Your mental health is a vital part of your life because it makes lasting impacts on your thoughts, actions, relationships, behaviors and general quality of life. Adopting the skill of continually adapting to changes and coping with adversity in a healthy way goes a long way.
You are the only one who can change the outcome of your life. You’re the only person who gets to be in charge of who you become. No matter how hard life fights you, you have to envision where you want to be and who you want to be. Taking care of and prioritizing your mental health is a process; continual—but it’s essential for the best quality of life. You are the only person who can make that happen. Your mind can be your best friend, or your worst enemy.
If you aren’t sure how to focus on your mental health, here are three ways to get back on track.
Start doing things that bring joy and balance back into your life. Go on walks, make your bed every morning, read, journal, pick up a new hobby. Do something small everyday. This allows you to find some control again and can be helpful in boosting your emotional health. These steps don’t have to be linear. In fact, healing is never linear. It’s full of twists, turns, ups and downs, relapse and strife. Yet, continuously implementing something in your day-to-day that is solely for YOU, is going to go a longer way than you might recognize. What in your life brings you some joy, peace of mind and ease of heart?
Take A Break When You Need It
Taking care of your mind can be a lot of work. Taking a break when you feel you need one will both positively impact you and your mental health. Reaching out to close friends and family during these breaks will allow you to find ways to laugh and relax again. Resting is okay. It’s okay if that’s what you need. You don’t have to earn the right to rest. You know yourself better than anyone else ever will. If you’re burnt out, running out of gas and struggling to perform your daily tasks, take a day off. Discover ways that help you get back on your feet. You deserve that as much as anyone else would.
Learn More About YOUR Mental Health
Everyone’s situation is unique. Everyone’s story is different. Everyone’s coping mechanism is different. Learning more about YOUR mental health is a great way to get on top of it again. Being able to better understand what YOU’RE going through will better help you find coping methods that specifically work for you. Learning about and understanding your mental health allows you to learn how to better take care of you. You’ll know better how to approach everything in your life.
Your mental and emotional health deserves your time and attention. You deserve to be happy and healthy, inside and out. What in your life supports and encourages you to take care of yourself? What will lead to a healthy mind and even healthier lifestyle? Need a few options? Here are a few of my favorite self-help resources:
HIGH VIBE VISION PLANNER
THE MOUNTAIN IS YOU: BOOK
GETTING BACK TO HAPPY: BOOK
NOTHING CHANGES UNTIL YOU DO: BOOK
YOUR MENTAL MESS: BOOK
While perfectionism can be a good quality to have in certain areas of life, it’s also paired with potential damage to our psychological being. Our Anxiety and society have managed to put great pressure on perfectionism; but it can overall have a negative impact on mental and emotional health. It may be helpful to understand perfectionism, and how you can beat it.
What To Understand:
There are three kinds of perfectionism.
What Perfectionism Does
Leads to a Life Filled with Stress
The anxiety and stress that comes from perfectionism usually results in trying to live up to an internal ideal. When dealing with your own anxiety, and society’s pressure on an individual, that perfectionism can turn into a worry about how others are watching them. This can turn into a negative reflection of one’s self when dealing with their own shortcomings. These beliefs and doubts can result in isolation, loneliness and depression.
Often Associated with Negative Thinking
When someone is a perfectionist, they may jump to the conclusion that others won’t accept them if they knew the real individual behind that perfect exterior. There may be a lot of self-blame when someone doesn’t think they that can achieve the standards that they set for themselves. They may often feel like they won’t be able to fit in anywhere. This negative thinking can deplete someone’s self-worth and make someone feel incredibly unsuccessful.
Leads to Depression
Perfectionists don’t often share their shortcomings with others. They want to be seen as strong and put-together. They won’t tell people that they’re feeling weak or distressed because that would display flaws. This can result in rapid growth of mental illness. It comes without warning. An individual can have been depressed and anxious for a while—but have worked so hard to hide it. This perfectionism type ends up in a negative cycle. This individual strived to maintain a good image of someone who was constantly happy and healthy, but felt that they couldn’t reach out.
How To Beat It
One Can Use Embrace Their Imperfections as a Way to Heal
No one is meant to be perfect. Being able to embrace imperfection as a way to heal can help ease that “perfect” mindset. It’s important to try to stop comparing oneself to others. The constant comparison of others is what feeds self-doubt.
Start to find ways to be more aware and thankful for the littler things in life. Research has proven that even coming up with 10-15 things to be grateful for in daily life can significantly shift a negative mood into a more positive and stable mood.
Understand & Recognize Which Aspects of Perfectionism One is Displaying.
Being able to recognize the type of perfectionism one is dealing with can lead to a better chance of tackling that anxiety and getting better. Understanding your experience can be a guide to your healing. Don’t neglect what you’re dealing with. Address and conquer it head on.
Embrace the Mindset That It’s Okay to Not Be Perfect.
