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Men’s Health Month: Personal growth is wealth

There is so much value in learning how to identify mental and emotional barriers, foster accountability and guide oneself towards progress. These skills help unlock successful personal growth to help lead a mentally healthier life.

June is Men’s Health Month, which provides an opportunity to raise awareness of health concerns for men, such as mental health. During the month, men are encouraged to set goals for their own health and wellness and begin to create a road map for achieving those goals.

Mental health is an important determinant of overall health and quality of life at every age. Over 6 million men suffer from depression per year, according to Mental Health America, and most cases often go undiagnosed, leading to larger life issues like substance abuse. According to the Harvard T.H. School of Public Health, Men are more likely to suffer “deaths of despair” including alcoholism, overdose and suicide; they are far less likely than women to seek out mental health services.

There is so much value in learning how to identify mental and emotional barriers, foster accountability and guide oneself towards progress. These skills help unlock successful personal growth to help lead a mentally healthier life.

Identifying mental and emotional barriers and fostering accountability go hand in hand. People cannot have one without the other. It requires a person to have a certain baseline emotionally; not too happy, too sad, nor too angry. When you have heightened emotions, your perspective is skewed, and you're not seeing clearly.

For Men’s Mental Health Month, here are a few ways you can take charge of your mental and emotional health.

Connect with a therapist.

The easiest and most common way to identify emotional and mental barriers is by seeing a therapist. This person is trained to help identify the patterns and emotional and mental barriers one has been facing. You must be willing to fully accept this and be accountable if change or progress is to be made.

The way to find a therapist who works for you is by using mental health organizations to search through up-to-date databases of licensed therapists. Finding the perfect therapist is determined by your budget, what therapy type you need, background of the therapist, the therapist’s cultural competence and your personal therapy.

Take the initiative to discover more about yourself.

If you want to start your mental health journey independently, you can begin to read books that help create insight. The book “Mental Legacy” dives into topics discussing emotional regulation and breaking mental cycles while focusing on personal growth. Other options can be found by licensed therapists and inspirational people. Videos on YouTube about mental growth and success are also great resources for visual learners.

You need to be willing to educate themselves and accept responsibility for your life. The one thing they can control is themselves. By healthily processing past traumas and experiences, people can help connect how much their past is causing a reaction in the present. Once that connection is made, you can then make different decisions to change and move forward. Humans can only begin to rebuild confidence and self-esteem and grow with forward progress.

Learn to let go of the past and focus on a brighter future.

It takes time to work on old attachments and create new healthy ones, but the rewards are life changing for men and those around them. The best way to work on old attachments is to create self-awareness around the attachment and then practice a new behavior in real-time. This involved understanding and separating emotion from logic. Another way to dramatically speed up the process is through Ketamine Therapy at Daytryp Health or EMDR therapy with an EMDR-trained therapist.

By identifying those mental and emotional barriers it opens the chance to foster accountability when rebuilding the way to process everything around us. We can practice new actions and behaviors that stem from what the mind learns. Being physically and mentally present while practicing mental self-care can result in long-term healing.

Excellent ways for men to practice self-care is by talking to other men, staying physically active and always working toward a goal. We want to share certain things with a partner, but talking with other men who can better relate or give advice if they have experience in that area can help maintain the masculine and feminine balance in feedback.

We are hard-wired to achieve; it doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but having goals and something to work towards does wonders for the psyche as well as producing natural dopamine and serotonin as you start to accomplish goals, big or small. Staying physically active can do something similar. Simply getting more active, whether you start running or weight training, will positively affect the mind and body and spill over into all areas of life. Confidence, self-esteem and your overall level of happiness will increase.

These skills will not only be beneficial in the short term, but they will also allow you to create a mental legacy that’s long lasting and educational for generations to come. By starting your own mental health journey, you’ll be able to inspire young men to be level-headed, accountable, seek help when needed and learn about themselves.

Rudy Montijo, MS, is a passionate advocate for recovery and mental health. With a diverse background, he earned his bachelor’s in communications from the University of Arizona and later completed his master’s degree in addiction sciences at Grand Canyon University. Montijo’s extensive experience includes being a former Division I football player at the University of Arizona, a clinically trained therapist, an award-winning medical device professional and a professional speaker.