10 Tips for Staying Mentally Healthy
10 Tips for Staying Mentally Healthy
10/6/22 Laura Gibbons
1. Be Yourself. Being your authentic self is honoring who you are. It is having your own identity, expressing yourself and needs, having your own beliefs and opinions, standing up and living out your values, making your own decisions, pursuing your passions and talents, and setting healthy boundaries. Ultimately, being uniquely you and not somebody else.
2. Get connected. Part of our nature requires solitude, self-discovery, and a substantial rugged individualism. However, this is not the whole story of our nature. We can feel happier, a stronger sense of belonging, experience more meaning, and live a longer life when we remain connected to others. Stay connected by regularly checking in with yourself and others.
3. Get a grip on your mind. Nothing causes more emotional distress than the thoughts we think. Negativity can make you feel down about yourself, the future, and others in the world around you. Work to combat negative thinking by softening your language toward yourself, disputing what is untrue based on evidence, and substituting more positive and productive thinking patterns. Our thoughts are powerful in driving how we feel and behave. If you are playing old tapes, replace them with a more updated version.
4. Don’t dwell on the past. We may not be able to control past hurts or regrets from resurfacing, but we can stop playing along with our human tendency to wallow there and disrupt our present. We must remind ourselves that dwelling on the past does not serve us and we do not have to live there. Instead, focus on the lessons learned and move forward to claim what you deserve today.
5. Flip the anxiety switch off. Rampant anxiety ruins our equilibrium, colors our mood, and makes the already hard tasks of living that much harder. There are strategies to help calm the anxiety through grounding, relaxation techniques, mindfulness, journaling, or other purposeful activities. Challenge yourself to try one and practice regularly.
6. Practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude encourages us to not take things for granted, but to take notice of what we are grateful for, what we appreciate, and the positive aspects of life. Since gratitude can propel us into being more positive, it is a great tool to use when you are feeling down or focusing too much on negativity. Start by writing down three things that you are grateful for each day.
7. Setting intentions. Setting intentions reflect what you want to feel, experience, and achieve in your daily life. Intentions are different than goals because they focus on the moment rather than a desired result. Intentions are positive actions that have value and meaning; they guide and influence how we approach each day. Start each day by stating your intentions. Examples include, ‘I will be present,’ ‘I will be patient,’ ‘I will be active,’ ‘I will eat healthy.’
8. Adopt a growth mindset. You likely have heard the saying, ‘no pain, no gain!” Growth often comes from operating outside your comfort zone. It is learning from adversity or failure, facing fears, and seeing opportunity in change rather than resisting it. To focus on growth, get comfortable with the uncomfortable, the uncertainty, and doing something new or different.
9. Be present and mindful. They say when you dwell on the past you feel depressed, and when you worry about the future you feel anxious. Being mindful is a powerful tool to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment. And so remember to stop and smell the roses; otherwise, you may miss what is happening right in front of you.
10. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. It can be empowering to reinvent yourself when feeling stuck, needing change, or wanting a more fulfilling life. The journey to reinvent yourself allows you to explore new parts of yourself, identify what means the most to you, encourages learning and growth, emphasizes the ability to adapt to new circumstances or stage in life, and find your sense of purpose. Take the adventure and cultivate the best version of yourself.