You don't need a label to focus on wellness. For many people, there is a feeling that they don't "need" or "deserve" to focus on wellness because they don't have a formal diagnosis. In reality, mental wellness is for everyone. Here are some tips for prioritizing wellness.
Stop Believing That Self-Care Is Indulgent
For many people, there is guilt wrapped up in the idea of using time and resources to support mental wellness. They assume that they need to power through times of feeling overwhelmed or lost. In reality, self-care is an extremely unselfish act. Devoting time, energy and resources to our own mental well-being makes us better citizens, partners, parents and employees. When we take time to develop our best selves, we get to give the gift of our best selves to the world!
Stop Believing That You Need to Hit a Wall Before You Can Get Help
This is another big misconception that is causing people to set themselves up for crisis scenarios. It's not necessary to wait until you hit a wall to seek treatment. When the telltale signs that you are losing control over an element of your life crop up, this is an ideal time to stop the train before it skids off the tracks. Deciding to get help before you've hit the wall can be one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. Waiting until you're in a crisis to address a crisis should never be a plan.
Start Learning to Quiet Your Mind
While seeking professional help can be important when you're focusing on mental wellness, it's also essential to build up a toolkit for calming your mind "in the moment" when you need wellness support. For many people, this takes the form of meditation. Today's availability of mediation apps makes it easier than ever to escape to a place of calm at any point during the day. While meditation and calming exercises don't take the place of outside support for mental health and wellness, they are great supplemental tools for when you need self-guided support. While we have known that mediation has a positive impact on the brain "in the moment" for a long time, researchers are now using high-tech brain scans to observe how meditation may potentially change the brain in ways that linger even when you're not actively meditating. This finding makes meditation beneficial both in the moment and for long-term wellness.
When focusing on mental wellness, it's important to set realistic expectations. You should also avoid the trap of putting pressure on yourself to be the person who is always at "peak wellness." Nobody is expected to feel great all the time. Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, defeated or pessimistic doesn't mean that you've failed in your wellness pursuits. This is a natural part of the wellness journey. However, you do want to make sure that you have healthy coping techniques in your pocket that you can reach for when you feel as though your mental state has taken a dive.
Final Thoughts on Maintaining Mental Wellness Even Without a Diagnosis
A diagnosis is not the only prerequisite for seeking support for mental wellness. What's more, it shouldn't take a crisis for people to feel encouraged to make use of resources for coping with stress, moving forward with sobriety or battling behavioral issues. There's no need to wait for a diagnosis to begin plotting a path to mental clarity and resiliency!