According to a survey by Forbes Health, one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is improving mental health, even more so than losing weight.
But, with more than 90% of New Year’s resolutions failing, Michigan medical experts are sharing how to make and keep a 2024 resolution to prioritize mental health.
Leah Mills, clinical therapist and CEO of Ntervene, LLC in Ypsilanti, said the first step is to really understand why mental health is so essential to a person’s overall well-being.
Read about what is included in the scope of mental health. That said, become familiar with the workings of the mind and its power over your body and everything you do and say to yourself, your family, friends, coworkers/peers, and even strangers.
Next, Mills said, talk to your primary care doctor, who can treat mental health problems or refer you to a psychiatrist or therapist for additional help. Therapists can also be found by visiting psychologytoday.com or through your health insurer’s online portal.
Interview a therapist to find the one that feels best for you and then begin sharing what your desired goals are that you want to address, with the hopes that you will find the mental help you need to achieve that life. , you will gain the emotional and behavioral strength you deserve. , Mills said.
Dr. Hany Mekhel, chief medical officer at Beaumont Behavioral Health, said it’s important to remember that physical and mental health go hand in hand with poor physical health increasing a person’s risk of developing mental health problems and vice versa. Too.
Just as we commit to exercising and eating healthy, it is equally important to commit to staying positive and not neglecting our mental health. He said, our mental health is as important as our physical health.
Depression can increase rates of heart disease, obesity as well as early dementia. Research shows that what goes inside our bodies affects our mental health. Healthy food has a direct impact on our mental health.
Eating high-complex carbohydrate foods like brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, potatoes and corn can help improve your mental health because they increase your serotonin levels, which has a calming effect. Healthy fats like olive oil, grape seed oil, nuts, seeds, oily fish, avocado, milk and eggs also help the brain function more efficiently than trans fats often found in processed foods. Refrain from.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, it’s important to include a protein in every meal because both animal and plant proteins contain an amino acid that the brain uses to help regulate mood. Including more whole grains, fruits and vegetables in your diet helps keep your brain healthy by protecting it from oxidative stress.
Dr. Gerald Shiner, chief of psychiatry at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit, agrees that, especially during the holidays, it can be difficult to make healthy choices.
There are snacks and candy everywhere, and when you’re full of carbohydrates and sugar, you can become irritable. As tempting as it may be, be patient. He said, this does not mean do not enjoy, (just) do not indulge too much. Also watch how much alcohol you drink. When you’re gathered with family, and you’ve had a few drinks, old feuds can surface and that’s not good for anyone.
According to the National Institutes of Health, mindfulness practices have also been shown to help reduce anxiety and depression. It is the practice of being completely aware of what is happening in the moment. Claire McGinn, clinic director of Ally Mental Health in Bloomfield Hills, said an easy way to do this is to identify things that are pleasurable through each of the five senses.
These could be little things, the taste of coffee, the smell of baking cookies, the feel of a soft blanket. Try to find one thing through each sense and do this for just 30 seconds each day. That said, it’s important to make sure you do these activities carefully.
Close your eyes, try to find a quiet environment, smell the coffee, feel the warmth of the coffee as you drink it. How does the mug feel in your hand? What do you enjoy about the taste of your tongue? Many times just work was going on; The things we enjoy simply become habits. It helps us break out of that cycle and focus on the small joys of life.
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