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Scores of articles outline the importance of taking care of yourself and your physical health. A quick Google search reveals seemingly no end of diet plans and exercise regimes. When searching for DIY mental health resources, you don’t get nearly as many results.
However, taking care of what’s between your ears matters. Your brain governs every other part of your body, but it can become ill like any other organ. Here are five reasons why it’s important to take care of your mental health.
1. It Affects Your Academic Progress
Mental illness can adversely impact your academic progress. When you feel depressed or anxious, your grades tend to suffer. This phenomenon can create a vicious cycle, with poor marks fueling deeper despair or angst over losing a needed scholarship.
Although approximately one in six youth suffers a mental illness, less than half of those afflicted get the help they need to recover. You may never have a better chance to seek affordable treatment than when enrolled in college. Most campuses offer free mental health resources, including counselors and guided peer support groups. It won’t get easier to afford care once you reach adulthood — please take advantage of these services now.
Please don’t look at suggestions to get help as comments on your abilities. You may only need slight guidance to get you back on track. For example, many schools require mandatory counseling as part of their academic probation program. Instead of shunning such resources, embrace this opportunity to get your learning and mental health back on track.
2. It Influences Your Career Decisions
If you’re a diehard introvert, the thought of running for public office might give you the screaming horrors. That’s fine if you’re content to remain behind the scenes in a support role. However, you might need to seek mental health resources and guidance if you’re determined to lead the show but could use improvement on your interpersonal skills.
Millions of people seek therapy daily, not because of mental illness but help to manage daily life. They look to life coaches to help them develop the necessary skills they’ll need in their careers.
Here, too, university life gives you advantages. Your campus is one giant networking opportunity. Talk to your mental health center — they might be able to partner you with a fellow student studying to become a career counselor who can guide you through making tough choices like whether to switch your major for a free or low cost. They know the importance of taking care of yourself.
3. It Impacts Your Relationships
If you’re concerned with your career track, you might not have relationships on your radar. However, your mental health doesn’t only impact your most intimate partnerships — it also affects how you interact with supervisors and colleagues, helping or hindering your professional progression.
For example, many employers cite empathy as a necessary soft skill when selecting new hires. However, you might not know what this skill looks like in action if you grew up in a toxic, narcissistic household where everyone put themselves first. Fortunately, you can develop empathy through training with a qualified counselor.
4. It Affects Your Physical Health
Your mind and body share a connection — what happens in one influences the other. You know that physical illness weighs on your mental outlook. Poor emotional health can eventually wreak havoc on your physical body, too.
For example, research out of Australia suggests that failing to manage chronic stress creates biochemical changes in your brain that keep your blood pressure high, increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke. Excess cortisol production from ongoing tensions can cause you to stop eating — or consume everything in sight, particularly foods high in fat and sugar. This behavior leads to weight gain, Type 2 diabetes risk, and often spiraling depression as the excess pounds create one more reason for guilt.
5. You Deserve to Feel Good
Finally, you deserve to feel your best. You know how effortless it seems to tackle your daily tasks when you’re on top of the world. Harness more of that elusive flow state and positive energy by taking care of your mental health.
Schedule 30 minutes daily to indulge in healthy activities that make you feel good. For some folks, a vigorous workout or hike fits the bill. Others might prefer writing in a journal or sitting quietly in meditation. You carve time out for physical exercise, so give yourself a time-out to care for that most important organ — your brain.
Why It’s Important to Take Care of Your Mental Health
People devote hours to taking care of their physical health. While exercise and eating right is vital, it’s also crucial to tend to your mind.
The five reasons above illustrate the importance of taking care of yourself and your mental health. Schedule your emotional wellness break or talk to your campus facility today.