Mental health is a complicated thing. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what exactly is causing the issues you’re having with your mood, motivation, or anxiety. The reality, of course, is that there are many factors and only one solution. Be compassionate with yourself and find ways to address your mental health issues head-on. Here are a few things that could be affecting your mental health in surprising ways. Trained and qualified professionals can help you tackle your mental health concerns.

The city you live in

Think about where you live. What does it do to you? If you live in a big, crowded, high-stress city like New York City, the answer could be “more than you might think!”

Big city dwellers face unique kinds and levels of distress. Studies have pegged stress levels in places like New York City at figures higher than the national average. And experts agree that big city life does certain things to our mental health that just doesn’t happen in other places.

The good news is that big cities like New York City are also frequently home to elite and compassionate mental health professionals. When you search for a therapist in NYC, you’re searching in a place that attracts the best and the brightest among psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. And search for a therapist NYC is precisely what you should do, because talk therapy is an excellent way to combat the stresses and anxieties that you’ll encounter in the big city.

Your physical health

Your mental health and your physical health are connected in all sorts of ways, including ways that you might not immediately recognize or appreciate. When you feel terrible mentally, you’re going to tend to feel terrible physically, too. Poor mental health can result in lower energy levels and even physical pain.

Conversely, poor physical health can wreak havoc on your emotional and mental well-being. You’ll be in a better mood and in a better place psychologically if you invest in your physical health by eating well and exercising regularly. A good diet and proper exercise can really boost your mental health; a poor diet and less-than-ideal exercise schedule can make you feel worse and can exacerbate conditions like depression and anxiety.

Think about your other health-related habits too. Do you smoke? Drink alcohol? Consume other recreational drugs? All of these things can worsen your mental health, so be mindful and truthful with yourself about their impacts on you.

Your sleep

It’s no secret that we’re supposed to be getting good sleep every night — and that most of us are not! Between 50 and 70 million American adults have a sleep disorder, and many of them do not even realize that they have a problem.

There are all kinds of consequences of poor sleep. Many of them are physical, but plenty of them are mental (and remember, mental and physical health are closely tied together).

Poor sleep can worsen your mood and your memory. It can lower your sex drive and can, of course, make you feel sleepy during the day. It can negatively affect all kinds of physical and mental conditions, including depression and anxiety (and many mental health conditions can impact your sleep, too — for instance, depression and sleep issues are closely linked and can reinforce each other).

Getting better sleep involves taking all of those annoying steps you may have been skipping — things like getting your room nice and dark, shutting off screens a few hours before bedtime and cutting back on caffeine and alcohol. But consider addressing your mental health directly, too — engaging in therapy for depression and other related issues could help you conquer sleep issues, too.

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