It is no secret of the decline in mental health across America, especially following a major worldwide pandemic and all the negative impacts of war. It is estimated that nationwide, almost one in five people (47.1 million) in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition. That number increased by about 1.5 million over last year’s report, with about 10% of youth in the U.S having severe depression. According to the world health organization in their article titled Mental Health “Depression is one of the leading causes of disability. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely – as much as two decades early – due to preventable physical conditions.” If it continues to go unchecked, this decline in mental health will have detrimental effects for individuals as well as the collective.  

The first step in healing the mind starts with becoming aware of all the components that make up mental health. MentalHealth.Gov puts it in perfect terms as they state “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. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.” There is a lot more to maintaining our mental health than we know. It is important to provide yourself with the tools needed to support a healthy mind. In VoiceAmerica’s new hit podcast Make America Healthy, host Beth Shaw, along with her exper guests provide some helpful tips in maintaining a healthy mind and how to recognize the signs of declining mental health. In the episode titled “Mental Health and Life Transformation,”  Beth talks to psychology specialists Dr. Cheryl Meyer and Dr. Ellen Albertson on both their personal and professional experiences within the mental health industry. Through their research and understanding it is clear that the only way to achieve a healthy mind is by coming back to the basics – breath-work, meditation and yoga. 

The only guaranteed thing anyone can control is themselves. In order to correct our external environment we must first turn inwards. Recognizing our own mental blockages or triggers is the first step in developing a healthy mindset. It is only through deep meditation and yoga practices that we are able to reflect inward and gain insight on our true thoughts and feelings, while eliminating all the negative energies that we pick up throughout the day. While on the show, Dr. Ellen Albertson mentions the influx of cortisol levels in the average American today and how the constant exposure to the media is keeping us in a state of fight or flight. We need to recognize what emotions are ours and release the heavy burdens society feeds us on a daily basis. 

Unfortunately, stress is an inevitable factor in life, but learning how to cope with stressful situations will make all the difference. It is utterly too common for stressed individuals to rely on dopamine as a quick fix. Weather it is drugs, alcohol, food, or sex, people are fiending for a dopamine high and resulting to unhealthy habits to get it. We need to recognize these toxic patterns and address the root of the problem, rather than prolonging the solution. As the founder and CEO of YogaFit Worldwide, Beth Shaw has made it her mission to envision a healthier world both physically and mentally. In her book Healing Trauma With Yoga, Beth provides a path to an improved body and soul through her practices on becoming stronger, leaner, and more flexible while reducing stress and improving concentration. If you are looking to reduce stress and improve your mental health visit and receive 15%  off your first yoga training session by using the code VOICE22 at checkout.  

If you are struggling with your mental health or know someone who is, remember to be patient with each other. Life’s a journey of ups and downs, but it is through our struggles that we find our strength.