It can be difficult to tell the difference between poor mental health and common negative behaviors. We all have bad days, which of course will negatively affect how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. It’s just part of experiencing life.
Poor mental health is different, however, as it can affect our minds and bodies more drastically in the short and long term, causing disability-related problems, pain, and even death. Therefore, understanding the difference between the two is vital, both now and in the long run.
Fortunately, believe it or not, poor mental health can be expressed in terms of physical symptoms. So if you are concerned about your sanity – but you are not sure how serious the problem really is – listen! Here are three common signs of poor mental health and what you can do to overcome them:
1. Unexplained acne breakouts
If you have had a lot of stress lately and have developed acne blemishes during this time, this is no accident. Our skin is one of the most reactive organs in our body and reacts to both internal and external changes. And similar to how it reacts to certain environmental conditions – like the change of seasons or excessive exposure to the sun – your skin also reacts to stress, most often in the form of breakouts.
When your body is exposed to high levels of stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol throughout the body. This, in turn, causes your body to naturally produce more sebum (oil), which makes your complexion oilier. No matter how oily your skin usually is or not, there is no denying that more sebum production can lead to clogged pores and, ultimately, acne breakouts.
How to overcome it: To begin with, use your skincare routine as a self-care routine and use this time to relieve stress and support your skin’s needs. Get in the habit of doing your regimen morning and night for optimal downtime and protection of your skin. If your daily skin care rituals aren’t helping you tackle blemishes, it may be in your best interests to switch the products you use or incorporate a product specialized acne treatment cream into your current routine. This will make it easier for you to effectively address problem areas and prevent further acne development.
2. Lack of sleep
Sleep deprivation and poor mental health are closely related. Lack of sleep can worsen your mental state as well Harvard Health Publishing reports that people with mental health problems are more likely to struggle with insomnia or other sleep disorders. In particular, they state: “Sleep problems are particularly common in patients with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”
Even if you are already struggling with a mental illness like the one listed above, a lack of sleep can increase your risk of developing a mental illness in the future and / or worsening your existing condition. However, for the same reason, making an effort to alleviate the problem and get more hours of sleep at night can help alleviate some of the mental health problems you may experience. But what actionable steps can you realistically take to get your sleep schedule back on track?
How to overcome it: One of the most beneficial things to do for yourself when you are not getting enough sleep at night is to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. It may seem silly at first, but as you get used to this habit, you are actually working on keeping your circadian rhythms – your body’s clock – in check so you can develop a healthier sleep schedule faster. Download a to make sure you stay consistent on your new found Shuteye schedule Sleep app . Apps like this can send you notifications when you’re nearing your bedtime, monitor your sleep patterns, and automatically set your alarm clock for the morning.
3. Tension headaches
People with poor mental health – and people without it too – are often diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, which can be characterized by restlessness, excessive worry, and irritability. Aside from these internal affects, people struggling with anxiety may also experience physical symptoms that they may not recognize and that are related to anxiety. For example, tension headaches can be easily overlooked by individuals diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, as headaches are a commonly experienced physical health problem in society.
Since tension headaches are often confused with the average headache, it is important that you become aware of the physical symptoms associated with this particular type of headache. After a Article published on HealthlineCommon signs of tension headaches may include tenderness of the scalp, mild to moderate dull or aching pain, pressure behind the eyes, tension in the neck or shoulder muscles, and / or pressure that feels like a tape wrapped around your head. If you’ve noticed any of the following, you are likely experiencing tension headaches due to high anxiety.
How to overcome it: With proper care, tension headaches can go away pretty quickly, but if not treated appropriately, they can last for hours or even days. With that in mind, you should address this problem head on by drinking plenty of water, taking over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol, and most importantly, exercising mindfulness. Basic self-care strategies like coloring, recording, reading, meditating, and more can enable you to harness your inner wellbeing and reduce anxiety.
Take that away
Regardless of how you classify your current state of mental wellbeing, be sure to keep an eye out for the physical health symptoms listed above. Use this information to further prioritize your health and guide you on your path to self-love. Nobody knows how to care for you the way you do. So listen to your mind and body when it tries to tell you something.
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