DETROIT – Many people report that their stress and anxiety level rise this time of year.
People are looking for ways to decompress ahead of the new year. So local Mental health expert Dr. Jennifer Peltzer Jones from Henry Ford Emergency Behavioral Services is offering advice to improve your mental health.
“Everyone knows that everyone feels terrible,” Jones said. “I mean, like, everyone knows that, and it’s almost like retraumatizing to keep telling people about how bad people are feeling versus trying to shift our way into ‘How do we get healthier?’”
Jones said she has seen many people suffering from an acute crisis come to the emergency room due to a mental health problem.
Something she said that can help unclog the negative thought process is “‘mental housekeeping.’”
“It’s easy to say ‘don’t smoke,’ we all know that it’s easy to say ‘get more exercise.’ Which is actually exercising your mental and mental medical health,” Jones said. “But when we say things like, ‘be careful of your bad thinking habits, stop putting yourself down and stop living in this negative space; we’re like,’ well, I don’t do that’ but we do, we do a lot of that.”
“Everyone keeps waiting for us to get back to some type of normal,” Jones said. “I think we all are starting to hit that phase of ‘this is our new normal now.’ But it’s important for us not to be predicting ‘everything’s going to stay miserable’ because it wasn’t the same as what Nov. 2019 is.”
Dr. Jones believes that way of thinking is a bad habit and people need to be careful about predicting the future when they do not feel at their best. Your first thought jumps into a negative mind frame, a negative thinking trap.
“That’s a bad thinking habit that we have to be careful about,” Jones said. “Predicting the future when we don’t feel good, we predict it to be negative and then we believe it to be negative and we fall into that negative thinking trap.”
Being aware of your thoughts and reflections of how you feel inside and out can help keep unhealthy thoughts in check.
“When we think about our negative thoughts, like if we just allow our negative thoughts to keep coming up and just to live with them, they become automatic,” Jones said. “If we’re not looking at them, trying to change that, then we encompass them, we own them.”
“When we talk about mindfulness, meditation and reflection, it really is that time for us to evaluate our bad thinking habits,” Jones said. “Just like bad health habits, we develop really bad thinking habits, and then we end up miserable.”
Jones said, mindfulness programs like meditation and yoga are essential as other resources before reaching your breaking points. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with suicidal thoughts you are not alone. Help is available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 to provide support at 800-273-8255.