Mental illness is one of the most common yet least understood condition and it affects millions of people each and every day. One thing that makes mental illness so difficult to talk about, diagnose, and treat is that is can cover a range of related yet very different disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, paranoia, and many more. Thankfully there are five easy steps you can take and some simple things you can do to help maintain a healthy mental focus, even in the midst of a flareup.

Stay Active and Exercise

Most people know that exercise is important for our physical health, but did you know that exercise can also be a key player in our mental health and wellbeing as well? Research shows that individuals who exercise regularly and who lead a more active lifestyle are less likely to experience episodes of severe depression or anxiety. And some studies show that those who already struggle with depression and related mental issues can get some benefit from exercising daily.

Be Mindful of the World Around You

A big part of meditation and inward thinking, being mindful is about training our minds to look at things from an inward perspective. It is about seeing what is happening rather than what we perceive to be happening through our mental illness filters. Mindfulness teaches us to unhook from negative thought and behavior patterns and embrace those beneficial thought patterns that help us. Rather than stress and worry in a difficult situation, we learn to see it as a chance to grow and learn.

Mind What You Eat and Drink

What we eat affects how we feel. We see this effect in how sugar affects kids and the same can happen with many of the foods we eat and the drinks we consume day in and day out as adults. Many different kinds of foods can have a powerful short-term as well as long-term effects on your mind and your body. Artificial highs from sugar, caffeine, and other foods, as well as artificial lows from alcohol, tobacco, and other sources, can have an impact on how we feel mentally for the rest of the day.

Self-Compassion is Essential

For many people with mental illness and other struggles, they get a lot of judgment from others but their worst critic and abuser is most often their own mind and inner voice. That lack of self-compassion makes us lose confidence, makes us feel unhappy, and even makes depression and anxiety more devastating. Self-compassion is the practice of keeping ourselves in check and on the right path, without beating ourselves up over every little thing that goes wrong and every little mistake.

Keep in Touch With Others

The final way to fight the effects of mental illness and to protect our mental wellbeing is to stay connected with others. Humans are social creatures by nature and we need that interaction with others to maintain a healthy and normal balance mentally. Studies have shown that social connection is key to a happier life and has been shown to even help our physical health and wellbeing as well. Whether it’s a personal conversation, phone calls, emails or letters, social connections are important.

Now that you have some great starting points, take things to the next level by immersing yourself in the writing and insight of bestselling author Malcolm Allen’s Surviving the Inexplicable. This book is the perfect manual for health and wellness, whether you are fighting to stave off anxiety and depression or you are living day to day with one of these or any other mental illness. Filled with facts on modern-day mental struggles like anxiety, depression, personality disorders, paranoia and delusion, Allen offers an insider’s look at living with mental disorders and offers practical ways to live and thrive, not just survive, with your mental illness. Get your copy today here and learn from the stories of other warriors who have fought and won their battle and see how you can survive the inexplicable as well!

Author's Bio: 

Pooja Khanna is a Training Manager at Sedate Technologies and enjoys working with a variety of entrepreneurs and small businesses all over the world.