A trending topic lately has been mental health, and today we’ll explore building mental wealth. Traditionally our society has openly discussed happiness, sadness, and a range of emotions but mental illness and treatment have rarely been discussed. However, with the recent lifestyle changes we’ve all had to make, the discussion around anxiety and other conditions has become more commonplace. We’ve started relating to each other more with feelings of isolation, loneliness, and even depression. As a matter of fact, according to Time Magazine, a recent study published in JAMA Network Open found that three times as many Americans met criteria for a depression diagnosis during the pandemic than before it. While the discussion expands, there’s a need to talk about mental health and build mental wealth. Here we’ll explore ways you can help your clients build on their mental wealth.

What is Mental Wealth? 

Mental wealth can be thought of similarly to financial wealth – you invest in building it up then make it work for you to lead a more comfortable life. Ultimately learning methods and tools to improve your mental health builds your mental wealth. With great mental wealth, you’ll be able to better care for yourself, your family, and your friends. Understanding the techniques that help you remain calm, stay worry-free, focus on the positive, and improve your overall mental health. You can also share the methods and tools with others around you. Mental wealth helps you stay balanced and increases your overall health.

How is Mental Wealth Built?

Building mental wealth should be proactive. It should be a practice we all invest in throughout our lives, continuing to increase the assets at our disposal. Here are some ways to help your clients increase their mental wealth: 

  1. Sleep: Many of us know how critical sleep is to our overall wellbeing, but it also may have a large impact on mental health. According to Harvard Health, “Although scientists are still trying to tease apart all the mechanisms, they’ve discovered that sleep disruption…wreaks havoc in the brain, impairing thinking and emotional regulation. In this way, insomnia may amplify the effects of psychiatric disorders and vice versa.” To get better sleep, experts suggest going to bed at the same time, waking up at the same time, removing distractions such as the TV, keeping the bedroom dark, maintaining a cool temperature, and ensuring your space is comfortable. 
  1. Diet: How you eat can affect you in many ways. For example, a high intake of caffeine has been shown to contribute to anxiety and restlessness. Similar findings have been documented related to alcohol and nicotine, which can cause issues with sleep. On the other side, certain foods can help mental health. According to Harvard Health, “Studies have compared “traditional” diets, like the Mediterranean diet and the traditional Japanese diet, to a typical “Western” diet and have shown that the risk of depression is 25% to 35% lower in those who eat a traditional diet.” So increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and foods that help reduce inflammation can help build your mental wealth.
  1. Mental Exercise: One of the most commonly recommended activities for mental exercise is meditation, and for a good reason. Meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, pain, and stress, according to JAMA Network. But other mental exercises can also help build mental wealth. Journaling and practicing gratitude can help you alleviate stress and refocus on a positive mindset. 
  1. Physical Exercise: Over the years, various studies have shown a positive association between physical exercise and mental health – even to the extent that depression may be effectively treated through physical activity, without side effects. According to HelpGuide, “As one example, a recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%.” So tie up those laces and get in a good sweat session. 
  1. Giving: An act of kindness and helping others can extend far beyond the initial satisfaction of seeing someone’s day become a little brighter. Studies have shown that the act of giving can actually lower blood pressure, lessen depression, and even lengthen the giver’s life, according to the Cleveland Clinic
  1. Positive Hobbies: While life is often full of responsibilities and tasks, having positive hobbies and making time for them can significantly impact your mental wealth. According to Head to Health, “Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression. Activities that get you out and about can make you feel happier and more relaxed. Group activities, like team sports, can improve your communication skills and relationships with others.” Whether you like music, sports, art, or any other positive hobbies, making time in your day to enjoy a hobby will help increase your mental wealth. 

Like financial wealth, building mental wealth can help your clients lead a more comfortable life. Mental wealth will help your clients have a bank of techniques to cope with life’s stressors and improve their mental health. At Sunwave, a major part of our mission is to help treatment facilities deliver better patient care and ultimately help people lead better lives. Learn more about our comprehensive platform and see how Sunwave can help manage the full patient lifecycle for behavioral health treatment centers.

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