Did you know mental illnesses affect 20% of Americans today? Crazy, I know!
Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It has great impact on how we think and act, how we handle stress, and how we make daily decisions. Ultimately, it has the biggest influence on our daily life, relationships, and even PHYSICAL HEALTH. Mental health is needed to enjoy a balanced life.
However it is completely normal to struggle with your mental health, as I have myself. This last year has been a whirlwind of events that spiraled into a terrible stint of extreme anxiety. I would be anxious over every single event that happened throughout my life to the point where it took all of my happiness away. I would be extremely anxious walking to class, while doing homework, or what I was going to wear the next day. I would work myself up about EVERY little thing. I would overthink every situation and choice in my life to the point where I would work myself up to a panic attack.
“Sometimes the worst place you can be is in your own head.” -Anonymous
If you were to ask anyone around me, it would seem as if I lived a ‘normal’ life (What is normal anyways?). Getting up in the morning to workout and getting good grades in school. However, everything inside of me was not the same and social events were non-existent because I would have extreme panic attacks. Some days it was good if I were to get out of bed for the day to shower. I cannot explain why this happened, but it did and I am thankful to have learned strategies to help work through my struggles.
If your mental health is not balanced, your body will react in different ways. For me, my body reacted in losing 20 pounds, as I was in constant stress each and every day. To me, that was my body’s way of saying this was not healthy and something needed to change. For others, their body could react totally different. Each individual is different.
From my own experience I often struggled with: a lack of energy, feeling constantly overwhelmed, very easily agitated or angry, and feeling alone. I am here to tell you, you are NOT alone. The stigma around mental health needs to leave society in order to truly help individuals.
My top two suggestions for anyone struggling is: use your resources and do what is right for you, no one else. Confide in someone that you trust and seek a professional to help. Those are two things that have changed my life for the better.
Besides confiding in people I trusted, I found that healthy exercise was another coping method with stress relieving. Exercise can release endorphins to help with some cases of depression, anxiety, and stress.
However, it is hard to exercise if you are lacking energy, so what should you do?
- START SMALL! Go for a walk, do yoga… you do not need to go hit the gym for hours.
- Do something you enjoy! It truly won’t seem like a chore if you enjoy it. For me, I love running. It allows me time to let my mind run and be free. If you don’t like running…. do something YOU like.
- Remember being active doesn’t always need to incorporate a gym! It is all about mindful movement. At-home workouts can be just as beneficial, and all in the comforts of your own home!
Although you may never get rid of your struggles, you can learn tools to help you manage in a way that allows you to live your life. And believe me, it is amazing and your body will thank you.
You are living with yourself every second of everyday, so why not make it the happiest time? NO ONE should suffer alone. There is no success without mental health.
Pursue happiness for yourself. Live a happy life.