Life can be hard, there is no doubt about that, and before long, we can find ourselves on different paths than the ones we planned to be on when we were younger.

This is natural, with many of us growing out of wanting to be an astronaut, firefighter, or space cowboy. Young dreams and aims tend to change and adapt as we get older.

However, who is to say that you should not follow your dreams. Here are some ways following your dreams can benefit your mental health overall.

Gives an Individual Control

Taking the step to do what you set your mind to helps establish control in your life. For example, if you decide to be a chef, then you know what is expected and what needs to be done to achieve that, whether this is through qualifications or experience.

This allows the individual to control their life, rather than worrying about someone else dictating what needs to happen for them in a 9-5 job, let’s say.

That does not mean that following your dream gives 100% control, as depending on what it is, there may be rules and regulations. But the journey does give you structure which helps create a system of support in a person’s life.

Generates Empowerment

Nothing makes a person feel better than knowing they can do something successfully. Doing the things that bring us joy releases “happy” chemicals into the brain, literally forcing our minds to feel positive.

Following your dreams and aspirations can be liberating and give our minds a kind of “high” that comes from getting joy out of something.

Leaves the Past Behind

The mind cannot focus on two things at once. Focussing on your dreams or goals gives the mind rest from fixating past events that may have brought challenging times or trauma.

The past is known to be a significant trigger for some. Living in the moment and working towards the future stops the mind from being stuck in the past, which can sometimes be a root cause for a person’s bad mental health.

Ever heard of adverse childhood events (ACEs)? These are events that happen in the past that stack up to affect mental health in the future. The more ACEs a person has in their past, the more likely they are to have bad mental health.

These few points are only a few ways individuals can improve their mental health by chasing their dreams. Each person gains something different from the experience.

Have you managed to attain your dreams or goals? How has this helped improve your life and mental health? Please share your thoughts with Dr Nick and the team, or visit our blog for more helpful life information.

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