I found this study interesting because I do believe the thing that has pushed me from mild anxiety or depression into a worse state is not believing I could do anything. Not having any hope, in other words. These folks sound something very similar:
“Interestingly however, we found that – whether or not our respondents had actually taken action to improve their mental wellbeing – people who believed they could do something to keep mentally healthy tended to have higher mental wellbeing than those who didn’t have this belief.
So while it’s most beneficial to take steps to improve your mental health, even just believing that you can improve it is associated with better overall mental wellbeing.”
It matters because when you have hope that something will help, you’ll generally try it, and it might actually works. When you don’t believe it, you’re not likely to try it. So, while the details of what this looks like for many of us might be different, I think the “ABC” approach they mention can help mild mental health issues from getting more serious:
Act: Keep physically, mentally, socially and spiritually active. Do something – such as going for walks, reading, playing games or taking up a hobby. An active mind and body can foster wellbeing and help quell overthinking or worrying about things that may be outside of your control.
Belong: Keep up friendships and close social ties, engage in group activities, and participate in community events. Do something with someone – whether that’s going to dinner with friends or joining a recreational sports league. Spending time with other people can help you feel more connected and build a sense of identity.
Commit: Set goals and challenges, engage in activities that provide meaning and purpose in life, including taking up causes and volunteering to help others. Do something meaningful. This can help you build a sense of meaning, mattering and self worth.
What do you think, do these resonate with you?