How Do I Know My Mental Health is Improving?

How Do I Know My Mental Health Is Improving
How Do I Know My Mental Health is Improving

Mental health does not mean the absence of mental illness. If you’re stressed out from work, aren’t getting quality sleep, and must balance work and home, all these issues take a silent toll on your mental health that manifest in ways you might not even realize. Fortunately, mental health is now taking center stage, earning its rightful place in both the domestic and corporate arenas. Be that as it may, if you begin working on your mental health and have started adopting certain practices like exercise, meditation, diet, or even psychotherapy, how do you know your mental health is improving?

Signs of Poor Mental Health

Symptoms of poor mental health differ from individual to individual. Stress is part of our daily life, and how we respond to it determines our well-being. Moreover, at some point in life, we might experience anxiety and mild to moderate depression. The duration of such conditions depends on several factors, such as how we perceive and manage our problems. Here are some silent or less obvious symptoms of poor mental health that individuals might experience:

  • Physical illness: headaches, stomachaches, body pain and muscle tension,
  • Irritability and anger
  • Weight gain or weight loss due to irregular eating patterns
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Insomnia and poor quality of sleep
  • Isolation and anxiety
  • Poor cognition, poor focus, and procrastination
  • Poor self-care and neglect of hygiene
  • Self-criticism and Perfectionism
  • Imposter Syndrome
  • A sense of hopelessness and depression

The Path to Improved Mental Health

The road to good mental health is a dynamic process that starts with acknowledgement and awareness. When working on your physical health, definite, measurable results inform you of your achievements, such as an improved cholesterol level, an improved heart rate, weight loss, more energy, and a stronger body. When it comes to mental health, there are subtle results that are often construed as just a normal state of being, but more than you know, these are valuable insights into how your mental health is improving.

Self-Awareness: The first step to change

Acknowledging an issue and being aware of it is the first step to improving your mental health. In conditions of depression, too, the need to seek out help means you don’t like feeling that way. A strong sense of self-awareness can empower you to identify negativities in your life, thought patterns, irrational beliefs, and behaviors that might sabotage your well-being. These are now on your mental radar, and the next step is working to eliminate them. Analyzing these emotions to understand why you feel the way you do and when you feel so are essential signs you are now tuned into your triggers and stressors impacting your mental health.

Increased Emotional Intelligence

Psychotherapists feel that high emotional intelligence is an expression of self-assertion rather than aggression. There is no definitive measure of emotional intelligence, but you can undoubtedly gauge from your behavior that you are improving mentally and as a person. Signs of emotional intelligence are:

  • Empathy
  • Knowing when to apologize
  • Controlling your impulses or refraining from unnecessary debate and argument
  • The patience to resolve conflict
  • Understanding others
  • Reflecting on your mistakes
  • Knowing how to let go, and so much more


One of the hallmarks of progress in mental health is resilience. Stress and mental anxiety are a part of life, but resilience cultivates emotional flexibility to help you adapt to stressful and challenging situations for a positive outcome. Resilience enables you to bounce back from adversity and does not make you shy away from hardship, it trains your mind to explore ways and means to overcome them. With resilience, what once felt like something complicated, becomes opportunities for growth instead.

You’re Not as Irritable

Irritability is one of the most prominent signs of stress, but as your mental health improves,  you begin looking at things from a broader and more flexible perspective. You become more tolerant of minor obstacles and setbacks that impede your work, and you become kind to others. You begin to recognize how people’s behavior does not affect you, and you avoid those who irritate you to preserve your mental health. Irritability does not just impact you but your loved ones too. Once you find yourself less irritable, you become more sociable in a family environment.

You Sleep Better

Insomnia is a sign of stress and poor mental health, but so is poor sleep quality. Remember, a good night’s sleep requires you to go through the four stages of sleep, of which deep sleep is essential for bodily rest. This part of sleep rejuvenates you to wake up content and well-rested. Improved mental health is marked by healthy, uninterrupted sleep; however, intentionally sleeping late only worsens your condition, disrupting the biomechanics of your body and resulting in insomnia, poor health, poor cognition, and poor mental health, which makes the relationship between mental health and sleep an extremely important one.

Healthier Relationships

When you are happier, you communicate and interact freely and positively with people. You learn to establish boundaries and manage your emotions towards nurturing healthier relationships that could further contribute to your well-being.

You Become More Mindful

Stress from a busy, hectic lifestyle or work can often make you live like a robot. But true living is being mindful of everything you do and appreciating the little things and moments in life to be thankful for. Mindfulness is living in the moment and attributing purpose and value to yourself and your environment. Mental stability induces feelings that can also create a zest for life and fleeting moments of joy within you.

Better Focus, Clearer Thought Process

Improved cognition and clarity of thought are clear indicators of good mental health. It proves how you have progressed from a foggy, cluttered mind to a flexible mindset that helps you see things more clearly. In such a scenario, this enables you to make good decisions and think up solutions to problems in life.

You Cope Better

Once you move away from destructive coping mechanisms that create stress and anxiety, it is a massive sign of improved mental health. Remember, worrying is okay, but being controlled by worry isn’t. Genuine positivity is focused thinking to try and find solutions to a challenging situation for a positive outcome. Avoid unhealthy coping habits like drinking, smoking, or drug abuse. Instead, exercise regularly, practice mindfulness, and seek support from friends, family, or professionals to manage your difficulties.

Improved hygiene, self-care, and diet

Once your mental health improves, you find a new purpose in life, and the main point of focus then becomes you. You begin to treat yourself with value and practice self-care, which includes better hygiene and a better diet. You discover your dressing sense and find that you just like looking good, not for the world but for the person you see in the mirror.


Improving your mental health is deeply personal, but remember, the path is often filled with challenges. However, your progress helps you overcome such challenges, and each milestone motivates you to push forward. As negativity and unhealthy coping mechanisms can be addictive, so can the experience of mental well-being. Celebrate small victories, and if you need a nudge sometimes, do not hesitate to seek professional help. Consulting a psychotherapist is not a sign of weakness but a sign of self-empowerment that you genuinely want a better life for yourself.

Andrew Alpin

Andrew Kevin Alpin is a creative content specialist from Kolkata with several years of experience in content creation focusing on health and wellness. He possesses good insight on psychology and human behavior, including all all aspects of health. Andrew currently works as a Freelance Educational Content Director and Creative head at Enso Integrated Medicine, Bengaluru.