Mental Health Reflection: What Have You Accomplished in 2022?

Now that we are at the end of the year, it’s time to look back on what you’ve achieved with a mental health reflection for all your mental health accomplishments throughout 2022 – no matter if you made strides through self-care, mental health treatment (ex., individual therapy), or with psychiatry and therapy.

What Is Your Mental Health Reflection?

You’ve likely heard the statistics on thoughts that humans have around 50,000 daily. Yet many people have trouble remembering their thoughts and don’t realize that most are negative. The reason is that we don’t take the time to reflect.

The key to good mental health is to reflect more on the positive things in your life, like your accomplishments in 2022 regarding your mental health.

Having good mental health is a process that is constantly evolving. According to the World Health Organization, positive mental health is a state of well-being in which you realize your potential, handle everyday stressors, and contribute to society by giving back and working productively. These are things that don’t happen overnight. They take time and practice.

Even if you think you haven’t accomplished much, try doing a mental health reflection using the statements below and apply them to your life. You will likely find you have way more to be proud of than you first thought.

You Made Social Connections

Connecting socially has mental health benefits, such as improving mood, compassion, empathy, and a sense of belonging. When you interact positively with people, neurotransmitters in the brain are released. For example, handshakes, high-fives, and hugs signal a release of oxytocin, which lowers stress levels.

When you are laughing and having a good time with others, dopamine is released, giving you a feeling of pleasure, and easing pain. Also, socializing with others helps you develop good habits for physical health, which directly impacts mental health.

Even short, random social interactions make a big difference. Reflect on the positive social interactions you have had this year.

You Found Ways to Relax

Relaxation techniques help you calm your mind, which then relaxes muscles, releases tension, and reduces hormonal activity that can cause inflammation and other effects on the body.

Every person finds different ways to relax. Some get a massage, read a book, walk, or meditate. Others have hobbies, watch movies, meet with a counselor, or write in a journal. What things did you do this year that helped you relax (even if you didn’t do them to relax)?

Tip: Using a journal to write down your thoughts is a great way to keep track of your accomplishments as part of a mental health reflection at the end of the year.

You Got Good Sleep

Sleep is crucial for positive mental health. Just as important are the actions you take before and after you sleep. Developing good sleep hygiene means taking part in activities that promote quality sleep. Examples include avoiding caffeine late in the day, prepping for bed at the same time each night, and turning off electronics.

You can do other things to get quality sleep, like buy a new pillow or mattress that makes you more comfortable, read before bed, and use essential oils or aromatherapy. Did you or your spouse go for a sleep study? If so, that is a huge step towards good mental health. Getting good sleep will not happen every night, as you know. But don’t’ stop striving for it and be happy and reflect on the ones you do get.

You Stood Up for Yourself

It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of always saying “yes” to those who need favors or volunteering yourself for activities even though you are already overwhelmed. Most people feel like if they say “no,” then people will not like them, or they will feel guilty. The truth is, saying “yes” when you are already spread too thin is not helping anyone.

If you are not healthy mentally and physically, you cannot give others what they deserve. You must put yourself first, take care of your needs, then choose which requests to accept.

Standing up for yourself involves setting healthy boundaries, taking time to think about how to answer an invitation or request, and feeling good about your answer. Have there been times this year when you have said “no” because you are too overworked or mentally strained? Good for you! This is a fantastic achievement and something you can call a positive mental health reflection. Be sure to take the time to reflect on those times and how you will continue to do so in the future.

You Took Care of Your Body

Life is so busy these days. It’s hard to stop and think about the body and what it needs to thrive.

Taking care of your body means participating in activities that are good for your physical and mental health. Suppose you went on a diet or two or ten diets; that is ten times you did something to take care of your body. Other examples include not consuming alcohol, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking further away from the grocery store entrance.

Reflect on the ways you took care of your body this year. What do you want to continue next year?

You Got Involved

Giving back through volunteer work makes you feel rewarded, valuable, and like you are making a difference. These are things everyone needs to feel to have a positive mental outlook. Whether you get involved on a small or large scale, you will notice improvements in your mental health. You may have gotten involved and not realized it. Ideas include helping the elderly, donating to a nonprofit, helping your child’s class or school, giving someone a ride, or participating in a charity event.

Everything from Christmas caroling with the church, putting money in a donation box, to baking cookies for someone is an act of giving back. Reflect and be proud of all the ways you got involved this year.

Reward Yourself Now and Into Next Year

So, what did you take away after reminiscing on each of your mental health reflections from 2022? We bet you have accomplished a lot for mental health this year, and we encourage you to reward yourself. Yes, you deserve it. Give yourself a spa day, an affordable new toy or gadget, or something that will help you continue improving your mental and physical health next year.

Commit to activities next year that will help you enjoy even greater results. Keep a calendar or journal or team up with a friend to encourage one another. You may even want to talk to a psychiatrist or therapist who can track your progress and teach you more about reflection. Next year at this time, you will be reflecting on many more accomplishments. You deserve them all!

For more information about mental health treatment, visit us at the Mental Health Center in Los Angeles.