Mental health is a tricky thing, because the average person doesn’t often think about it, and they likewise tend not to know even basic information about it. Mental health is an important part of your life, however, and poor mental health results in mental illness like depression or anxiety. Here are some tips that can help you monitor and maintain your mental health.


The Difference Between Therapy, Psychiatry, and Neurology


Mental health professionals are not a monolith. Different mental health issues fall under different purviews, so it’s important to know which is which in order to best treat your specific issues. Therapists seek to improve the mental health of patients through discussion and advice, while psychiatrists are more inclined to prescribe medications that can treat the brain directly. Therapy is therefore more than enough to maintain a mentally healthy mind, while a more serious condition may require a pharmaceutical solution. 


Neurologists, on the other hand, treat mental illnesses that originate within the brain itself, and these conditions can only be solved pharmaceutically, because the problem and the solution both come down to chemistry. A therapist might help you to understand how your circumstances are impacting your mental health and advise you how to change your life for the better, but these pharmaceutical solutions are the only option when depression threatens your life or the lives of others. While there may be a more action-oriented way to improve your mental health, that can’t always wait. Treating a neurological mental illness can necessitate drugs such as hormone balance supplements that can correct erroneous brain chemistry.


Practicing Mindfulness Will Help You Help Yourself


Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your mind, your body, and the relationship between the two. While it may sound like something everyone is passively doing already, you’d be surprised how easy it is to tune out red flags that can sometimes keep your situation from getting worse. In much the same way that you can lose track of time and your need to eat or drink when you’re working or playing, you can disregard the fact that you’re involuntarily clenching your jaw or holding your breath because of anxiety. Mental illness can be deceptive, and they seem almost like a secret saboteur that wants to sink its hooks into you, so knowing what to look for being aware of how your body and mind are reacting to various stimuli are key to preventing or coping with mental illness. Prolonged stress is one of the most common causes of depression and anxiety, so muscles that have become stiff and sore from tension alone is a good indicator that you might be headed toward one of these illnesses and need to take action.


A Holistic Approach to Mental Health


The body and the mind are often thought of as separate entities, but the two are in fact one. The state of your mind can affect your body, and your physical health can and will impact your mental health. Another common cause of mental illness is a lack of regular exercise, because that will deprive your body of the endorphins it needs to maintain a positive mood. On the other hand, depression and anxiety can cause aches and pains, fatigue, and even a weaker immune system. Staying active is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy mind, and you need to do so for both your body and your brain. An adequate workout and plenty of mental stimulation are equally important for staving off mental illness, so hitting the gym and learning new things are essential tools in your arsenal.


What to Take Away


Mental health can be a complex topic, especially to those who aren’t familiar with it. However, there are often some simple rules you can follow to keep your mind happy and healthy. These tips are a great place to start, but it helps to keep doing research into how mental health changes based on the environment and how you can make changes for the better.