness industry brings in nearly 180 billion dollars every year, and Americans try diets, “superfoods,” and medications in their ongoing quest to stay fit and avoid getting sick.

But what about your mind?

Mental health is just as important as physical health. In fact, the distinction between mental health and physical health isn’t always a helpful one, experts say. While it’s easy to imagine that your “physical health” is separate from your mental well-being, studies have shown that this is not the case. Everything from your diet to your immune system can have a say in your mental health. And, conversely, problems with your mental health can manifest as physical maladies.

That’s part of why it’s so important to take care of your mental health your whole life long. Here are a few tips for doing just that.

Get Physical

One great way to care for your mind is something that we just hinted at above: Stay physically healthy! While some aspects of your overall health are beyond your control, others are up to you. Eating a balanced and nutritional diet can improve your moods and your overall mental health (while also, of course, helping you stay physically healthy and fit). Exercising regularly is good for your mind as well as for your body because getting moving releases dopamine, which cheers you up. Healthy living will also reduce your chances of getting sick—which is good news because serious and long-term illnesses can cause mental health problems.

Mind Your Lifestyle

Some things about mental health are universal. But it’s also true that we’re all unique, and each of us should be mindful of what sorts of emotional and mental stresses we might be facing more than the average person. A retiree living in an assisted living community wouldn’t worry much about work/life balance, for example, but a hard-charging young careerist should be wary of overworking him or herself; long hours and few vacations can lead to burnout.

Where you live matters, too, point out the mental health experts at Cities have unique stresses, which is why residents of cities like Baltimore should be particularly mindful of their mental health. Therapy is a smart choice for those living in busy cities like Baltimore, which can cause stress, anxiety, and depression for all kinds of reasons. Traffic, a competitive career environment, violent crime, and the isolating effect of big crowds are all legitimate mental health concerns. Meanwhile, those further out in the country might focus more on the isolation of rural environments, which can be lonelier, in some ways, than cities. It’s all about your unique circumstances!

See The Pros

Unique factors can make your situation different from someone else’s, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore tried-and-true methods of caring for mental health. Just as is the case with physical health concerns, the best way to address mental health is to combine a healthy lifestyle with regular assistance from the professionals. You visit a primary care physician regularly to address your physical health (or, at least, you should!), so why not do the same for your mental health? Talk to your primary care provider about any and all mental health concerns, and consider turning to a mental health specialist for therapy and other preventative and/or targeted treatments for mental health.