While hope is a great quality to have, we only achieve goals when we truly invest in them. The more we invest, the more likely we are to reach it. And just like any other goal, mental health is only achieved by the quality of our investments. While we can’t always choose whether we get anxiety or depression, there are best practices we can use to prepare for hardships and stresses. The next time we get a panic attack or struggle with a bout of depression, we will know that we have the necessary deposits to come out on top. Read ahead to learn about the importance of a mental health bank and how it can help you overcome adversity.
Why Do We Need a Mental Health Bank?
Just like a battery, we need to be recharged on a regular basis. If we only charge ourselves in small increments, we will eventually burn out. If you frequently find yourself asking what you have to look forward to in life, it’s probably time for a long recharge. While life is certainly challenging, there should be enough joy to make the hard things worthwhile. If you feel stuck in a rut, then investing in your mental health bank must be a priority.
A mental health bank includes all of the assets we put into ourselves to help us sift through challenging times. For example, a daily exercise routine is a positive deposit into our mental health bank because exercise makes us healthy, strong, and full of endorphins. When we face a mental health bank “withdrawal” (i.e. a confrontation with our boss), our ability to handle it will depend on the quality of all of our deposits. The more deposits you put into your mental health bank, the better off you will be. This is particularly critical when you face a sudden withdrawal or challenge such as a divorce, death in the family, or job loss.
How to Assess Your Mental Health Bank
Here are some best practices to assess our mental health investments and generate a mental health bank –
· Take Inventory – Consider exactly how you have been living. Are you constantly on the fly? Are you disorganized? Do you always feel exhausted and unhealthy? If so, there are probably things you can work on. Write down a list of all of the positive things you do for yourself that will improve your mental health, along with all of the stressors (and potential stressors). This will help you get a handle on what you need to change moving forward.
· Make Daily Investments – You need to create a routine that prioritizes mental well-being. This includes daily exercise, journaling, meditation, quiet time, and healthy eating. It can’t just be a once in a while thing or you aren’t going to have enough deposits to overcome adversity when the time arises. You must make better daily habits. Daily investments should include both relaxing deposits and goal-oriented deposits. A relaxing deposit may be a long hot bath while a goal-oriented deposit may be organizing your purse. Both of these actions are necessary to improve your mental health, though taking a bath is obviously more fun!
· Try Different Deposits – If you’ve been making the same deposits for years and still feel burned out, it’s time for a change. Find a new hobby, cut back on your work hours (if possible), or consider a serious change. This requires assessing those stressors and seeing whether any of them in particular are creating additional problems. Changing things up is always a great thing to do, as monotonous routines can also increase anxiety and depression.
· Adjust Your Attitude – A lot of how we handle stress is up to us. We can’t always control what happens in our life, but we can control how we react to it. Start talking to yourself in a less catastrophic, more positive manner. Stop using “what-if” thinking and research empowering self-dialogue. There are plenty of better ways to react to stress that will help make our deposits more worthwhile.
Do you struggle with anxiety and depression? Do you feel like your daily stressors are unbearable? If so, please contact Straight Talk Counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at straighttalkcounseling.org. One of our staff members will be happy to set up an appointment for you.