Mental Health Day – How To Boost Mental Health
Mental Health Day on October 10th, is an apt time to review how you can boost your mental health and strengthen your resilience and self esteem.
All the recent evidence suggests an ever increasing number of people are struggling with depression, anxiety disorders, stress, fear and other mental health issues. Whether you know it or not, you are almost certain to know someone who is dealing with an anxiety disorder or depression.
And as many people also struggle on in silence, it is likely that the true scale of the issue is much higher than reported. Many of my clients have not told others how they are feeling. After working with me to overcome anxiety, stress and fear, they are then surprised when they mention it to learn just how many others they know have also struggled.
So as part of Mental Health Day, here are some ways to boost mental health.
How To Boost Mental Health
Here are 7 ways you can boost mental health and start feeling better:
1. Take Care of Yourself
If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, it can be tempting to try and block it all out by drinking, smoking, eating or shutting yourself away from the world.
However, by physically taking care of yourself you can start to boost mental health and start turning the corner to feeling better. Cut down on smoking and drinking and eat healthier. Make sure you get the right amount of sleep.
And get moving more. Whether you start going back to the gym or just get out for a ten minute walk, it can hugely improve how you feel.
2. Connect With Supportive People
It can be easy to find yourself withdrawing more and more from spending time with friends and family. Maybe you don’t feel strong enough to talk to them yet or perhaps you just don’t want them to know how you are feeling. Yet the longer you leave it, the harder it then gets to reconnect with them and you may feel isolated and alone.
So make sure you continue to connect with those people who you usually enjoy spending time with or who you consider to be supportive and uplifting. If it feels easier, just a few texts and e-mails can start the ball rolling, and if it helps, plan in advance so that you manage your time and don’t drain yourself (you can increase the time etc as you feel better and better).
3. Take Mental Time Out
Anxiety, depression and other mental health issues can feel exhausting – like having a stressed out, overloaded brain. To create the mental space for doing more, increasing energy and feeling better, you need to ‘switch off’ for some of the time every day. Just like shutting down programs on a computer, this gives you mind some time off to recharge and cool down.
Invest twenty minutes in learning how to calm down and relax. You could listen to relaxing music, a meditation CD or you can use my free Rapid Relaxation Audio. And remember to do this consistently – the more you persevere, the better you will get.
4. Be Giving to Others
Many people report how helping and supporting others makes them feel better. Doing something positive for someone else can lead to huge gains in mental health and happiness. Whether you volunteer, help a friend complete a task or simply pay more compliments to others, you will find that your own levels of self esteem increase.
5. Notice Things That Are OK
When you feel anxious, depressed and stressed, you naturally start to focus on these things more and more. The thoughts and feelings can be so uncomfortable and draining that you just want them gone and to know why you are feeling that way.
Yet whilst you may not be back to your best yet, you can actively start to notice the things that are ok or moments when you feel better. You may get a job finished or get something crossed off your to do list or maybe there was a moment when you smiled, laughed or someone paid you a compliment, or perhaps it was other moments when you felt a bit better. Whatever those moments are for you, at the end of each day spend a few moments thinking back over them. This will start to interrupt the black and white thinking of mental health issues (everything is rubbish or everything is great) and start to add more balance to your thoughts.
6. Take Small Steps
If you have been struggling with anxiety, depression or stress, you will just want it gone – right now. Yet, just as anxiety and depression can creep up and then take over, you need to start moving things in the right direction. You don’t have to take massive steps that push you too far; you can just take one small step every day.
By taking one small positive step towards your goals and outcomes every day, you start to break the old patterns and start the process of moving forwards and feeling better. Whatever that small step is for you, just aim to take one every day – it could be going for that walk, texting a friend, going to the shop or whatever feels like you are moving forward to you.
7. List What You Are Good At
It can be easy to stop paying attention to what you are good at and what you can do, and instead only focus on what you aren’t doing or feel like you can’t do. So start writing a list of all the things you can do or are good at.
Include everything – even if to you it feels like a small thing or like something everyone can do, still list it. For example, if you can drive a car or cook a meal then that is something you can do and there are thousands of people who can’t do it. Take time every day to keep adding to your list and review it regularly to remember the things you can do.
Boost Mental Health
You can start applying these tips to boost mental health from today, yet please remember two things: i) you need to be consistent and persistent and ii) sometimes we all need a little extra help so, if you are struggling with a mental health issue, please do consider contacting your doctor or a mental health practitioner.
To you success,
Hypnotherapy Ely, Newmarket, Skype
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