Improving mental health in young adults is extremely important because 50 percent of all chronic mental disorders begin at the age of 14, and 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 suffer from mental disorders every year according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
A person’s psychological well-being or mental health greatly influences their quality of life. Generally, good mental health refers to a state of well-being that allows a person to cope with life’s stresses while being a productive member of society. Determining whether teens and young adults are just dealing with growing pains or suffering from a mental disorder can be challenging. Recognizing the signs of mental health disorders and incorporating steps to improve them can ward off serious consequences and potentially safe lives.
Understanding Emotional Health and Well-Being
Poor emotional health is often associated with being depressed, suffering from anxiety, or dealing with other psychological issues. However, the absence of these issues doesn’t instantly mean that an individual is mentally and emotionally healthy. To accomplish this, and to live life to its fullest, there have to be positive characteristics present. Some of these characteristics can include having a lot of self-esteem and self-confidence, feeling passionate and excited about life, having a sense of purpose and contentment, and being resilient and able to deal with stressors.
The Link Between Physical and Mental Health
The mind and body are connected, and if a teen or young adult improves their physical health, their mental health will also improve. Getting regular exercise, for instance, isn’t just good for the body, but it also triggers the release of endorphins. These feel-good chemicals can lift a person’s mood and provide energy. Other things that can improve physical health (and thus mental health) include eating a well-balanced diet, sleeping for seven to eight hours each night, exposure to at least 10 minutes of sunlight every day, and eliminating the use of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.
Ways to Improve Mental Health in Young Adults
Exercise isn’t the only way to release endorphins. Some other things that teens and young adults can do to promote the presence of these feel-good neurotransmitters include managing stress and practicing self-control to overcome negative thinking and helplessness. They can also enjoy their surroundings or do something nice for someone else to increase their self-esteem. Even getting a pet might can make a person feel needed and loved. In some cases, professional help from a psychologist or psychiatrist can bring on an improvement.
Supportive Relationships Promote Mental Health
A teen or young adult with no one to talk to or turn to when times get tough is more likely to suffer from mental health issues than a youngster who has a trustworthy support system that’s always there for them. The human brain craves socialization and doesn’t do well during times of isolation. Talking to a friend, doctor, teacher, or family member who is a good listener can reduce stress and help a young person cope, especially when times get tough.
Factors That Can Compromise Mental Health
Past and present experiences can shape mental health in young adults. For instance, a history of abuse can affect a young person’s mental health today. Substance abuse or the traumatic loss of a parent or other loved one can also take a toll on mental and emotional health. Sometimes an illness or medications can trigger behavioral changes and isolation from others, which can eventually result in mental health issues. Regardless of which factors influence mental health, doing something to improve them is most likely possible.
Signs of Poor Mental Health
Recognizing the signs of a mental health issue in a teenager or young adult can be challenging. There are various signs that shouldn’t be ignored because they might indicate a bigger problem. The inability to concentrate, dropping grades in school, or poor performance in the workplace can be symptoms of a mental health problem. A person with mental health issues can have mood swings and behavioral changes and experience problems sleeping at night. They might appear withdrawn or display reckless and self-destructive behaviors, such as having unsafe sex, self-harm, eating disorders, and drug and alcohol abuse. Feelings of helplessness can result in negative thoughts including those of suicide or death.
If someone in your life appears to struggle with mental illness, call Morningside Recovery today. We offer comprehensive mental health rehab, including programs like depression treatment and anxiety treatment. To learn more about improving mental health in young adults in your life, call us today at 855-631-2135.