31 Jan Forget your New Year’s Resolutions…Here’s to your mental health and best life!
Bad news first:
Most sources estimate that approximately 90% of us will not follow through with our resolutions this year. Despite our best intentions, experts know that individual mental health, family relationship problems, as well as addiction issues – do not discriminate – and can get in the way of achieving our best. In other words, all of us are affected by natural/normal life-cycle transitions, unexpected life trials, grief & loss, and constant change to name a few. We can experience any or all these issues at multiple times in our lives, and regardless of our socio-economic status.
Similar to many physical maladies such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, even when no history of mental health issues exists in our biological families… Depression, Anxiety and Post -Traumatic Stress symptoms can develop. Respective symptoms can present based on situations in our environment. Environmental stressors can be real or perceived, which can also present added challenges.
The good news:
As global healthcare companies and corporate environments alike seek to comply with regulations and promote well-being (a wellness vs illness approach), more and more of us are open to discovering healthy options (AKA: Life Hacks) and to make improvements. While no blood-pressure-cuff exists to measure one’s mental health at present, the tools which professionals use such as mental health and addiction assessments, clinical interviews, cognitive-behavioral treatments (CBT), a family-systems approach, and psychotropic medications (when absolutely necessary) have all evolved. Talk-therapy can be a powerful inoculation against mental health problems. CBT helps to build life-skills and measure progress and outcomes, in addition to a heightened awareness of problems and symptom management. Your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are quite interconnected and tools themselves, for use toward your best health and life.
Making a sustainable change:
Relying on willpower may work for a small percentage of us. For the clear majority, we can start a movement to prevent and intervene early on unnecessary mental health suffering. Resilience is an innate capacity for most, and many mental health problems and addictions are highly treatable. Your unique, mental health plan to add good experience to your life can begin with a simple, mental health check-up (AKA: a professional assessment by a licensed and experienced mental health professional). A bio-psychosocial, life-history inventory and heightened awareness of your strengths and own unique situational challenges can follow. A new daily practice of “mental health hygiene” can develop to help you accomplish what you wish and to avoid the need for any resolutions next year!