Every year, 1 out of 5 individuals in the United States experiences mental illness.

Additionally, 50% of all mental illnesses start before 14 years of age, with 75% of mental illnesses arising before 24 years of age.

From these statistics, it’s clear that mental health care needs to be more of a priority, especially during the early years of one’s life.

While many focus on changing their diet and exercise habits to improve well-being, it’s just as important to take care of your mind. In fact, your physical and mental health are intricately linked to one another. When one suffers, the other does as well — and vice versa. Thus, taking care of both is of the utmost importance to achieve optimal health and wellness.

May marks Mental Health Month. We encourage you to take this month as an opportunity to focus on improving your mental health. It’s much more important than you might think! In this article, we’re going to explore exactly that, as well as what you can do to support your mental health.

The Importance of Mental Health Care

Our actions are often a result of how we think and feel. Our actions then determine the events in our life and the circumstances we find ourselves in. But what if you could take back control of how you think or feel (and thus have more control over your circumstances)? This is exactly where good mental health comes into play.

When your mental health is at its best, you can make good decisions, realize your full potential, motivate yourself, become more productive, and find deeper meaning within your life and relationships. Ultimately, this all comes down to feeling good and having high emotional intelligence and resilience to be able to handle the obstacles that life throws at you.

Yet, as many of us know, mental health isn’t that simple. 

Sure, we can say we want to feel this way. But when you don’t feel good, those ideas and entities might feel light-years away.

Usually, this comes down to taking small steps to feel better and improve your mental wellness. And every small step (no matter how small it is!) counts.

So, What Can You Do To Improve Your Mental Health This May?

At Happego, we’ve got a few ideas!

1. Practice daily gratitude.

Take 5-10 minutes to write down what you’re thankful for in your life. Even the small things matter here. And as you write these bits of gratitude down, make sure you truly feel that appreciation for them.

2. Develop self-compassion.

Unfortunately, we are our biggest critics. This often results in daily forms of negative self-talk. But would you ever talk this way to your best friend? The answer is usually ‘no.’ What does this mean? It means you definitely shouldn’t talk down to yourself. Being realistic is one thing but beating yourself up is another. Learn to practice compassion with yourself. Understand the reasons behind your actions, accept them, and move forward with new ideas on how you can improve yourself. After all, you’re only human!

3. Write it out.

Feeling down in the dumps? Grab a pen and notebook. Write all your thoughts on those pages. Don’t stop until you feel you’ve let it all out. If you want to take this a step further, tear apart those negative thoughts and throw them in the trash!

4. Challenge your thoughts.

A big problem with negative thinking is that we automatically believe that it’s the truth. Yet, logically, we know it might not be. When you’re stuck on a negative thought, consider challenging it with another and more positive thought. What could be another way to look at it? Usually, you’ll be able to find one!

5. Put time into relationships you value.

Social connection is so important for mental health. As humans, we find a ton of meaning through connection with others. Take the time to have those deep and meaningful conversations with those you love. Open up. And at the same time, aim to understand others. And when you’re feeling down, call someone you trust. Venting and feeling understood by another can help in leaps and bounds.

6. Try deep breathing.

When you’re feeling worried, anxious, or stressed, take a step back for a moment. Then, take a slow and deep inhale while counting to four. Pause, and count to four while you exhale. Continue to do this for 5-10 more breaths. This should stimulate the relaxation response, helping you de-stress and find a greater sense of calm.

7. Download the Happego App.

You might already know that reminders help you learn new habits or skills. The same thing can be said for the way you think. Your thinking patterns are a habit. But you can change them toward what you truly want. 

This is exactly where the Happego App comes in!

Happego helps prime your mind with positive thoughts. Different packs in the app can help you work toward your self-improvement goals. For example, you can choose to conquer shame, embrace adventure, find peace, increase happiness, practice mindfulness, put down the phone, reduce fear, and so much more.

How does Happego do this? It primes your mind by flashing images and words or phrases to subconsciously remind you of your goals and what you’re striving toward. Over time, this helps you actively change your habits and become happier. Discover how you can alter your mental health for the better, with next-to-no effort, by downloading the Happego App today.