Ignoring Mental Health is the Biggest Mistake You Can Make

Woman sitting on the floor against a wall with her hands covering her face. Text on the wall reads "ignoring mental health is the biggest mistake you can make".
This cover image for Ignoring Mental Health is the Biggest Mistake You Can Make was created on Canva Designs

Ignoring Mental Health is a Mistake

“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As a society, we have a habit of sweeping our symptoms under the rug and ignoring mental health. But, the CDC says that more than 50% of adults in the United States are diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lives. More than 50%. A statistic from the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) claims that 40 million adults a year are struggling with their mental health. That’s not counting all the tweens and teens flooding TikTok with their mental health struggles.

Mental health affects every aspect of your life. According to the CDC, mental and physical health are equally important to your overall health. They also say that your mental health can change.

If most of us have mental health challenges, why don’t we talk about them? And why don’t we take better care of our mental health? 🤔

What Good Mental Health Does For You

In my blog post The Mental and Physical Health Connection: 13 Reasons Why It’s Important, I talk about how taking care of your mental health protects and improves your physical health (and vice versa). But did you know that in addition to supporting your physical health, good mental health also:

  • Increases self-esteem
  • It helps you think more clearly
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances your sense of inner peace
  • Reduces Anxiety
  • Creates better relationships with yourself and others
Stop ignoring mental health. It matters. Photo Credit: Oksana Vejus

What Poor Mental Health Does To You

You probably know this already, but here are some of the impacts of having poor mental health and not doing something about it:

  • Your physical health suffers
  • Decision-making abilities decline
  • Mood (and libido) plummet
  • Performance suffers at work, school, home, and everywhere else
  • Basic self-care and hygiene become overwhelming
  • Relationships (with yourself and others) are strained or destroyed
  • Financial strain
  • In the most extreme cases, you become a danger to yourself and other people

“It’s not my fault”, you might be thinking, “I didn’t choose to have mental health challenges”. You’re right. You didn’t choose it and it’s not your fault. But, you can choose to do something about it. Even chronic disorders can be managed so you can live a better life.

The Importance of Supporting Your Mental Health

Another fun fact from the CDC: you can have poor mental health without suffering from a mental illness. You can also have a diagnosed mental illness and have periods of good mental health. All it takes is supporting instead of ignoring your mental health. When you have good mental health you can:

  • Have healthier relationships
  • Love yourself more
  • Manage stress better
  • Stay motivated & be more active
  • Be more productive
  • Start thriving instead of just surviving
  • Contribute and give back to society
This image was created by yours truly on Canva Designs as a visual representation of what happens when you take care of your mental health.

You cannot find your balance unless you support your mental health. Not sure how to stop ignoring mental health and start improving it? You can start by reading some more of my blog posts, like this one with tips listed from the easiest to the most difficult, the one about staying sane over the holidays (the tips work all year), breathing techniques you can use to combat anxiety attacks, and 9 simple habit shifts you can make that make your life better.

If you still want to learn more, there are a ton of books on how to take care of your mental health. Below are some of my favorites, but first, a disclosure: the image links below are affiliate links. That means that if you click a link and decide to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

There are also some really great podcasts on the subject if that’s more your speed. Adding these to your rotation is not a bad idea:

I’m sure there are a lot of other great ones, so if you have one you recommend please comment and let me know!

My Personal Experience

I can only speak for myself, but I know that once I stopped ignoring mental health and started caring for it, my life started improving and it hasn’t stopped since. Why would I know anything about mental health? I was first diagnosed with depression in 2009, but I had battled it for a long time before I went to my doctor. Years later, I was also diagnosed with generalized anxiety, although I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t anxious. Especially socially. I used to be painfully withdrawn. There were also times when I had passive suicidal thoughts, like waking up in the morning and fantasizing about dying in a car accident on the way to work. 2000-2010 me would be so effing proud of how far I’ve come. It’s making me emotional to think about how in pain she was.

I still get out of balance, but it’s a lot easier to get back to my center and get back on track. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog and try to influence positive change in others. I love you, I want you to feel better, and I know that it’s possible.

If you found this post helpful, please do me a favor and like, comment, and share it all over the place so others can see and benefit from it. Help me get the message out that it’s time to stop ignoring mental health. And, if you don’t already, subscribe to my blog all about finding your balance and living your best life now!

Here’s to finding balance and better mental health,

P.S. – I’m starting something really big and super exciting in January 2023 that’s going to help lots of people find their balance. I hope you’ll be one of them! Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on the opportunity when it comes. You won’t want to miss this!

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