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How to Improve mental health, Mental Health Notes Part 2

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Worldwide, the three most common mental health disorder diagnoses are anxiety disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
How to Improve mental health

Worldwide, the three most common mental health disorder diagnoses are anxiety disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of conditions that can affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Other examples of mental illness include schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors.

These disorders can lead to dangerous, sometimes even fatal, outcomes. According to Psychology Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report found that during the COVID-19 pandemic adults adults ages 18-24 increased substance abuse. Furthermore, one in four in this same group of adults considered suicide within the previous month before the study was conducted.

Drastic changes in a person’s thoughts, moods or behavior can be a sign they have a mental disorder. Some signs of mental illness include unusual or illogical thoughts, hearing voices that no one else can hear, withdrawing from people, drug use, feelings that life is not worth living or suicidal thoughts, poor concentration, and memory, and not being able to follow a conversation. Adults who have had problems with substance abuse also suffer from mental illness.

However, mental illness is treatable. Most people with mental illness recover. The first step is self-awareness: what are you thinking about all day? What are you feeling? And being mindful of what is happening in the moment. Then allowing yourself to feel the pain you are experiencing and not rushing to rid yourself of painful feelings. Sounds weird, but stop fighting yourself, accept your feelings and thoughts. You’re at where you’re supposed to be – miserable. But misery has an end point. Remember: H.O.P.E. - Hold On Pain Ends.

When you open your eyes in the morning to the miracle of life, what do you say to yourself? Just try and sing a few songs from the musical play HAIR – “I Got Life”: “Mother, I got laughs, sister I got freedom, brother.” Or sing “Good Morning Sunshine.” In any case, just pop out of bed like warm toast and wake up with a positive attitude, then practice positive self-talk: “I choose to be happy.” “I decide how I feel today.” “This is hard, but I can do hard things.” “I am resilient, and strong.” “I’m on the hunt for the good stuff.” “Positive, positive, positive.” “I deserve a happy and healthy day.” “I’m resilient.” “I’m getting better and better, every day, in every way.”

What you think, visualize, and what you say to yourself can change your body, brain, and life. Affirmations lower your stress and calm your brain. Think positive thoughts of the future. Every minute of every day, your body is physically changing in response to the thoughts that run through your head. Just thinking about something causes your brain to send signals and release neurotransmitters. These chemicals control virtually all of your body’s functions, including your mood and feelings. Over time and with repetition, via neuroplasticity, it’s been proven that your thoughts change your brain, your cells, and even your genes. Don’t negative program yourself. Positive programming for positive outcomes. In the 60s people hummed a “mantra.” Then in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs they sang, “Whistle While You Work.” But be careful with all that bubbling happiness on the train or bus, folks might think you have a mental illness. 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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