According to Medical News Today, mental health “refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental wellness as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
InSight + Regroup refers to behavioral health as “emotions, behaviors and biology relating to a person’s mental well-being, their ability to function in everyday life and their concept of self.”
All three terms, mental health, mental wellness, and behavioral health, refer to similar components that impact our lives and are often used interchangeably. No matter which one you prefer to use, the importance of improving or maintaining it remains the same.
WHO states that “about half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14,” making it essential that we are promoting mental wellness from a young age and continuing it in all stages of our lives.
In honor of World Mental Health Day (October 10), Vivage, with communities focused on behavioral health throughout Colorado and Missouri, is sharing tips on how you can improve and maintain your mental health.
Quiet Your Mind
Today’s technology and access to information can make it easy to be in a constant state of stimulation. While these tools have provided a lot of conveniences, continuously taking in information without a break can negatively affect your mental health and wellness. It is important to unplug every once in a while and quiet your mind.
"Give yourself a chance to reflect, and reset by trying an activity, such as meditation, to clear your mind, a walk in the park or in the woods, or just sitting outside listening and observing the natural sounds around you,” states Hope Carwile, BA, LCSW, CCTP, 200YTT Innovations Specialist for Vivage.
Break Free of Your Monotonous Routine
Routines help us plan our days and be productive, but, if followed for too long, these monotonous routines can hurt our mental health. Breaking our routines can actually exercise and challenge our minds. “You would be surprised how impactful this can be as your brain now has to think about the new journey, process new information en route, and figure out where you fit into the environment (thriveglobal.com).”
Breaking your routine can involve small changes. For instance, if you go to the same coffee shop every morning, try a different one. If you walk through the same park each day, pick a new path. These small changes can make life more exciting and can boost mental health and wellness.
Find Meaning and Purpose
It is vital to our behavioral health that we have meaning and purpose in life. If we have a “why,” it makes different aspects easier to cope with, whether positive or negative. You can accomplish this by challenging yourself to learn something new and setting realistic goals. When you have something to work toward, you will feel a sense of purpose as you reach your goals.
Furthermore, volunteering and helping others may help you find meaning and purpose. Each Mind Matters states, “research indicates that those who consistently help other people experience less depression, greater calm, fewer pains and better health.”
Focus of Getting Quality Sleep
Even though the quantity of sleep you get each night is essential, sleep quality has a significant impact on your mental health and wellness. If you toss and turn all night, your mind and body do not get the opportunity to properly rest and reset for the day ahead. A lack of quality sleep negatively affects your mood, energy, ability to handle stress, and even your mental sharpness. Practice good sleep habits to get better quality sleep and improve your mental wellness.
At Vivage, we make promoting mental wellness a priority by caring for the “whole person.” It is our belief that overall health and wellness can be achieved by combining traditional medicine with a holistic care approach, which is why we provide various levels of care and offer a number of holistic services.
For more information on the services and amenities we offer or to learn more about our communities, we invite you to contact our Vivage team.