Your 2020 Vision: 5 Steps for Improving Mental Health
The benefits of Including Ketamine Therapy in Your Mental Health Discussion
A new year is the perfect time to assess your current mental health situation and the mental health of those closest to you. It’s a great time to set goals and find ways to improve your mental health vision for 2020. Along with medication options and professional therapy, ketamine infusion can be an additional resource as you progress on your mental health journey this year.
As the year 2020 begins, we each face individual challenges and collective challenges as a country. According to a recent CNN article, it’s a difficult birth for this new decade. The year 2020 kicks off under the shadow of international security threats, hate crimes, environmental disasters, and divisive politics. Add to that all the reasons we’re stressed individually because of work, health problems, life changes, and more. No wonder so many of us are depressed and anxious. ¹
What can you do to achieve the goal of improved mental health for this year, and the coming decade? Taking steps to improve your mental health can also improve your overall health, because the mind and body are connected.
Here are 5 ways to create your 2020 vision for improved mental health:
1. Have a Positive Attitude
A 2019 study found that people with the most positive outlook had the greatest odds of living to 85 or beyond. The bottom line? Looking on the bright side of life really is good for you. Optimists have a 35% less chance of dying from heart attack or stroke, have stronger immune systems, are more likely to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, and they live longer. ¹
Being an optimist doesn’t mean you ignore the stress of daily life. It simply means you don’t blame yourself unnecessarily when bad things happen. When you face a challenge or obstacle, you’re likely to see it as temporary, or as an opportunity to learn and grow. Optimists also believe they have control over their fate and can create opportunities for good things to happen.
What if you’re not a natural optimist? No worries. Science has shown you can train your brain to be more positive. Only about 25% of optimism is genetically influenced.
“There is research which indicates that optimism can actually be enhanced or nurtured through certain kinds of training,” says neuroscientist and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds, Richard Davidson. ¹
2. Start Volunteering
Studies have shown that being altruistic, or putting the well-being of others before our own without expecting anything in return, stimulates the reward centers of the brain. Those feel-good chemicals flood our brains and produce a sort of “helper’s high.” ¹
Volunteering and doing other good deeds can reduce physical pain, reduce the risk of cognitive impairment, and help us live longer. Giving to others also improves depression symptoms and minimizes stress.
Even if you don’t have a lot of time to offer, just the act of giving has been shown to improve mental health, possibly by temporarily reducing our sense of pain.
So maybe St. Francis of Assisi was on to something when he said, “It is in giving that we receive.”
3. Be Grateful
Counting our blessings boosts optimism and protects us against anxiety and depression. We have heard a lot about the benefits of thankfulness in the last decade, and that data is backed by science.
Try keeping a thankfulness journal. Before you go to bed, jot down any positive experiences you had that day, no matter how small. Taking time to record your gratefulness daily can improve mental health focus. You can also practice mindfulness exercises. According to Davidson, if you practice mindfulness each morning and evening, you will gain a sense of appreciation that can bolster your own optimism and this can expand to affect others in your life.
“Simply bring to mind people that are in our lives from whom we have received some kind of help,” says Davidson. “Bring them to mind and appreciate the care and support or whatever it might be that these individuals have provided.” ¹
4. Focus on Your Social Connections
It’s true that friends and family matter.
“People who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are physically healthier, live longer and are happier, they’re physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected,” said Harvard psychiatrist Robert Waldinger in his popular TEDx talk.
A Harvard Study of Adult Development, which tracked 724 Boston men for more than 75 years and then began following more than 2,000 of their offspring and wives, backs up the benefits of good relationships.
“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period,” Waldinger said.
And it’s the quality of the relationship that is important. You don’t need to have lots of friends or be in a committed relationship to receive this benefit.
5. Find Your Purpose
Finding a sense of purpose contributes greatly to well-being and a longer, happier life.
According to Martin Seligman, of the University of Pennsylvania, a sense of purpose comes from being part of something bigger than ourselves. He suggests family, religion, and social causes as ways to increase meaning in our lives.
“If your sole duty is to achieve the best for yourself, life becomes just too stressful, too lonely — you are set up to fail. Instead, you need to feel you exist for something larger, and that very thought takes off some of the pressure,” Seligman said.
If your anxiety and depression symptoms are severe, or if your current treatment plan is not working, it may be helpful to include other treatment options, like ketamine therapy in your discussion. Ketamine infusion therapy may provide a real solution, especially when other methods have failed.
Ketamine repairs neural pathways that can become damaged when people experience anxiety, depression, pain, and stress. It works by blocking glutamine receptors in the brain that can become over-activated. Ketamine infusion therapy can be used to treat many neurological conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and suicidal thoughts.
Ketamine is a safe, synthetic compound that has been used as a pain relief drug for more than 50 years. It is one of the World Health Organization’s most essential medications. Although not FDA approved, ketamine is effective in many patients when given in a carefully-monitored medical setting under strict protocols to ensure safe delivery.
Ketamine infusion therapy has an industry-wide 85 percent success rate among patients. People who have found other medications and therapies ineffective may find success with ketamine therapy.
For more information on the benefits of ketamine infusion therapy, go to TherapyReset.com or visit our office in Ogden, Utah to schedule a free consultation with our licensed doctors.
Therapy Reset in Ogden, Utah provides ketamine treatment and is successfully treating patients in SLC, Brigham City, Ogden, Layton, Syracuse, Clinton, Brigham City, Morgan, Logan, Wyoming, Idaho and surrounding areas.