5 Tips for Overcoming Mental Health Challenges and Embracing a Fulfilling Life

It can be hard to see the good in the world when your mind feels poor. That’s because your mental state affects everything you perceive. Depression can make simple tasks feel gargantuan and joyful memories feel like distant dreams.

If that last sentence resonates with you, then you may be struggling with your mental health. The good news is it doesn’t have to stay like this. Even though negative emotions might have their claws in you now, there are things you can do to change your mindset. That could involve resolving chemical imbalances, expanding your perspective, or seeking help if need be. Read on to learn about five tips for embracing and overcoming your mental health challenges.

1. Tip the Scales in Your Favor

It’s amazing how great an effect a few small chemicals can have on your entire life. Dopamine is one such chemical: a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, focus, and your brain’s pleasure and reward systems. Simply put, if you’ve got too much or too little dopamine in your system, you’ll feel it. And what you’re feeling now may be a manifestation of that imbalance.

A dopamine imbalance can be caused by many different things from substance abuse to malfunctioning circuitry. However, addressing such an imbalance can be straightforward. Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors are a class of antidepressants that work by regulating dopamine. Chemically known as bupropion, Wellbutrin is a NDRI that’s affordable and simple to order online if deemed appropriate.

2. Prioritize Sleep

When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep? Not just more than four hours, but an actual, full night of deep rest? If you don’t know the answer then it’s time to reconsider your priorities. Getting enough sleep is essential to maintaining your mental health for a multitude of reasons. And, it may shock you, but reading the latest about the world’s self-destruction doesn’t make for a soothing bedtime story.

To actually prioritize your sleep, focus on setting and keeping a consistent sleeping and waking time. This will set your biorhythm to a regular cycle, and you’ll soon start waking up before your alarm even goes off. And turn off all electronics at least an hour before you go to bed. You might need to buy an analog alarm clock so you don’t have to rely on your phone. With temptation and screen addiction out of sight, you’ll be able to fall asleep faster and reach deep sleep more often.

3. Marry Yourself

No, not literally. But one way to improve your mental health is to treat yourself like someone you love. Because you might not love yourself right now, imagine the love that you’d give to the spouse of your dreams. This person may be totally imaginary or someone real — maybe even your actual other half. Think of what loving them would feel like in your heart and then channel that energy toward yourself.

“Channeling energy” may sound like hocus pocus, but it’s not. If you’re struggling with your mental health there’s a good chance the negative narrator in your mind is bullying you. You know the voice: the one that berates you and chastises you for every small mistake. Call to mind the feeling of love for the partner of your dreams the next time that dark voice appears. After all, if it was bullying your spouse like it’s bullying you, you’d stand up for them, wouldn’t you?

4. Don’t Go It Alone

Struggling with your mental health by yourself is a recipe for disaster. While it’s not impossible to address it on your own, it’s much, much harder. So save yourself some grief and start reaching out to someone who can help. This may be a parent, family member, friend, or other loved one. As long as it’s someone you can trust, reach out and ask for help.

If you don’t feel like you have anyone you can trust with your turmoil, seek professional help. It may take some time to meet the right one, but the right counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist can quite literally change your life. They can provide the insight, direction, and validation necessary to overcome the obstacles you’re facing. Seriously, therapy is a game-changer and nothing to be ashamed of, so give it a shot if you haven’t already.

5. Cry it Out

Life is not only about happiness, although it seems that many people missed the memo. Because, without sadness, true happiness would be something numb and common. It’s thanks to sadness — to the balance of opposites, really — that happiness is so desired. But to run from the opposite, from sadness, is to deny yourself depth and meaning in your life.

Sadness as a word can trace its roots to the Old English sæd. But in contrast to modern interpretations, this word meant to be full of something rather than lacking it. In this light, crying, then, would be an overflowing of feeling, of sensation, of meaning. For if what you felt were not full of meaning, what reason would you have to cry? So when you feel sad, don’t run from it — cry, and recognize the beauty of the fullness of your heart.

One Day at a Time

It’s understandable to want to escape from depression, as it can feel like a void that threatens to swallow you whole. But it’s important to keep in mind that, even with medication, there’s no quick fix. Overcoming mental health challenges will take time, but doing so will allow you to enjoy more of your life. Pursue solutions that deepen your relationship with yourself, your loved ones, and what you find meaningful. Take each day one step at a time, see what the world looks like, and go from there.

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