Although the terms mental and behavioral health are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Mental health refers to how you feel inside, but behavioral health goes a bit further. This is because although it encompasses how you feel, it also refers to how you act because of how you feel. For example, if you have poor mental health you might struggle with feelings of intense worry or sadness. If your behavioral health is poor, you might be dealing with these feelings by abusing alcohol or drugs. It is important to look after both mental and behavioral health as this will improve your overall sense of wellbeing. Below are a few ways to keep your mind, body, and spirit in good health.
Practice Self Care
Self-care means looking after yourself and incorporating various strategies into your life that will improve mental and physical health as well as emotional wellbeing. Good self-care will help to minimize stress and reduce the risk of associated mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. There are many ways to practice self-care. It might mean incorporating some gentle exercise into your daily routine, or making sure that you eat a healthy, balanced diet.
You should ensure you are getting enough sleep every night. If you struggle to sleep, there are things you can do such as meditating before bed or listening to relaxing music or sleep sounds as you drop off.
Staying connected to friends and family is a fantastic way to look after your mental and behavioral health. It is often when people feel lonely and isolated that feelings of depression and anxiety can creep in and self-harming behaviors such as substance abuse can occur. Maintaining relationships with others will benefit your mental and physical health. It is important to remember that feelings of loneliness do not only affect those who live alone. It is easy to neglect relationships for a variety of reasons. For example, you might be spending a lot of time on social media or playing games while not spending time with those you live with.
Learn New Things
Learning new things, whether a new hobby or furthering your education, can have a huge positive impact on your mental health. This will in turn benefit your behavioral health. You could try to learn a new language or study a new course to further your career. Doing this might help to give you a sense of purpose and keep you busy. Staying active and busy helps to keep your mind healthy and can prevent the onset of mental health problems such as depression.
When to Seek Help
It is not always as simple as practicing self-care and connecting with others. Maybe you have allowed your mental health to deteriorate because you felt that you would be wasting your doctor’s time, or because you were ashamed. You might have already started abusing drugs or alcohol to help with the symptoms of your mental health problem. If this is the case, professional help may be necessary to get you back on track.
According to the folk at behavioral health consulting firm Horizon Health, it is important to know when to seek help. If you are finding it hard to sleep and your mental or behavioral health is having an impact on your ability to live a normal life, then speaking to a doctor is advisable.
To conclude, there are several things that you can do to promote a healthy mind and body. However, if your behaviors have changed because of your poor mental health, it may be a good idea to seek professional help.