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I used to cry in my bedroom for several hours until the early hours of the morning. It was as if nobody understood me or could genuinely relate to what I was going through.
I felt overwhelmed. My anxiety was at an all-time high. Every day, my mental health was worsening. The quality of my relationships was deteriorating as I felt like I couldn’t confide in anyone. I didn’t want to deal with my problems alone. But at the time, I had no choice.
That’s when I realized something changed my life forever. Healthy relationships are built on a mutual sense of trust and understanding. So when you feel like nobody else can understand what you’re going through, the quality of your relationships will inevitably suffer as a result.
Which is why it’s essential to spend more time with your friends, family, and spouse. Strong relationships are a vital element of a happy life. Our loved ones support us during moments of adversity and help us keep everything together while our entire life feels like it’s falling apart.
Talking About Negative Thoughts Means They’re No Longer Trapped In Your Head.
“I feel alone, and nobody understands me” is a phrase that I must’ve said to myself a thousand times. My negative thoughts were stuck in my head. I never spoke about my mental health to anyone. So as you might expect, overthinking was something I regularly did throughout the day.
But on a Friday morning, I said to myself that I couldn’t take it anymore. My coping strategy of keeping all of my problems to myself wasn’t working. So I decided to have a conversation with a friend. She listened, said that she was there for me, and then gave me a massive hug as tears rolled down my face.
I’ll be honest with you. It felt great to release all of those negative thoughts from my head. It was almost as if I escaped from a mental prison. A giant weight was suddenly lifted from my shoulders.
It’s no secret that talking about your problems with other people can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health. As Eric Ravenscraft writes in The New York Times:
“It can contribute to an overall improvement in your well-being. More important, it can help you understand how and why you feel the way you do, so you can handle your emotions more effectively in the future.”
If you want to improve your mental health, try and be honest about your struggles. You don’t have to face them alone. Talk about your negative thoughts with someone you trust. And although change won’t happen overnight, your mental health will certainly improve over time.
Your Loved Ones Can Encourage Positive Habits That Will Improve Your Life.
Once I began talking about my problems with other people, I began to trust them a lot more. As Guy Winch writes in Psychology Today:
“Empathy and emotional validation are vitally important relationship skills that lead to stronger, longer-lasting, and more satisfying friendships and relationships as a whole.”
During this period, my entire mindset changed for the better. I felt happier, more optimistic, and genuinely hopeful for the future. My friends and family saw the positive changes, and quickly suggested positive habits to implement into my life. And sure enough, I found myself living a much better life than ever before.
I began eating healthier foods as I wanted more energy to do things I find meaningful throughout the day. I started spending less time on social media, as I had interesting conversations with my friends and family. Also, I started getting up at the same time each morning to bring some consistency to my day.
Although those habits may seem small, they had a massive impact on my mental health. The anxious, depressed, and lonely person I used to quickly became unrecognizable. I finally felt happy.
According to research published by the Canadian Mental Health Association:
“Mental fitness helps us to achieve and sustain a state of good mental health. When we are mentally healthy, we enjoy our life and environment, and the people in it. We can be creative, learn, try new things, and take risks. We are better able to cope with difficult times in our personal and professional lives.”
Your family and friends (hopefully) want the best for you. They genuinely want to see you succeed. So if you want to improve your mental health, have a conversation with them. Discuss the habits that changed their life. Chances are, they might just change yours, too.
Since I began spending a lot more time with loved ones, my mental health has massively improved.
It took a lot of courage and energy to talk about my problems and change my life for the better. But once I began taking small steps each day, the power of compound interest created massive results over time.
Any negative feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness have disappeared. And if they ever resurface in the future, I know exactly how to deal with them.
So if you want to improve your mental health, consider spending more time with your friends, family, or spouse. Have a conversion about anything that’s going through your mind. They won’t judge you. Instead, they’ll support you and try their best to help you overcome adversity.
I’m going to leave you with a beautiful quote from Marge Kennedy, who describes the positive impact that spending time with loved ones can have on your mental health:
“A family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by the number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit.”