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How to Improve mental health, Mental Health Notes

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

Tips to Boost Your Mental Health
Improving Mental Health

Welcome to Life 101. Seems each day is a challenge to our personality and well-being. Every day we are bombarded with negative events that impact our psychological health. Is life becoming more difficult? Did the cavemen and cavewomen have stressful psychological challenges struggling with life? Did mental illness exist back in the cave days? How did a “cave person” cope with mental illness? Maybe the Cave Elder or Shaman settled marital conflicts, and hunting party duties. I’m sure cave women were sturdy, fearless warriors, and could hold their own when facing a massive mastodon. A strength of character or sturdy back bone was required of everyone to survive the harsh environment. Even so, today.

In the modern world, multiple skill sets are required to survive. Life skills pay the bills. As the song goes, “you play the note you know.” But, when it comes to mental illness, each type of mental illness has a different set of symptoms. You may have an eating disorder. Hearing voices. Feeling hopeless. Have postnatal depression. Excessive anxiety or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A person could be fine and jolly, doing well, then start having trouble with daily activities. Then a person starts worrying about life changes and this could affect their job or relationship. Mental illness still remains a mystery. What causes mental illness? What happens in a person’s mind? Improve Mental Health, I asked myself these questions while working in mental hospitals in California, studying to become a clinical therapist. Becoming mentally challenged is usually a collection of influences. It can be genetics, where you grew up, when you grew up, or what was going on socially in the world when you were young.

Having a few sessions with your local psychologist may not reveal the inner workings of your brain. Therapy only goes as fast as your resistance allows, especially if you have experienced childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect. Then add poverty, debt, social disadvantage, discrimination, racism, bereavement, or impaired physical health. I’m sure in the cave days, if a saber-toothed tiger bit you, you’re going to be depressed. Or if your tooth needed to be pulled out, that had to be pure agony. But how did they cope? Today people use alcohol and variety of drugs, legal and illegal which can cause a bipolar disorder or an episode of psychosis. Then, hormonal changes can cause mental health problems.

But stress kills. Stress is like snow; it builds up and has a negative effect on your mind and body. Add trauma and the risk for mental illness goes up. Living in a war zone can increase post traumatic stress disorder. Many veterans are challenged by intrusive thoughts leading to suicide. Add social isolation, domestic violence and a relationship breakdown or divorce, and these factors can lead to work problems or financial issues. Then how well can you cope with these life challenges? What type of a person are you? How do you process and cope with all the stimulus of life coming at you?

What should you do if you’re suffering from anxiety, depression, addiction, or mental distress?

Hilary’s Helpful Hints suggest that you stay flexible. Flexibility and adaptability are critical for your emotional well-being and mental health. When under stress do something. Exercise, walk, clean the car or house, wash the dog, see a funny movie, talk with a friend. Ask yourself: What is the problem? What caused the problem? What can you do about it? Use basic resiliency skills. Be aware of yourself and what is going in your mind and with your sensations. Be still. Increase your self-awareness, and self-regulation. Be optimistic and maintain mental agility. Identify deep beliefs and core values that fuel out-of-proportion emotions. Evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of your beliefs. Identify and correct counterproductive patterns in your thinking through the use of critical questions. What is upsetting you? What does this situation mean to you? What is the worst part of this situation for you? Are your beliefs and attitude helping or harming you? Evaluate the accuracy of your critical thinking skills. Is it time to uproot old thinking and beliefs and plant new thinking? Ask for feedback. Don’t be shy. Be more transparent. What would a “cave person do?

About the Author:

Hilary Valdez is a freelance Writer living in Tokyo, Japan. He is an experienced Mental Health professional and Resiliency Trainer. Valdez is a former Marine and has worked with the military most of his career and most recently worked at Camp Zama as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Valdez now has a private practice and publishes books on social and psychological issues. His books are available on Amazon and for Kindle.

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