In recent years, mental health has become a hot topic. More and more people are paying attention to it and realizing that it’s something everyone needs to pay attention to.

Still, some people are having problems.

Some people don’t realize that they have mental health. Some people don’t realize when something is affecting their mental health. Some people don’t realize that mental health doesn’t just apply to people who have a medical condition, but it applies to all of us.

In this month and year of Renewal, let’s look at some ways that we can acknowledge and take charge of our mental health.

1. Assess your mental state

The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

When we consider this definition, ask yourself if you’re realizing your own potential, if you’re able to cope with the normal stresses of life well, if you can work productively and fruitfully and if you’re able to make a contribution to your community, family, or any other group you belong to.

When we find ourselves feeling like we have nothing to contribute, when we find ourselves unproductive and emotional, then there’s a mental imbalance. Is the imbalance clinical? Probably not. But it should be addressed, whether you think it’s a big or small problem.

2. Identify things that put you in a bad mental state

For some of us, school alters our mental state. You might hate being there, or the workload might stress you out, or your professors might be out to get you—whatever it is, things like school and work can be huge triggers. Things like bad relationships and bad situations can also take a toll on your mental health. It’s up to you to figure out what has you in a bad/negative mood and to decide if that thing is a trigger.

3. Let it go and part ways

Now that you’ve figured out your triggers, you have to let them go. Of course this can’t realistically apply to all of your triggers. Some of them you have to learn how to deal with while others you can let go. For example, something like school is probably something you have to learn to cope with if getting a degree is your goal. There are many ways you can cope with the stresses school brings such as taking mental breaks, self-care, and lessening your course load. But something like a bad relationship or a bad situation is something you can let go of. No one is going to take you out of those things – it’s on you to walk away from them in order to preserve your sanity.



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