4 Things That Often Affect Mental Health, 4 Things To Do About It

by | May 14, 2024 | Mental Health

There are a lot of factors that can affect your mental health. Sometimes there are even things we don’t think about that are playing a role in your mental health state. Here are four things that likely can affect your mental health, and four ways to deal with it.

Four things affecting your mental health

1. Current Events

A 2022 study found that 73% of American adults reported being overwhelmed by the number of crises going on in the world. There are lots of negative events that happen all over the world such as wars, crimes, political problems, and more. Even if you do not feel directly impacted by these events, reading and seeing this negative news can easily affect you and your mental state.

2. Loneliness 

Loneliness can profoundly impact mental health, casting a shadow over one’s well-being. The absence of meaningful connections and social support can lead to feelings of emptiness, sadness, and even despair. Prolonged loneliness may exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression, amplifying negative thought patterns and diminishing self-esteem. Recent survey data show that more than half of U.S. adults (58%) are lonely, with those who are low income, young adults, parents, part of an underrepresented racial group, or living with a mental health condition experiencing even higher rates of loneliness.

3. Social Drivers

The social drivers of health encompass the environments where you reside, work, learn, and play. These encompass economic standing, educational attainment, residential surroundings, resource accessibility, and social integration, all of which profoundly influence mental well-being. A particularly prominent social determinant is the economy, as studies reveal a huge correlation between financial concerns and psychological strain. Many individuals find their incomes struggling to match the escalating inflation and expenses associated with daily living. A 2023 Gallup poll found that 42% of Americans are worried that they don’t have enough money to pay their normal monthly bills. 

4. Technology

While the internet offers tremendous benefits like learning opportunities and staying connected, it also has drawbacks. Constant exposure to negative news can sour moods and induce anxiety. Nearly 60% of young adults worry about the planet’s future because of all the negative media they consume. Social media contributes to FOMO, depression, and low self-esteem due to constant comparison, which is another negative side of technology. Not only this but, remote work and after-hours emails blur work-life boundaries, leading to burnout.

What you can do about it

1. Find Your Support System

Having a strong support network can significantly impact your mental and emotional well-being. Surrounding yourself with individuals who uplift you, lend a listening ear, and assist you during challenging times is crucial for mental health. Support can be found in various places, including among friends and family, in online communities, or within local gathering spots. Therapy and counseling also offer valuable additional support. Engaging in groups with shared interests can foster comfort and connection. Ultimately, it’s essential to cultivate a support system that meets your needs and offers a safe environment for healing.

2. Set Tech Limits/Boundaries

Establishing boundaries is key to fostering a healthier relationship with technology. Conduct research to identify strategies that suit you best for reducing screen time. Experiment with methods like scheduling specific hours for social media use, setting app time limits, adjusting phone settings, or utilizing website/app blockers. Clarify your purpose for going online beforehand and log off once you’ve completed your tasks.

3. Change What You Can

In today’s day and age, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless. However, there are meaningful steps you can take. Engaging in advocacy and action for causes close to your heart can be remarkably therapeutic. Knowing that you’re contributing to positive change can instill hope for the future. Consider participating in local initiatives, joining advocacy groups, exercising your right to vote, contributing to environmental efforts, or staying informed and vocal on pressing issues.

4. Find Healthy Coping Skills

Ignoring your emotions or using substances to numb them may seem appealing, but it’s not a sustainable solution. Dedicate time to discovering effective methods for managing your feelings. You might need to experiment with different approaches until you find what works for you, but the effort will be rewarding in the end. Try going on walks, journaling, and indulging in your hobbies. 

 

[2024].[4 things likely affecting your mental health, and 4 things you can do about it].[Mental Health America].[https://mhanational.org/]

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