"I Look At Mental Health The Same Way I Look At Physical Health"
You workout each day and you try to eat healthy. We’re taught to do both in order to keep our minds and bodies healthy and strong.
But ask yourself what are you doing to keep your mind strong? Probably little to nothing, if I had to guess.
Your mental health is your overall psychological well-being. It’s the way you feel about yourself, the way you feel about others (and situations), and it’s also about your feelings and how you react in everyday life situations, which is so important. Most people don’t realize that making small changes in your everyday life can definitely pay off and improve your mental and physical health. Here are a few habits I’ve used to improve my mental health:
Write Down Positive Thoughts
I think we have all been guilty of dwelling on negative things at some point in our lives. The human mind is wired to focus more on the negative than the positive. It is so easy to focus on the things that go wrong in our lives, that sometimes we forget that there are positives too!
If you sit back and think about your positive experiences, it might just shock you. They may actually outweigh the negative experiences. Make it a point to focus on the positives in your life. Writing down the positive thoughts you have or positive things that happen to you can help you to remove the focus from the negative aspects of your life, and instead help you focus on the positive. This will improve your mental health by helping you have an overall happier view of your life.
Do Not Overextend Yourself
Overextending yourself is just a guaranteed way to get stressed out, which can result in declined mental health. I love the quote, “he who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” That was said by Raymond Hull and it could not be more true. If you are overextending yourself, you are not really doing anything extremely well. Instead, you are just getting by, trying to make things work. Your internal foundation will be shaky and eventually, you will crack. Life is too short to just get by. Instead, you should be focusing on the few things that are truly important to you, and make those aspects in your life a priority. Do more and more each day.
Go To Therapy
Therapy is probably something you never even considered. Therapy is a great way to improve your mental health because it can help you see things from a different point of view, and it can also help you release your emotions and let go of unhealthy thoughts and feelings. A good therapist can help you cope with your feelings, problem solve (especially when it feels impossible for you in an emotional situation), and they can also help you change your behavior patterns that may lead to your heightened emotions, or symptoms. Searching for a therapist that is a great fit can be challenging, if you do not know where to start, but I would begin with looking up different therapists in the area, to see if they can help you with your specific needs.
For example, At Ray of Hope Counseling Services, each therapist is not only licensed and educated, but they also have additional training and/or hold certifications in their specialty area. Each therapist has diversified backgrounds and experiences which allows them to treat a wide variety of issues across the lifespan and they take pride in honoring the privacy and confidentiality of each client. Clinical Director and Founder, Lynn Thompson Umstead, is a trained mental health professional, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Psychology. Her passion is working with blended families, couples, and women who are experiencing infertility issues and can bring a great deal of empathy when counseling her couples due to her own personal struggles with infertility. Ray of Hope Counseling Services has many locations all throughout Georgia and they even offer online therapy, for those who are too busy to actually go in for sessions, but if you are looking for counseling Kennesaw or counseling in another Georgia city, they are your go-to!
Keep A Planner
I LOVE using a planner. Not only can you write down important dates and appointments to help you keep track of your busy life, but many planners these days offer so much more. My most recent planner has an entire page dedicated to setting goals at the beginning of the year, and each month it has spaces to set mini-goals and check in with my progress. It really is a great planner, click here to purchase one just like it. I have also seen planners with to-do lists, blank pages for brainstorming, inspirational quotes, build in workouts – there is something for everyone! Writing out these things that are typically in your head can improve your mental health by reducing the number of things you need to remember and bring you organization, clarity, and success!
Take Time To Do Things You Enjoy
We all know that working in our society is something that you have to do in order to afford to live, but it is also so important to take time for yourself to do some of the things that make you happy. If you constantly work but do not do anything that you enjoy, you will burn yourself out and become even more stressed.
Sometimes I believe life is designed to burn us out but we have to play smart. That was the very reason I started this blog as a creative outlet to do all the things I love to do. What is the point in working if you can’t enjoy your life? Make it a point to schedule some you-time throughout your week, even if it is just a 30-minute walk around the block or an hour of painting or reading. You will thank yourself later 🙂
In what ways do you improve your mental health? Do you think improving your mental health is important? Let me know in the comments below.