What is Mental Health?
Mental health is the state of psychological, emotional, and social well-being and its underlying makeup. This can include interrelated feelings, behaviors, and thoughts that influence our life in terms of experiences and choices. It also governs how we handle stress and our overall quality of relationships with others.
Tips for Good Mental Health in Recovery
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
There are three key ingredients to a healthy lifestyle – a nutritious and healthy diet, heart health (you can achieve that with regular cardio), and at least 7-8 hours of sound, uninterrupted, quality sleep.
Research in the field of addiction sciences validates a strong connection between sleep, diet, and exercise and how they tie into our mental health.
Take Your Prescribed Medication(s)
This 2014 research done by the National Survey on Drug Use found out that about thirty percent of Americans aged 18-25 who were suffering from substance abuse had at least one co-occurring disease such as depression or anxiety. For those individuals, the best thing was to stick with prescribed medications followed by regular visits to a doctor (preferably with a certified addiction psychiatrist).
Build Meaningful Connections
Other than looking after your health; there are 3 other key dimensions to recovery – sense of purpose, community, and home. All of them have one common aspect; that is building a healthy human connection.
You can have a deep meaningful connection with anyone, such as –
- Close friends or family members
- With oneself (this includes having a sense of purpose and a meaning to life)
- Community (recovery groups, workplace, neighbors)
A huge part of ‘mental health’ revolves around relationships; particularly meaningful and positive connections that open you to a purpose and meaning in life. It gives you a sense of security, acceptance, and love.
Things to Look for in A Mental Health and Addiction Treatment
A Focus on Mental Health Programs and Therapies
Rehab centers give you sufficient time to focus on therapy work. As part of mental health programs and therapies, patients get to talk to a therapist. They receive necessary addiction-related tools, tips, and help to control cravings and avoid relapses.
Traditional therapy may be helpful, but the sessions only last about an hour. To get the most out of it, it’s good to consider a 24/7 prospect that is only available at an addiction center.
Healing the Mind, Body, and Spirit
To heal the mind, a combination of behavioral modules along with medical approaches are helpful and are often used in inpatient treatment centers. To heal the body, it takes physical effort, nutrition, and medical aspects. Food heals. Therefore, proper nutrition can have a significant impact on one’s mental health.
Apart from all that, getting outside to jog, exercise, or engage in any kind of physical activity is always good.
Learning to Deal with Stress
Stress is an inevitable part of life. We need to accept that. But, it gets problematic when we fail to develop coping skills to manage stress. Many rehab centers incorporate Tai Chi, nature walks, exercises, and one-minute stress strategies to help people better cope with stressful situations. Alternatively, playing with a pet or journaling are other excellent stress reducers.
Additionally, it’s good to incorporate humor in life and always remember to smile. Research tells us that laughter is a natural medicine and an immunity booster. It can reduce stress, ease pain, and help relax the body.
Treatment for Withdrawal
It can be unsafe to suddenly withdraw from drugs or prematurely terminate the drug or alcohol detox process. It can be highly taxing on the body. What’s more, failure to cope with cravings can bring your self-esteem down.
By contrast, those who receive professional help with withdrawal symptoms through medically-assisted detox can successfully overcome their cravings. They enjoy better and more sustainable results.
A Focus on Building Support System With the Family
A household free from temptations is an ideal refuge for someone dealing with addiction. However, providing that kind of support requires knowledge and education. Families need to learn how addiction works, what triggers cravings, and how to provide a supportive environment for the person receiving treatment.
This is where family therapy comes in. It keeps the family involved by getting them to commit to their family member’s long-term recovery.
A Relapse-Prevention Plan
Understanding what causes relapses can help you prevent them from happening. To that end, try the following –
- Attending emergency support group meetings
- Call a professional for individual support
- Schedule a session with a counselor
It’s good to have a plan in place to identify potential triggers and handle them before they pull you back into addiction.
Benefits of Getting Treatment for Mental Health
There are myriad benefits to getting mental health and addiction treatment at the same time, such as –
- There’s a significant improvement in the quality of life. Living without anxiety, depression, and stress is a game-changer. It allows you to live life to the fullest without carrying a ton of psychological weight keeping you down.
- When an illness is not sucking your strength, you can better focus on maintaining healthy relationships. You can also devote more time to helping others.
- Most people dealing with mental health issues develop some kind of substance addiction. Receiving proper help and treatment diminishes those odds. In this way, you can avoid future complications.
- Better focus, reduced absenteeism, enhanced creativity, better productivity and an overall improvement in performance helps you at work/school.
- Mental health issues that go untreated increase the odds of ulcers, heart diseases, compromised immunity, and even premature death. Receiving treatment at the right time can reduce these future medical issues.
- Therapy makes you better aware of yourself, your personal goals, and what constitutes a quality life. With group therapy, you receive support and encouragement. You also get a fresh perspective on things and issues in life. All and all, it gives you the support you need for a healthy life.
If you or someone you know is battling addiction or co-occurring disorders, you might want to consider getting them proper treatment. Educate yourself and encourage them to seek professional help.