Good mental health is much more than just the absence of mental health problems. It refers to your overall psychological wellbeing, including the way you feel about yourself, the quality of your relationships, your ability to manage your feelings and how you deal with difficulties in your life.
Having good mental health allows you to function during your busy everyday life, feeling confident to face challenges as they arise. Just as you go to a gym, or diet, or exercise to look after your physical health, there are ways to look after your mental health.
Here’s my top ten hints to achieving good mental health:
1. Meditation & Mindfulness
There is always time to meditate and no one even needs to know you’re doing it!
It’s a great tool for fighting anxiety, depression and other issues and for finding inner wellbeing.
2. Give to others
When you give to others without expecting anything in return, you are filled with positive feelings and it can really lift your spirits. Whether you volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about, or do a good deed for someone else (such as paying for the coffee of the next person in line), good karma will smile on you for paying it forward.
3. Get offline! Unplug yourself…
If you’ve never done a technology detox, you have to try it. It will do wonders for your mental health. Switch everything off – your phone, your computer, your iPad and any other device you have. And stay off Facebook! Seeing everyone’s so called ‘perfect lives’ is a sure-fire way to make you feel worse if you’re having a bad day.
4. Find your happy triggers
What makes you feel good – who, what, where? When you are having a hard time and negative emotions are creeping in, think about what makes you feel good. Take a walk, visit a friend, cut some flowers and bring them inside, grab a coffee…
5. Recognise what brings on your negative emotions
When you understand and are prepared for negative emotions, you learn how to cope better and remain more positive. Whether it’s a difficult person in your life, a job you hate or seasonal depression, recognising negative triggers will really help you to proactively manage your mental health.
6. Seek therapy
Sometimes you may need additional help to get your joy back and there is no shame in seeking a therapist.
You should feel comfortable with your therapist and if you don’t, find another one! Therapy is not just for when you have problems, it can be something that you do for self-care and mental health maintenance.
7. Build a strong support system
Having a solid support system is the key to great mental health. Your positive influences could be family members, friends, colleagues, mentors or a trusted therapist.
8. Let it go!
Forgive and move on. Old grievances affect your current relationships and getting closure from your past, will improve your present life. Forgiveness correlates with greater overall wellbeing and physical health.
9. Be grateful
Many studies have proven the positive effect of gratitude on wellbeing. When you focus on the positive aspects of your life and appreciate the good, through a concept known as ‘neuroplasticity’, you have the power to change your brain by changing your attitudes. This can be as simple as writing down three things you are grateful for every morning or before bed.
10. Be kind to yourself
Are you your own worst enemy? Many of us are. Become aware of your self-talk, those negative put downs that you think throughout your day. If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, then don’t say it to yourself. Be your own best friend.
And that’s it! It’s all about your mindset and changing your attitude to becoming more positive about yourself, your life and your situation.
If you need help with any aspects to improve your mental health, let me know. Let’s schedule a time for a chat. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org.