Addiction is a disorder that is nobody’s fault for having. Disorders of addiction include many behaviors, from substance use to gambling to shopping. For reasons that are unique to each person with a disorder of addiction, their brain responds to stimuli in pleasurable ways that makes them go back for more of the stimuli. There are different neurological processes involved with different disorders of addiction.
10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
People often consider mindfulness something for the ‘elevated.’ However, practicing mindfulness is easy for anyone to integrate into their day-to-day life. It doesn’t mean you’re sitting in silent meditation – although this is a version of practicing mindfulness. It’s just about purposefully connecting with yourself, your surroundings and the present moment. It can lead to self-exploration and help you to develop self-awareness and, ultimately, self-compassion.
Do a Social Cleanse
Social media is proven to have an impact on our mental health as a society. Throughout the years, you may have followed accounts that just don’t serve you anymore, and some that may actually hurt your mental health. Take time to Marie Kondo your ‘Following’ tab – unfollow the accounts that no longer bring you joy!
Focus on Gratitude
Many in the mental health field believe that practicing gratitude can have a positive impact on your mental health. It helps you appreciate the things and people around you, as well as what you bring to the table. Spend your first few minutes after you wake up or before bed reflecting on what you are grateful for.
Connect with Others
After the year we had, it’s easy to see why connection with others is important for our mental health. While many of us are still practicing social distancing, it’s important to explore new, safe ways to connect – whether it’s a virtual party with friends, a zoom game night with loved ones or just a quick phone call with a trusted companion when you’re feeling stressed.
Set Aside Time for You
What is something that you love to do? A hobby of yours? We often let the things we enjoy or our hobbies fall to the bottom of our to-do list, never reaching the bottom. But it’s important for you to set aside that time for the things that bring you joy. Not only do you deserve to enjoy them, but that daily time can build up, improving your mood and mental health.
Improve Your Diet
Nutrition actually plays an important role in mental health, not just your physical health. There are ties between nutritional deficiencies and mental health issues like moodiness, anxiety and stress.
Start a Routine
Having a routine can be powerful when looking to improve your health. It can reduce stress and anxiety by creating order. Test out different things that you can integrate into your routine and find a general routine that works in your life.
Exercise boosts your energy, builds your stamina and self-esteem, helps with sleep issues and can provide both mental and physical benefits. Adding even just a quick workout into your routine can have powerful benefits on your mental health.
Take a Break
If you’re able to identify triggers that are impacting your mental health either step away from them, if you can, or take a break from them. It’s important to find healthy ways to cope when you can’t, however.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, reach out for support to family, friends, support groups or even professional help. There is no shame in getting help. For those who are at a higher risk for substance use disorder (SUD) or relapse, reach out to Wellbridge or another addiction treatment facility for advanced care during this time.