We are all surviving: Dealing with your mental health


Many people around the world struggle with mental health illnesses, whether it is anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc. Daily life is a struggle for people who deal with mental health battles. A lot of people wonder how they can cope with mental health struggles, especially when there is added stress or for those who do not have the option to medicate themselves. Here are a few ways to cope with mental health mind wars: 

Throughout the years, society has learned so much about mental health, yet how do we improve it? Dealing with these issues takes a toll on your brain, body, and everyday life. It comes with various amounts of emotions that sometimes can not be controlled. People must let themselves feel those emotions rather than locking them away and acting like they do not exist. In a recent article, author Anderson noted “It’s important to learn to cope with difficult emotions before they escalate. She stressed the importance of not pushing away feelings. ‘Ride the wave’ Kluvers said, which translates to experiencing an emotion instead of bottling it up or pretending it isn’t there.” This is easier said than done. It takes time and patience to grasp the fact that emotions are expected out of humans. Feelings should be dealt with directly instead of being suppressed over time with no resolution. Another possible method is controlling your emotions rather than letting them control you. Author Pombo suggests “When you feel anxious, combat that with something calming.” Meaning you are the only one who has the power to oversee the outcome of what you are feeling at that very moment, so make it worthy and do not let it conquer you inadequately. Feel the emotion, and recharge your mind to a higher desire. 

Mindset is convenient when it comes to your perspective. When you wake up in the mornings, your first thought reveals how your day will be. Whether you tell yourself “I will have a good day.” Or you groan and wish you did not have to face what is ahead of you, that image will stay with you for the rest of the time period. While it is easy to wake up on “the wrong side of the bed”, humans should “Remember that all you can do is try your best each day – for yourself” (Popvich). Keeping your mind fed with satisfactory thinking helps you become positive, which leads to hope and happiness. A beneficial thought could completely change your mood. You have to realize that “being gentle with yourself” (Martin) is very important. Keeping negative thoughts in your mind and letting them rule you is not healthy, therefore it is only considerate to alter your mind to an optimistic portrayal. Take one day at a time, and “focus on the journey, not the outcome.” (Cherry). It is easy to get caught up with stress and worry about what happens next. Instead of letting this small implementation provoke you, let your mind slow down and process one thought at a time. There is no need to overwhelm yourself. 

Some people may find it easier to let their feelings out to others. In this case, that would be called a therapist. Having a face-to-face conversation and fully releasing the weight on your shoulders to someone is not harmful at all. Telling someone how you feel is not wrong, in fact, it is very advantageous. When it seems as though the people around you are not understanding of how you feel, a therapist would. A well-known article in Mental Health America suggests, “Of course, talking to a therapist about personal issues can be tough, but it can help you come to grips with problems in your life.” This specific person is simply there to help you in any way they can. Their job is to listen without judgment and mourn you into a preferable individual. In the long run, if it appears that therapy is not helping, that is completely acceptable. It is not supposed to make everything perfect, and in some cases make things better at all. This does not mean you can not be helped or “fixed”. Verily, some say, “At times, it may prove ineffective, and at other times harmful” (Shpancer). Therapy is not for everyone, and definitely not always a proposition. Again, this is not an affliction. It is normal for some to find an alternative to help with their obstacles. 

Think of something/someone you have accepted into your life – no questions asked. This may be a new friend, a significant other, a family member, a call, a certain style, a religion, or even a job. How easy was it for you to accept it? One thing humans overlook is accepting themselves. People with mental illnesses have a hard time accepting they have a problem and do not know how to face it. Pombo recommends practicing, “radical acceptance – completely and totally accepting something from the depths of your soul.” This process starts with recognizing your problems and accepting them. You are not a monster for having an indisposition and “when dealing with any kind of mental health, you have to realize that healing is a long journey of learning how to accept it” (Metcalf). This does not make you frail. Just because it seems your journey is longer and harder than others, that does not mean you will never overcome it. You are not weak, you only think that. Healing is not linear and has no time frame. No one else matters when healing, but yourself. Exercising self-love involves acceptance, also. How will you ever accept yourself, if you do not love yourself? To learn self-love and acceptance is to focus on who you are now, who you are becoming, and your purpose of living right now. Healing is only justified when you are ready and until you are ready. 

Some people get to the point where their mental illness completely ruins them, and they decide that the only thing they want is to feel nothing at all. Taking your own life does not make you weaker. It means you possibly had no one tell you any of this information. There are people around you that care about you. You are not alone in this world and “if you have ever felt like suicide is an option – keep in mind that, regardless of your situation, everything changes over time” (Popvich). Things change every single day, do not let that be your existence on this earth. You are loved, worthy, and deserve a life to live despite what your mind tells you. The mind can be dangerous, but again you have control over that. Popvich further voices, “Your fearful thoughts are exaggerated and not based in reality.” Most of the time, your mind plays tricks on you and tells you that you do not belong here. This is the mind taking over you, and there are countless ways to stop it. Mental health is a continuous issue for individuals, but you are not alone. Everyone has battles they fight and can overcome them by using these coping mechanisms.