A new year……

A new year......

The new year is here and there are many ways to start improving your mental health. The new year brings oppourityor renewed investment in yourself, family, school, career and community. There are many ways to improve your mental health in the new year: have an accountability partner, get support, and act as if you were that person.

An accountability partner is someone who will tell you the truth. The accountability partner should have knowledge of your schedule, understand your strengths and limitations, should not enable, and should help with rewards. An accountability partner is much like a sponsor in AA. This person should be someone who has achieved goals and is still utlizing the same mindset to better them selves. Accountability partners should: call you in the morning, check after your scheduled activity is supposed to be finished, track progress with you, and be encouraging. An accountablity partner should be someone who recognizes your emotions,moods, and would not be manipulated.

Support is found to be the single most effective way of promoting change. A support group provides knowledge, accountability, empathy, and helps in problem solving and decision making. Support can be also seen as not having people in your life that do not support your goals. Healthy boundaries will make your goals more achievable. Mental health counselors provide a foundation for support especially if you feel you are burdening others and you have no where else to turn. The community is waiting but will not come calling to you. You must reach out for support.

Acting as if you were the person you wanted to be is a coping skill that is taught in many supports groups for overcoming depression, low self-esteem, substance abuse, and anxiety. Acting as if allows a person to disqualify the negative voice in their head that keeps them stuck and replace it with a more balanced and positive voice. Acting as if starts the night before by setting the day for success. For example, a runner would put there running shoes right by the door so they could go running in the morning. Give your self permission to act as if and make small achievable goals to get started.

The new year is here and it is up to you to decide what you want or will do to make yourself the beset that you can be. Biofeedback imaging shows how the brain can rewire itself, change thinking patterns, and decrease stress hormones (cortisol) by changing the way you think . This venture needs support. Support can be with: friends/family, support groups, and/or mental health counseling.

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