International advice on good mental health
Recently, I was asked to contribute to an online list; ‘40 HEALTH EXPERTS SHARE THEIR TIPS & STRATEGIES FOR OPTIMIZING THEIR MENTAL HEALTH’ by my American friends at Seasons in Malibu, a leading authority in addiction treatment.
Not only is the advice by my fellow contributors, who are top influencers in the health and wellbeing world fascinating and helpful, I also wanted to share my advice.
To view the full list – and it is a helpful read, at a time of reflection and renewal, you can find it on their website: https://seasonsmalibu.com/40-health-experts-mental-health-round-up/ It’s also below:
‘I believe building up resilience to negativity and taking care of one’s mental health are two different questions yet with a strong link to each other. The only way to take care of one’s mental health is to ensure that the mindset is always in a state of positivity; and this can only be done by ensuring that negative thoughts don’t linger.
There are many methods and behaviours to use in order to build up one’s resilience to negativity:
- Keeping the mind / brain strong – by continually looking to educate and stimulate the mind you are learning and adapting to all what is around in the world. You are using these new learnings to grow yourself and this helps with mental sharpness with an added bonus of overall positivity around health and wellbeing.
- Find out what makes you tick – your passion and drive for what brings you happiness and fulfillment will help to push out any negative thoughts that might linger allowing for you to move forward in a positive manner with positive outcomes.
- Taking care of oneself – good health will shine through the mental, emotional and physical resilience. Physical exercise and mental breaks with relaxation help to keep stress and anxiety at bay which in turn help to reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed and reacting to every situation. Exercise releases feel good endorphins which, again, are all positive.
- Physical health combined with looking after the body from the inside also have a positive effect on building resilience to negativity. If you eat well, and you exercise you will feel and look better altogether which will have an overall positive impact on anyone in a dark place.
- Surroundings – it is imperative to always surround yourself in a loving, caring and calming environment. Spending time and interacting with people that lift you and you enjoy being around automatically leave you feeling stimulated and feeling good. Having calm surroundings both at home and work make it easier not to feel negative or destructive towards oneself.
- Support – having the right role models whose beliefs, attitudes and behaviours you want to inspire to emulate will help in leading a positive life. These role models can be made up of several sources including coaches, mentors, therapists, counsellors, friends and loved ones; all of whom play a part in some way to help build you.
- Spending time with a mixture of people will help you learn new life skills and adapt them to different circumstances. This allows you to see situations from all points of view, find different coping strategies and also learn to be more flexible when reacting to situations. All this allows you to help find your inner strength and allows you to face your fears. Surround yourself with positive people and eliminate those that take up your time and are toxic to your wellbeing.
- Spirituality – this is more acceptable and practised in daily lives today than ever before. This takes form, but is not limited to yoga, meditation, breathing etc. People all over are practicing this spirituality on a daily basis as opposed to turning to it when tragedies have taken the resilience down and negativity is taking over.
- Being positive and optimistic – resilient people don’t paper over the negative emotions but instead learn to be optimistic, positive and look towards the bright side of life. They learn to build their resiliency in the following ways:
- Handling pressure and criticism
- Spending time with less fortunate people
- Learning what’s the worst situation they could be in and how to handle it
- See how far they are prepared to try and push themselves
The second part of the question is “how does someone take care of their mental health”. This is strongly linked to the points above. By incorporating all the points above a person is not only only building their resilience towards negative thoughts but also ensuring that they are taking care of their mental health.
However, in addition to the above the following should also be observed to ensure overall positive mental health:
- Talking about your feelings and asking for help – sharing concerns and worries will help you to deal with issues and stay in good health. A problem shared is a problem halved – and sharing your problems will allow you to not feel so cluttered, overloaded and overwhelmed.
- Lists – make a list, or make many lists, of things that need to be done or tasks that need to be achieved. This helps to declutter the mind which could lead to mental exhaustion. Keeping a list/s also keeps you organised.
- Breaks to reboot and detach so you come back energised.
- Alternative healing therapies – awareness is always a good thing. These days science and medicine is far more developed and information is more widely available allowing people access to previously unheard of or expensive therapies.
- Enjoy yourself – do an activity you enjoy everyday and this will help to reduce your mental stress levels keeping you focused and positive.
- Learn to give and care for others – this will leave you feeling loved and valued. Giving or helping others in a less fortunate situation brings about a sense of hope and positivity.
- Feel good about yourself – eat well, sleep well and exercise. Surround yourself with new experiences, activities, people and places. Remove the negative in your life
I hope that this article has been useful and has shown you that nothing works in isolation. Everything in the world and the universe is interlinked and once you start taking care of one aspect at a time the overall outlook to life and its challenges can be dealt with.