Mental health includes your psychological and social well-being. It affects how you think, feel, and behave. It affects everything in our lives, such as interactions with the people around us, how we engage in fulfilling activities and our abilities to manage and cope with stress. Poor mental health is often concurrent with other psychiatric issues like substance abuse, sometimes worsening symptoms and inhibiting long-term recovery.

At Alta Loma, we know there are many barriers preventing people from gaining access to mental health services. By providing men with a safe and healing environment, we support their mental health journey and help them heal their minds and bodies. Read on to learn about the ways to improve your mental health.

Have you tried any of these methods to better your mental health?

If they don’t work, Alta Loma is here!

Risks Associated With Mental Illness

Mental wellness is closely linked to other psychiatric conditions, often diagnosed simultaneously. Poor mental health is an associated risk factor for drug and alcohol addiction since some people turn to these substances to temporarily alleviate their symptoms. Substance addiction, however, can worsen symptoms and even permanently alter brain chemistry, leading to cyclical abuse.

Addressing mental health can help support recovery for substance abuse as well as manage other psychiatric conditions. People with mental health disorders like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or a mixed personality disorder may find their conditions easier to heal from and manage when their broader mental health is supported in addition to their unique symptoms.

Despite mental illness affecting tens of millions of people in the United States, it’s estimated less than half of them receive treatment. Without attention or treatment to mental health, it can worsen symptoms of other conditions and become debilitating.

As such, mental health is important to manage at every stage of life. Improving your mental health can lead to benefits that include:

  • Meaningful and healthy romantic relationships
  • Improved productivity and work performance
  • Ability to enjoy all aspects of life
  • Improved physical health
  • Greater capacity and management for stress

5 Ways to Improve Mental Health for a Better Life

Even if you’re not currently feeling stressed or overwhelmed, proactively improving your mental health can help you improve your long-term mental health. Check out the tips below to help support your path to good mental health. Use these tips to become happier, more resilient and enjoy life more.

1. Nutritional Counseling

Good nutrition isn’t just about how much food you eat but also what kinds of foods you eat. Studies show nutritional therapy can help support better mental health by targeting micronutrient deficiencies in an individual’s overall nutrition. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that support a variety of essential metabolic and biochemical processes, but their absence can lead to diseases or issues. Research suggests that micronutrient deficiency is strongly associated with mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Nutrition is an important part of the recovery equation, especially since many individuals struggling with mental health often eat sporadically or not at all. Nutritional counseling can establish healthy meal plans with a well-balanced diet to improve physical and mental health, avoid triggering symptoms and aid long-term recovery.

2. Change in Diet

In addition to general nutritional counseling, other changes in diet can help improve mental and emotional health. Research shows inverse associations between increased fruit and vegetable intake and psychological distress, meaning that eating more of these foods can lead to improved psychological well-being and promote positive emotions.

Fruits and vegetables contain nutrients like vitamins C, E and B as well as magnesium, but low levels of these vitamins are linked to the impairment of mood-affecting neurotransmitters, mainly dopamine and serotonin. So what is dopamine and serotonin and what do they do? These feel-good neurotransmitters are chemicals used to regulate sleep and cognitive abilities. Low dopamine levels are linked to depression, while low serotonin levels are associated with sleep and mood issues.

3. Recreational Therapy

With all the uncertainty going on in the world and in our lives, it’s no surprise so many Americans experience increased stress, trauma and mental disorders. While it’s easy to become overwhelmed and dismiss hobbies and activities, having recreational therapy activities for mental health in your routine can help counteract this feeling.

It doesn’t have to be complicated — you can do something as simple as gardening or deep breathing to decrease cortisol levels and lower your heart rate, or simply enjoy a quiet moment outdoors that will help you feel calm and enhance the effect of therapy. If you’re up for it, you can work exercise into your routine that will keep you stay physically active and enjoy physical health benefits like improved sleep, mental alertness and mood.

Do you want to get better mental health?

Alta Loma is here every step of the way and help you improve mental health for a better you.

4. Take a Break

While getting out and participating in your community and hobbies can have its own advantages, sometimes all you need is some downtime to yourself. Consider taking a break from the digital hustle of everyday life by putting your phone away and shutting down your screens.

Instead of staring at a screen all day and dealing with the constant interruptions, let go of expectations and pressures for a few hours or even days. During that time, you can practice mindfulness by writing in a journal, practicing new skills or even going for a walk. You can also use this break to pay attention to the present moment and prioritize aspects of your health you may have been neglecting, such as proper nutrition or good sleep.

5. Find Supportive Groups for Mental Health Illness

A support group is a small gathering of people that’s intended to help them help them share common experiences and provide emotional support. Although your loved ones and family members may want to support what you’re going through, they’re not always able to empathize without having a comparable experience.

However, many specialized support groups can enable participants to join together and support and encourage each other through difficult circumstances. These support groups can address specific issues like narcotics abuse, alcohol abuse, depression and more. Some groups are online, while many are delivered in person as part of a therapy program or casual participation.

Other support group programs are delivered in group housing options. Within these environments, residents can take advantage of removed external distractions and focus on healing and growing within their support group.

How Alta Loma Can Help

These tips are just that – tips. For some men in Travis County, your mental well-being may be tried and tested every day. Don’t go another day without help, guidance and a support system that will promote healthier choices, offer diagnosis and/or enable a transformation for your mental health. Alta Loma, the best Texas treatment center, is designed as a solution for men with Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders who may not have found success at other traditional treatment programs.

We go above and beyond to offer care that addresses the signs, symptoms, stigmas, diagnoses, treatment and progressive aftercare for your mental health.  Contact us today and begin your journey to become a sober and addiction free man. We are here for you 24/7/365.