The conversation around and about mental health is never a simple one. Our emotional states can change, and we can experience peaks and falls, but when you hit a real mental health crisis, it’s difficult to ignore. Whether it’s related to a recent loss, major stressful changes in your life, issues like substance abuse, or otherwise, it’s vital to know that there are steps that you can take to start moving your life in a better direction. Here, we’re going to look at what has helped people recover from their lowest points, in the past, and how they could help you too.
Table of Contents
Be aware of the fact that you’re having a mental health crisis
The first thing that you have to do is to admit that you’re experiencing serious emotional or mental health issues. Regardless of whether it’s depression, severe stress, anxiety, addiction, or otherwise, some people can be hesitant to notice and acknowledge the signs of an emotional breakdown, but it is important. Seeking help with your emotional health, nowadays, is much less taboo than it used to be, and help is much more widely available.
If you experience issues like panic attacks and severe mood swings, or you’re already taking steps to treat the difficulties you’re feeling, such as by self-medicating with alcohol or illegal drugs, then you are likely on some level already aware that you are not in a healthy place, emotionally, and that it’s time to take action.
Reach out to someone
Acknowledging and becoming aware that you have hit an emotional and mental health low point in your life can be quite a difficult experience to go through. You might find that the acknowledgment alone isn’t enough to get you on the road to recovery, but you are at least aware that you need help. Usually, the best way to start looking for it is to start talking to someone.
Initially, you might start talking to friends and family for support, and they can offer a lot of help by building a strong support system around you. However, it’s also worth noting that a lot of people do not have a lot of experience in talking to people going through serious emotional health crises. While it might not offer the same personal touch, calling a mental health crisis line can get you talking to someone who might be able to offer more immediate practical advice, as well as the kind of understanding that typically only comes with experience.
Getting professional help
Talking to others, even those who have some professional experience in listening and helping, is a good start, but it’s not always enough. Next, you should look at the forms of treatment that you could benefit from. Therapy and counseling are widely recommended for those experiencing mental distress and for good reason. The roots of mental and emotional illness can go deep, and professional therapists can help you reach those depths.
However, if your emotional health crisis takes on a more specific shape, then you should seek out more specific treatment to go with it. For instance, a lot of people who experience mental health issues can turn to substance abuse or their mental health problems might be related to reliance on certain substances. As such, finding a treatment center that can help you get clean can be just as important as addressing your state of mind. In fact, there are options like a dual diagnosis treatment center that aim to treat both issues at once. A two-pronged attack can often offer the best chances of recovering from both issues. Leaving one untreated can lead to you more easily backsliding into the other.
Making real lifestyle changes
Getting the treatment that you need, whether it’s going through therapy, getting off of harmful substance abuse, or otherwise, is not the end of your road to recovery. In fact, for a lot of people, it’s only the beginning. Depending on the issues that you’re facing, you should look into the long-term recovery options that might be available to you. However, one piece of advice that’s going to be given across the board is to take a closer look at your lifestyle, as well.
Adopting a more health-focused mindset, you can put your energies towards focusing on things like improving your exercise and your diet. Aside from the fact that clean living is good for your mental health, it can also help you get more in control of your habits in general, which might give you more self-control and help you stop sliding back into bad habits.
Get to know your triggers
Whether you’re living with anxiety, stress disorders, anger issues, or substance abuse problems, a lot of our emotional health issues can be tied closely to psychological triggers. Psychological triggers, or triggers as they are more commonly known, are factors in our lives or any kind of stimulus that can awaken a powerful emotional response, usually a painful one. They are often associated with trauma and bad memories, but triggers can manifest in all kinds of ways.
When it comes to any issues related to our stress response, finding those psychological triggers is a common tactic on the road to recovery. Knowing your triggers doesn’t automatically mean that they’re not going to affect you anymore. However, not only can you learn what your triggers are so that you can better avoid them, such as avoiding parties if you’re fighting alcohol addiction, but by being more aware of triggers, you can also learn about your body’s response to them. This awareness can help diminish the level of power that they have over your reactions and can help you cut off some deep negative feedback loops.
One of the most widely used techniques to help people become more aware of and better deal with their psychological triggers is known as mindfulness. Mindfulness effectively means becoming more aware of your feelings and sensations in the moment. When we have a deeply stressful or anxious response, it’s easy for our thoughts and feelings to be carried on a tide of adrenaline, and we can lose the ability to think impartially and as rationally as we normally might. Mindfulness meditation can help you center yourself, and get back in control of your emotions and thoughts. Even if you don’t have any psychological triggers, learning mindfulness can be greatly helpful for managing your mood.
Keep your eyes fixed on the future
Once you feel like you’re getting over that hump, it’s important not to let what can feel like your greatest failures define you going forward. You don’t have to be defined by the worst moment in your life, nor should you stop at trying to recover, alone. You should aim for a happy and fulfilling life, not just the absence of problems. As such, it’s a good idea to start putting plans together, to start thinking about what your aims are, and what steps you can start taking to meet those aims. Whether these are goals about changing your living situation, learning new skills, finding a new job, or otherwise, having something to aim at can be vital.
Not everyone is going to have the exact same steps to recovery. You might find that some of the tips above feel a lot more relevant to what you’re going through than some of the others. However, rather than a comprehensive guide, this post aims to help point you in the direction of the help that you need, and some advice or techniques that can prove a strength when pulling yourself up from your lowest point.