Mental health is a complex ecosystem that requires attention and care. If you have experienced mental health challenges, you are well familiar with the ebbs and flows, the good days and the bad days. Learning how to cultivate positive changes with your mental health is important in seeing improvements to your overall wellbeing.
Look out for these positive signs that you have made progress with your mental health:
Before: You experienced low self-esteem
Now: You feel more confident
When you’re already feeling down, the last thing you need is to feel insecure about your appearance or your capabilities. After working on your mental health, you can recognize all of your wonderful and unique characteristics, feel more confident in who you are and nurture yourself in those instances of insecurity.
Before: It was a struggle to get out of bed
Now: You have more energy
Making positive changes with your mental health is only possible when you care for your whole person. Tending to your mental health often includes eating more nutritiously, exercising, getting plenty of sleep and practicing mindfulness and gratitude. All of these factors combined can make you feel more well rested, happy and ready to take on the day.
Before: You struggled with anxiety at all times
Now: You don’t feel as anxious in your daily life
If you struggle with anxiety, controlling those symptoms can feel like an uphill battle. You’ll know you have improved your mental health when you notice you don’t feel as anxious anymore, and when you do feel anxiety coming on, you are equipped to deal with it.
Before: You have inadvertently left relationships behind
Now: You have fostered strong relationships
During periods of depression, it is all too easy to pull away from relationships and shut down in the face of adversity. It simply feels like too much work to keep up with relationships on a daily basis. When you take control of your mental health, you will feel energized to reignite those relationships and give them the attention they deserve.
Before: You did what you could to survive
Now: You take care of your mind and body in order to thrive
Mental health challenges make it more difficult than it already is to care for yourself. During tough times, you may have subsisted on junk food, skipped out on exercise and forgotten to do your personal grooming routine. Eating nutritious meals, finding exercise that works for you and caring for your body inside and out can do wonders for your mental health. When you find that these things are important to you, you’ll know that you’re making progress with your mental health.
Before: You felt disappointed in yourself for not meeting your own expectations
Now: You set attainable goals and expectations for yourself
A common downfall is setting unrealistic goals for yourself, being unable to attain them, and then kicking yourself for being inadequate. This negative commentary is a product of mental health challenges. When you feel secure in yourself and recognize what you are capable of, you will learn how to set yourself up for success. Rather than aiming to clean the entire house over the weekend, you may promise yourself to tidy up the bedroom and then make a plan for when each remaining room should be cleaned. Good mental health allows you to make healthy concessions.
Before: You were hard on yourself when you weren’t feeling your best
Now: You can understand and manage your bad mental health days
Mental health, good or bad, has a way of compounding issues. When you’re feeling depressed and not able to tend to your responsibilities, the mind has a way of instantaneously triggering self-talk, telling you that you are worthless or incapable. As you improve your mental health, you will learn to recognize and confront these thoughts. Making positive mental health changes entails accepting who you are, bad days and all, and showing yourself some grace.
Before: You only went to counseling as needed, if at all
Now: You continue to go to counseling
As you know by now, you can’t completely change the state of your mental health overnight. It is a continuous, non-linear journey. Mental health counseling is a proven effective tool for helping you make positive changes to your mental health.
The Light Program provides mental health teletherapy for those who are striving for positive change with their mental health. Reach out today at 610-644-6464 to learn more about how counseling can improve your mental health.