Focusing on What’s Effective for Mental Wellness

When I write about mental health, I often use the word effective to talk about a certain technique or method that I’m researching or using. I’ve started to use this word more and more in the past few years, and it’s become one of the biggest ways I’ve measured mental wellness and how I manage mental health challenges. By putting a focus on how effective things are, I’ve been able to prioritize my mental health in a way I hadn’t been able to do before. Here’s why that’s important.

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Suicide Prevention Looks Like More Than You Think

TW: This post discusses suicide and suicide prevention.

In looking at what I wrote last year during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, I found a lot of useful information in my posts. But as it often happens, I’ve learned a few things in the past year that have helped form new opinions and improve the way I view different aspects of mental health and wellness. And while it’s always useful to share resources and information (such as this post of mine from last year which does just that), I thought I’d share another insight into suicide prevention that isn’t discussed as often.

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Why I Always Make Room for Mental Health Improvement

Over the years, I’ve learned a number of methods and techniques to manage my depression and anxiety. Some of those have worked very well (meditation and talk therapy), while others haven’t been as effective (I’m hoping to come back to journaling one day, but it’s not soon). Either way, I’ve learned a lot about what’s helpful for me on my mental health journey, and used those lessons to continue building my mental health toolkit and growing more certain in how I manage mental health. But as I’ve learned recently, there’s always space to find more ways and improve that relationship with mental health, which is what I want to talk about today.

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Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2021

TW/CW: This post discusses suicide.

Every year on My Brain’s Not Broken, I write posts and share information about Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Held every September in the United States, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is a month dedicated to awareness and advocacy about suicide and suicide prevention. Though awareness months exist in many forms and for many reasons, I believe that there is something unique about Suicide Prevention Awareness Month that should continue to demand attention. We know that suicide is a public health issue, and the pandemic is one more reason to push for more education and awareness around suicide prevention.

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Making the Mental Shift Into Fall

Every year around Labor Day, I start to make the mental shift into the fall season. I know I’m not alone in this (and I’m not here to talk about how amazing fall is, I promise), but I think there are important adjustments we make heading into this part of the year that aren’t always talked about. Seasons don’t only mean a change in weather; they also mean a change in lifestyle and a shift in our schedules. Fall is much more than back to school and changing leaves – it’s another opportunity to work on our mental health in a changing space.

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The Difference Between Adjusting and Fixing

My posts from the last few weeks have me thinking a lot about making adjustments and self-improvement, and for good reason. My two-part post on making mental health adjustments allowed me to reflect on making the necessary adjustments to my changing mental health – whether that’s adjusting to my new symptoms or how this impacts the world around me. I also want to find ways to get out of my own head and feel freer in conversations, which is why I questioned if everything I say is actually that important. But my mindset is extremely important when it comes to making adjustments, which is what I wanted to write about today.

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Is Everything I Say Important?

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about cognitive distortions and the way they affect mental health. Simply put, cognitive distortions are ways that our brain can trick us into acting or feeling a certain way toward a situation (in fact, I have a whole post on cognitive distortions if you want to learn more!). While I’ve gotten better at recognizing and managing these distortions, one of the ways I learned to cope with cognitive distortions was to be very careful about what I said. But is everything I say really that important?

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Making Mental Health Adjustments Part Two: Adjusting to Yourself

Adjusting to changes in your mental wellness isn’t easy. There are so many ways things can change, and since every person has their own unique story and personality traits, there are a million directions these changes can go in. In part one of this post on making mental health adjustments, I focused on how to adjust to new or different symptoms of mental illness, and wrote about the effectiveness of adjusting to one symptom at a time. Today, I want to focus on making mental health adjustments that help us build a healthier lifestyle – not just adjusting to our symptoms, but adjusting to how mental health affects our well-being.

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Making Mental Health Adjustments Part One: Adjusting to Symptoms

How do you adjust to changes in your mental health? I’ve never seriously reflected on this question, but I know why I haven’t – it’s because I’m always doing it! I’m constantly adjusting and adapting to changes in my mental health, and I know many other people do this on a daily basis. Even though we’re constantly adapting, it’s difficult to take the time and break down how this is possible. Today is the first of a two-part series on how I’ve made adjustments to my mental health; specifically, how I adjust to symptoms of mental illness.

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Improving My Relationship with Failure and Mental Health

I thought a bit about how I’d title this post because I knew that regardless of what I wrote, I’d feel some type of way about this particular topic. Like many other people, I don’t have a great relationship with the world ‘failure.’ At worst, the word terrifies me. At best, I’ve made peace with the fact that I’m not perfect. I think we could all stand to improve our relationship with how we deal with failure, and I feel like incorporating that improvement within a mental health framework is a good place to start. I’m not always going to succeed at being mentally healthy. I have to be okay at accepting that, and here’s why.

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