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It seems like the world is making major strides in mental health right now. With growing awareness, easier access to therapy with online services and new practices like trauma-informed treatment and mindfulness, investing in your mental wellness is a movement you’ll want to partake in.

While making progress in mental health is something we should all yearn for, how do we know when we are seeing signs of good mental health? Emotional health is a tricky thing to pin down, but there are some concrete signs to look for. In this article we’ll list five symptoms of positive mental health change that you need to know.

1. You feel better

Maybe the most evident symptom of mental wellbeing is a noticeable change within yourself. While standardized tools may help others to diagnose and quantify the severity of a mental illness, the feeling that you get when you start to make gains is something only you can notice.

The sensations will differ for everyone, but you might start to notice more mental clarity, more energy, more eagerness to participate in social activities, less physiological symptoms (like headaches and stomachaches) and higher self-esteem. You might feel more joyful, have a greater tendency to laugh and you’ll do things that are normally outside of your comfort zone.

2. You can handle distress

Mental illness can sometimes incapacitate our ability to forge on in adversity. Anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses can prevent us from normal daily functioning, too. When triggers pop up, we are left defenseless and fall prey to the worst symptoms of mental illness.

Being able to manage both big and small stressful situations is a tell-tale sign of successful therapy. While this process may feel like it’s happening slowly, as your mental health starts to improve you’ll build resilience in combating your triggers. Learning to anticipate and avoid certain stressors combined with the right coping mechanisms is a sure sign of positive mental health change.

3. You are hopeful about the future

While mental illness can hold us back, making progress in treatment will leave you with a sense of hope about your future. You might catch yourself planning trips you dream of going on one day, or looking into going back to school.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll never have a hard day again. Everyone struggles at some point, but mental wellbeing allows you to look towards your future with excitement, despite setbacks.

4. Your thinking is based in reality

A major component of many mental illnesses is a tendency to fall into negative thinking cycles. This is why most treatments include some form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT aims at changing harmful thoughts, which has a ripple effect on behaviors. When CBT is working, your thoughts will be based in reality so you can make healthy decisions for yourself.

When you have thought processes that are more logical than emotional, other symptoms of mental illness will decrease, too. You’ll slowly grow in self-esteem and you won’t feel as strong of a compulsion to engage in damaging behaviors.

5. You have healthy relationships

Sometimes when we are struggling with mental health issues, our relationships can suffer. We may also be drawn to peers that are negative influences. Relationships are burdened by pressures, judgments and anger in both directions, and healing from mental illness means that those difficulties dissipate. Being surrounded by positive peers and having strong mental health is a dual-directional relationship, with each supporting and improving the other.

6. You meet goals on your treatment plan

A treatment plan is a list of goals and objectives that you’ll collaborate on with your mental health professional designed to measure and celebrate your progress. When you’re getting the services you need, you’ll start to make headway on your treatment plan. It’s likely that you’ll start to check off benchmarks within a few months of starting treatment.

When you have a mental health professional on your team, you’ll be able to make progress sooner, and see progress even if you can’t feel it yet. With good mental health you’ll be able to live the life you’ve dreamed of, so don’t wait to get the help you need.

Silvermist Recovery is an addiction treatment center in Western Pennsylvania that can help you make the positive mental health change you need to make your recovery last. Beautiful facilities and holistic therapies heal the whole person. With intake specialists available 24/7, there’s no reason to wait. Call (724) 268-4858 today for the help you need to thrive.