Start minimizing the excessive behaviors and practices that you may take on. This challenge helps aid the reality that perfectionism is not a requirement in your life. Once imperfection is noticed and embraced, you can start to feel like your life is becoming more grounded again.
You’ve got this. Rebuilding yourself takes time. Breaking habits that are dragging you down takes time. Stay positive and relish in your journey.
Intrusive thoughts can bring your day to a dead halt. That can be really hard to deal with. They’re often uncontrollable in regards to their impromptu arrivals. Intrusive thoughts come in all shapes and sizes. They can range from thinking about doing something embarrassing in public, to wanting to harm someone when you never think of harming anyone, to general depressing and emotional thoughts.
Being able to recognize your negative thoughts before they ruin your day can help prevent that ruin. Knowing how to effectively deal with them is a big step in restoring your confidence and self identity. Keep reading for 6 tips in recognizing and dealing with these mood killers!
1. Figure Out the Trigger(s)
2. Do You Deal With Mental Health Struggle?
3. Do You Deal With Depression?
HOW TO DEAL
1. Be Proactive in Self-Care
2. Take Your Time
3. Talk it Out
Whatever you’re dealing with, just know that you’re enough. You’re doing a great job, and I’m so proud of you. Don’t forget to feel proud of you too.
“Healing isn’t about changing who you are, it’s about changing your relationship to who you are. A fundamental part of that, is honoring how you feel.” -Suzanne Heyn
Have you ever been challenged to look at yourself in the mirror everyday, and say something nice to yourself, or about yourself? Have you tried it, but always felt silly or embarrassed? If you have then I’m right there with you. It can be really difficult sometimes to talk kindly to yourself. And it’s really difficult when you already aren’t so nice to yourself. But being positive with yourself is actually really important, even if you aren’t speaking out loud.
A personal practice I do to remind myself of my worth, my potential, and my overall positivity is to write on my dorm mirror with Expo markers. I find a quote, lyric, or sentence that I like, and I write it down in big letters so I can see it everyday. These become silent reminders that I keep in mind throughout the day.
If you’ve ever been in a sport, and struggled with a specific skill, you might have heard that you can’t be negative about conquering that desired skill. And that is absolutely true. If you tell yourself something enough, your brain will begin to believe those exact words. That’s why the practice of telling yourself positive things is so important. If the brain believes something it’s told enough, why would you want anything other than confidence and positive reinforcement flowing through you? Mental health is integral to living a healthy, balanced life.
Dr. Glen Xiong, says “emotional and mental health is important because it’s a vital part of your life and impacts your thoughts, behaviors and emotions. Being healthy emotionally can promote productivity and effectiveness in activities like work, school or caregiving.” He explains that this idea is important because it takes part in the health of your relationships, and allows you to adapt to changes in your life and cope with adversity. “Small things like exercising, eating a balanced and healthy meals, opening up to other people in your life, taking a break when you need to, remembering something you are grateful for and getting a good night’s sleep, can be helpful in boosting your emotional and mental health.”
When you’re in a good mental place, you’re happy. And if you’re happy, it’s because you recognized something positive happening in your life. Even if you didn’t say it out loud, or have that direct connection, somewhere in your brain, there was a recognition of something good going on in life, and with you. And those are things you should want to keep around. Talking to yourself doesn’t have to be weird or difficult, even silent reminders of positivity, praise, and wellness, can improve your mental health. If your mental health is happy, your body is happy. Mental health connects your emotional, and physical health too. Your mental health improves the rest of you, it should be priority. So talk to yourself! Give yourself the credit you deserve.
Positive mental health allows you to:
Ways to maintain positive mental health include:
Self-care is not easy. But it is so, so worth it. Start taking advantage of it.
Early leader, Confucius, or Kongzi, believed in developing and maintaining Goodness in their lives. Big G to emphasize humaneness, benevolence and virtue within a person. Goodness is greatly associated with human flourishing, as well as community flourishing. But there are several aspects that come with seeking Goodness and attaining such. These challenges are made to shape us as human beings, as Kongzi also believes that is an essential part in learning how to be Good. These analects and challenges in life can help work towards finding Goodness.
Kongzi and his philosophies are stated in 20 books/analects. In Book One of these analects, chapter three states, “A clever tongue and fine appearance are rarely signs of Goodness.”
I think that this is a great passage to begin on. It’s short and sweet. Kongzi is explaining the concept that being smart and quick to remark, is not always the best quality to have. It shows ignorance and arrogance, and lack of care for others and how they potentially feel. If we are not kind to others, or even have the decency to understand others, we will not be considered Good. As well as being quick to respond, we can’t just go through life thinking that an outward appearance is all that matters. Being Good on the inside is really what matters. Having character and being an inwardly Good person is what will count. So, being quick to judge can be a bad habit to get into. Instead, we should focus on how to be both inwardly and outwardly Good.
