Mental Health

Tips to Understand and How To Improve Mental Health

The human mind is incredibly complex – and life gets challenging. Sometimes our minds and emotions get thrown off balance, leaving us feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. Anxiety, depression, and rage are just a few ways we can react to circumstances that are often beyond our control.

If you’ve gone through a hard time or faced trauma, your mental health could suffer.  Understanding mental illness, being aware of common symptoms, and having a plan for managing on tough days will help you grow and move forward.
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What are the symptoms of mental illness?

The key is to be aware of extreme changes or sudden “swings”. If you don’t feel like yourself or don’t understand your behavior, it may be time for a mental health checkup.


Neglecting your mental health will often negatively impact your physical health. The mind and body are very interconnected. For example, depression has been linked to many chronic illnesses. These illnesses include diabetes, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. Additionally, around 50% to 80% of people with mental health conditions will also have sleeping problems while only 10% to 18% of the general population experience sleeping problems. Paying attention to your mental health will result in positive benefits for your physical health.


It's common to have some emotional instability whenever you're struggling with your mental health. Here are a few of the things you may experience: heightened mood swings, anxiety, prolonged feelings of sadness and angry outbursts. This can cause a feeling of shame and frustration as you feel a loss of control over your emotions. If you don’t feel like yourself or don’t understand your behavior, it may be time for a mental health checkup.


A struggle with any type of mental health issue can often create division between the spirit and the mind. It can also cause you to doubt your life's purpose, which, if not addressed, will grow into a sense of hopelessness. Finding ways to strengthen your spirit through meditation, reading, prayer and seeking counsel from a spiritual advisor can help you maintain a healthy balance for mind, body, and spirit.

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What Is Mental Illness?

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors”

Many of us have bad days or weeks, or experience difficult emotions after an event like a death in the family or losing a job. So what makes it a mental illness? Experts agree that the majority of mental illnesses are signaled by stark physical and emotional changes. Where a bad day or poor mood will fade after a short time, a mental illness is characterized by long term symptoms you just can’t seem to shake.
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How Do I Cope With Mental Illness When Symptoms Are Difficult?

Living with mental illness isn’t easy, but there are plenty of options to help you treat your symptoms and come out on top. You may be prescribed medication or be recommended for talk therapy. Perhaps your pastor or another leader in your faith community may be able to provide additional counseling.

Often mental illness can bring with it a crisis of faith as you question why God would let you go through this. It is important to know that it is not because you lack faith or prayer. This is not your fault. God is with you and has great plans for your life. He will help you get through this.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

You’re never on your own when it comes to your mental health; there is always hope. You can find it here. TheHopeline puts mental health resources at your fingertips. If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, or addiction, you can chat with a Hope Coach, request mentorship or prayer right away.

Greater stability, deeper faith, and stronger relationships are possible – starting now.


Mental health impacts your sense of wholeness or completeness. Taking proactive steps to strengthen your mind body and spirit is vital. Try this: Make a list with 3 sections…mind, body, spirit. Write out 2 ways you can strengthen each of these areas. You can always add to the list but be careful not to set unrealistic goals for yourself. For the Spiritual section you may consider these two steps: read a verse in the Bible and pray to God. If you’ve never done these things before, you may be surprised. God’s word brings peace and prayer allows you to hand your concerns over to God. The Bible says, From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety. (Psalm 61:2) And, cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) Let God be your safe place!

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