Mental Health is what we all strive for on a daily and long term basis. But what can we do to get there? Here are some tips.
Ten Things to Do for Your Mental Health
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sufficient sleep energizes your brain cells, keeps up your motivation for daily life activities, and gives you a more peaceful feeling about your day. While it's generally thought that 8 hours is the norm, each person has their own requirements. The important thing is to get enough and don't skimp and end up exhausted and unproductive and anxious or even depressed.
2. Keep Learning
As we age, we narrow down our learning based on career choices, but it is essential to expand our knowledge to keep a positive outlook on life and continue to grow. You may be someone who is focused on narrow areas or someone who enjoys expanding your learning resources. In either case, learning keeps one growing happily.
3. Tolerate Frustration and Disappointment
We all have different measures of how productive we should be. In order to meet our own standards of productivity and accomplishment. But with those standards there will be frustration and disappointment to cope with. The more one is able to tolerate mistakes and failures and take up challenges, the easier it is to maintain a happiness quotient.
4. Find Time for Yourself
In our hectic lives, it's easy to be pressured to keep a steady but rugged pace. Finding time for yourself helps you find the core of who you are and build your sense of self. This is essential for healthy self-esteem. Take time for yourself and you will find a more peaceful place inside.
5. Learn to Relax
Each of us relaxes in different ways. But never relaxing leads to increased anxiety and potentially depression. Experiment with what works for you from pastimes like surf fishing, knitting, reading, or whatever strikes your fancy to taking a nap each day. Relaxation is like oxygen; you can't live well without it.
6. Learn To Accept Yourself as Your Are, Not as Others Expect You to Be
You may be somewhere on the continuum from the gregarious extrovert to the reserved introvert. There's no right way to be except what feels like it's yourself. Let go of others' pressures to change into someone you are not. Know yourself and pride yourself on what builds your individual self-esteem.
7. Find Someone to Confide In
No man or woman is really an island. Just one good friend to confide in when needed is an essential part of good mental health. This is the nonjudgmental friend who accepts you as you are with strengths and weaknesses. You can be yourself with him or her. This person helps you strengthen your mental health.
8. Find Ways to Enjoy Your Work
Some of us are fortunate to have careers that fill our passions. Others work just to support themselves. If you are in the latter category, find aspects of your work that give you pleasure. It may be the people you work with, the environment, where you go to lunch. Find whatever lifts your spirits each day--every day.
9. Understand How Your Mind Works
Some of us are fortunate enough to be generally worry free and anxiety free. Many are not, however. Track your thoughts and feelings and see what sets you off in a negative direction, so you can shift that pathway toward a positive one. If you discover you think negatively, for example, as a pattern, recognize that's what you are doing and it may not be warranted. If you are alternatively a risk taker, notice when you go too far and put yourself in jeopardy. Rework your priorities by getting to know how you think and reorganize your goals.
10. Enjoy the Pleasures of Nature
This phrase is meant literally and figuratively. Literally, get outside! If you are a very internal person, always worrying, thinking, planning, take a stroll and look around you. Remember your place is small in the universe. Figuratively, be grateful for what you have and relish it. We all have some happy places inside and out; we just need to identify them and be glad!
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst and author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child's Behavior found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Familius and wherever books are sold.