Book One also includes this passage in chapter six, “A young person should be filial when at home and respectful of his elders when in public. Conscientious and trustworthy, he should display a general care for the masses but feel a particular affection for those who are Good. If he has any strength left over after manifesting these virtues in practice, let him then devote it to learning the cultural arts.”
This to me, really means that someone should be Good both at home and in public. It doesn’t matter where we are, or who we’re with. Showing care for others and learning what we can from others is vital for personal and overall human development. And once we’re done caring for the masses—even though, really, that’s not possible—we can devote my time to learning other practices and rituals in culture and arts. Both of these values and teachings help create a lively and necessary balance for continual growth.
Book Four, chapter two states, “Without Goodness, one cannot remain constant in adversity and cannot enjoy enduring happiness. Those who are Good feel at home in Goodness, whereas those who are wise follow Goodness because they feel that they will profit from it.”
If we are not seeking Goodness or maintaining the Goodness that we have, we won’t be able to appreciate the harder times, and we won’t be able to feel true happiness. Happiness and strength comes from trial and error. We can receive long-term benefits from short-term hardships. When this occurs, we will begin to feel “at home in our Goodness.” We will feel that it’s something a part of me that’s aiding me in the right direction. Those who feel that they can profit from manipulating others who are Good will have a harder time finding the right direction. Therefore, it’s vital to endure hardship to grow character and lasting happiness.
Book Six, chapter thirty explains, “Why stop at being Good? Such a person should surely be called a sage! Desiring to take his stand, one who is Good helps others to take their stand; wanting to realize himself, he helps others to realize themselves. Being able to take what is near at hand as an analogy could perhaps be called the method of Goodness.”
I believe that this passage is almost self-explanatory. Not only should we never stop being Good in the concept itself, we shouldn’t keep that to ourselves. We should try to inspire others to adopt the same mindset and practice. We should take on the challenge to help others find themselves, and honor everything they are about being human beings. That’s what Kongzi states is a true method of Goodness.
My last reference goes to Book Seven, chapter thirty. It states, “Is Goodness really so far away? If I simply desire Goodness, I will find that it is already here.”
I think this is the cherry-on-top to what has been previously stated. It ties it all together. If we’re practicing all the things that Goodness is and can bring, then it’ll become a habit as a result. Because it will become a habit, we’ll feel that it won’t be so far away—and that what we’re reaching for really isn’t unachievable. One of true Goodness never goes against it, and Goodness should become a habit that is always trying to be improved. When we’re doing our part, and putting in the necessary effort, Goodness will be right around the corner.
When we’re mindful of our lives and aware of the ways we can continually change it for the better, we will find our sense of Goodness. I believe that a great part in this journey is also accepting the fact that it’s a hard thing to do. The best part of finding true benevolence and joy is enduring the struggle to get there. I believe that Kongzi is a big believer of this fact as well. These analects, and many other references to Kongzi’s ancient philosophies are what I believe to be the most upright sources to be applied to enlighten modern day life.
You should begin practicing them and applying them to life; you’ll see great changes.
You still have a lot of time to make yourself whatever and whoever you want to be. You should want to see what happens when you don’t give up. Do not forget to fall in love with yourself. With all that you are, with all of your dreams, ambitions, aspirations. You are responsible for your happiness—you in fact, create it. You attract it, manifest it. You are your own architect of your reality. You choose your own thoughts, words, actions, perceptions, and external forces. You possess all of the tools needed to expand your awareness, which orchestrates the evolution of consciousness, happiness, love, and whatever else you choose. You are that powerful.
It is so easy to forget the strength that you have within yourself when life puts heaviness atop your shoulders. Sometimes, it’s so hard to hold onto hope, in believing in better days, in trusting that fate and faith are always on your side; especially when everything is spiraling around you. Your reminder: there is always a sliver of hope, a silver lining. It doesn’t matter so much if you fall into despair time and time again, but it matters that you acknowledge what you’ve already overcome and what you are capable of doing, like winning whatever battle is occurring within you.
At the very core of your being lies strength, persistence, confidence, and an urge to continue. You have to be brave enough and maybe even, selfish enough, bold enough, to leave the toxic things of life to continue your own growth.
In the end, you’ll continue to learn that you can be strong, alone. Being burnt-out is a common thing of life, setbacks are normal. But you spend most of your life in your head. You should make it a nice place to be. You deserve to heal, you deserve to continue manifesting your own happiness. It’s OK if you’re not where you thought you would be right now, or should be by now. Not knowing what’s next doesn’t mean you are failing. Aspire to be more, even if you have to pause and look within yourself. You are so worthy of a happy life. You don’t have to be ok, and you are enough in your personal wandering. Focus on your mental health and your emotional needs.
Someday you will look back on all of the progress you’ve made, and you’ll be so glad that you didn’t give up on yourself. Love your today’s, and love your tomorrow’s. Everyday is a fresh start. Keep love for yourself, and nurture it. You will always need it—because life won’t always be about riding with the waves. Sometimes, it will be learning to breathe underwater.
Articles to promote happiness and evolution in mindset.