You have probably heard about the myriad of ways to take care of your body. But, did you know that you can take care of your mind, too? Yes, you read that right! The exact term for it is, mental health and it refers to the way we think and feel about ourselves as well as, the world around us. Following are a few steps that will help you jump-start your mental health journey. :
1. TAKE THE ZEN ROUTE AND DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF FOR EVERYTHING!
Albert Einstein once said, “Mankind invented the atomic bomb, but no mouse would ever construct a mousetrap.”
The atomic bomb in terms of mental health is, you guessed it right, overthinking! Overthinking is the same mousetrap all of us, mostly the sensitive types, wish we could escape.
Self-judgment involves fear- it poisons the present, this very moment.
Judgment which includes you sabotaging your happiness or the relationship you have with yourself and other people, most often happens subconsciously.
So how can you cut down on it?
Judging yourself, when it comes down to it, is about pointing out and over-stressing over things you don’t like about yourself, your life, a certain circumstance, or a situation.
Constant judgment can easily be compared to being at war with yourself at times. It’s beating yourself up, tearing yourself apart, thinking you should do or be something different from what you truly are.
We tend to judge others by the same measures we impose on ourselves. And mediate others through measures, values, which are significant to us. We tend to forget that it is not up to us to dictate values. Remind yourself that being human equates to being flawed. But, those same flaws make you, uniquely you! Learn to let go and appreciate your and others’ shortcomings instead of beating yourself up over it.
2. DON’T EVALUATE YOURSELF BASED ON LOOKS ONLY.
Yes, even books need beautiful covers but it’s the words on the inside that make them worth reading. And it’s no surprise that the same holds true for us humans too! It’s natural for humans to judge ourselves and that’s a big reason why we have survived. We are instinctively hard-wired for survival, when we see encounter something new, unknown, we go into fight-flight-freeze mode, and are unable to see what’s behind the appearance. So, we judge.
The key is to pause before we act due to this mode.
Few things we can do:
1. Learn to love and feel good about yourself. Oftentimes the instinct to judge others comes from wanting to feel good about ourselves. It is a reflection of our own insecurities.
2. Believing and accepting that everyone has a reason to look/be the way they are (just like we are). Being mindful that someone with a crooked face may have met an accident or not. Likewise, a well-dressed person may have a hard time surviving.
3. DON’T TOLERATE NEGATIVE PEOPLE
Science says that the negative pole on the magnet attracts the positive pole but when it comes to your mental health it’s imperative to defy science and repel the negative if you want to be on the bright side.
Negative people will discourage you and they will try to drag you down with them to the dark side. As Robert Tew once said, “Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.” The problem with negative people is if you hang around with them enough, and listen to them long enough, they start impacting your thinking. You soon realize that instead of thinking positively, you are thinking negatively. Negative people are not only negative, they’re also great at discouraging you, and giving you negative feedback. Positive people will tell you that you can do it and will give you positive reinforcement which is what you need when you have doubts. Joel Osteen once said, “You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life.”
4. DON’T FEEL BAD FOR SAYING NO
Being helpful and saying yes to people has been equated with kindness for ages. But guess who says otherwise? Your mind!
Picture the following scenario. If someone is asking you for something. And you feel like if you say no, they’re going to hate you. So, you’re tempted to say yes, even though you don’t want to. Ever been there? We all have.
But if you say “yes”, you’re going to be frustrated with yourself. And you’ll likely feel resentful even though, you could have simply said “no”.
And research shows that this not only creates a cycle of awful feelings but also does real damage to your relationships. Yes, being “too nice” can cause problems. Saying “no” now also allows you to avoid having to cancel on people later on when you’re at your wit’s end and can’t bear to do one more thing. Cancelling makes you appear unreliable and flaky whereas saying no in the first place is much easier for everyone involved.
5. DON’T LOOK OUTSIDE FOR VALIDATION
Be your own boss. Not being able to confront people or disagree, changing your thoughts and beliefs because someone else either approves or disapproves and ascribing your self-worth to the approval of others — all are examples of reliance on external validation.
“If our life plans or even just short-term goals are guided by external criteria…without a true understanding of what it is that we want or what fulfils and satisfies us, then we end up at minimum disconcerted and unhappy, and at worst, with a midlife crisis or severely depressed,” said Dr Risa Stein, professor of psychology at Rockhurst University in Missouri.
An unhealthy reliance on external validation is especially common among high achievers.
6. DON’T GLORIFY OVERWORKING. RESTING IS WORK TOO!
Burnout is a gradual process that tends to creep up on you. By actively paying attention to your stress levels you can lower the chances of burnout. There are three main signs that you may be experiencing burnout:
- Physical – You’re tired and drained all the time, your appetite has changed drastically, you feel more susceptible to illness etc.
- Emotions – You’re more irritable, finding it hard to be motivated, feel like a failure, don’t find the same satisfaction over things you used to enjoy.
- Behaviour – You’re isolating yourself from people, taking advantage of food, drugs, or alcohol to feel better, procrastinating.
Work-life balance involves achieving and enjoying something daily in different aspects of your life; namely work, family, friends, and self.
7. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH FRIENDS
The first step to stop comparing yourself to others is to realize that comparisons are often negative and that most of the time they do not help.
You should introspect about why you feel the need to compare yourself to others and think of how that may be impacting you. By realising these things, you’ll be able to move forward and stop wasting your time with comparisons.
Instead of feeling jealous or like it’s a competition between you and whoever you are comparing yourself to, you should just be happy for the success of others. You should instead turn that emotion into inspiration and/or motivation.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”Theodore Roosevelt
So, remember these few points and your mind will surely thank you for it!
You can check out our other post-https://shouts.site/why-mental-health-is-not-consider-important-in-india/