Social media and popular culture seem to be inundated with the latest fitness trends, fads, crash diets, and workout programs; the western world seems to be absolutely obsessed with improving the aesthetics of the human body, often at any means necessary. While physical improvement is a goal that shouldn’t be overlooked, an improvement in mental and spiritual health can completely turn someone’s life around. Often times, the problem isn’t the problem itself, but how a person perceives their own individual body, issues, life, and stressors.
Instead of focusing on what is going wrong with life, try focusing on solving problems, focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses, looking to the future for hope instead of reliving past misdeeds or failures, and focusing on life and what is going right. Little goals can begin to add up; massive change and achievement starts with one foot in front of the other. Figure out what you want out of life instead of focusing on what you don’t have.
Working with a psychiatrist and a psychologist is usually recommended when dealing with chronic symptoms of mental illness, such as anxiety or depression. A professional can help diagnose, treat, and work with you to overcome mental obstacles, life stressors, and specific ailments such as phobias, unwanted thoughts, and self-deprecating behavior; however, some of the work must come from within. Be proactive about improving your life! You are worth your weight in gold. Living a happy life is something that we all deserve.
Mental Health Tips
Here are 10 useful tips that we’ve curated from mental health professionals over the years.
Write a Gratitude List
Gratitude has been scientifically-linked to an improvement in mental health and feelings of well-being. Changing your thought process can be one of the most difficult things you can do, but the benefits will vastly outweigh the pain of change. Regular practice of gratitude, such as keeping a gratitude journal or writing a daily gratitude list has been shown to increase positivity and overall quality of life.
When is the last time that you sat and did nothing for ten minutes? Meditation is a tool used by some of the world’s most successful and fulfilled athletes, CEOs, and businesspeople. One of the key goals of mindfulness meditation is to transform your thoughts; imagine being an observer of your feelings. Imagine not emotionally reacting to every negative thought that pops into your head. There are many online applications, mobile apps, and websites to help get you started on the right track.
Try to be mindful of the present moment. If you are eating a meal with a friend, eat the meal with a friend. If you are washing the dishes or taking a shower, focus on the physical sensations, smells, sounds, and tastes that these simple chores bring. When your mind begins to wander, when you begin to ruminate about the past, or when you begin to worry about the future, bring yourself back to the present moment. The present moment is too beautiful to ignore; life is too wonderful to let it pass by without appreciation.
Exercise Your Body
Regular physical exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that help boost your mood and relieve stress. Many forward-thinking psychologists and psychiatrists actually prescribe exercise as an antidote for anxiety, stress, depression, and negative thinking. Try exercising outdoors! Regular exposure to sunlight stimulates your body’s natural production of Vitamin D, which increases levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin in the brain.
Talk to Someone
Open up to one of your friends, acquaintances, a medical health professional, or your partner. While self-worth and validation is ultimately something you should be responsible for, knowing that you are valued and respected by others has been shown to increase emotional well-being and confidence. The importance of emotional vulnerability is often overlooked in a culture that is largely based on appearances and material; recognize the positive aspects of other people and put trust in individuals that are close to you. This, in turn, may improve your ability to realize the positive aspects of yourself.
Set a Bedtime
Numerous studies have concluded that sleep deprivation has a statistically-significant impact on mood, physical health, and emotional health. Try restricting caffeine after 5pm, shutting off screens an hour before bed, and setting a regular bedtime. Regular exercise has also been prescribed as a treatment for insomnia.
Do Something for Someone Else
How you feel about yourself is often linked to how you treat other people. Happy people exhibit traits like kindness, generosity, and warmth; try volunteering, donating, random gift-giving, and being genuinely interested in other people. Finding meaning in others can often help you find meaning in yourself.
Eat a diet rich in real food. Carbohydrates, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables boost the levels of serotonin in the brain. Protein-rich foods like turkey, chicken, whey protein, beef, and peas increase the levels of dopamine, tyrosine, and norepinephrine in the body. Fish, nuts, and flaxseed are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to increase brain and cardiovascular function.
Don’t forget your fruits and vegetables! These are loaded with vitamins and minerals to help your mind and body maintain proper functioning.
Ask yourself: do you have a tendency to look for the good in all things? How we perceive ourselves, other people, and the world around us has a dramatic impact on the way we feel. If you perceive yourself and your life as negative, you can end up viewing experiences that confirm your world-view. Look for the positive in everything. Life is happening for you, not to you. Be kind to yourself.
Cut Screen Time
Do you find yourself staring at your phone or computer for no reason at all? Every time you decide to pick up your phone, think about what you are really doing. If you are passing by someone in the hallway, try saying ‘hello’ instead of looking down at the screen!
Allow Time for Yourself
Some days can be more stressful than others. If you are having a difficult day at work and find yourself overwhelmed, take a few minutes to de-stress and collect yourself. A quick 10-minute
meditation during one of your breaks can do wonders for your mental health.
Remote Medical Billing for Mental Health Professionals
These are just a few of the tips that psychologists and psychiatrists have shared with us over the years. At The Psych Biller, we assist mental health professionals with all of their remote billing and coding needs. If you have questions about our service, give us a call at (800) 955-3461 or visit our contact page!
Remote Psychology Billing