Just as we need to exercise and eat right to be healthy, we must practice good habits and self-care to care for our emotional health and well-being. It’s not a particularly easy feat to do. Controlling your thoughts, emotions, and behavior requires a lot of effort, and often, it’s an effort that’s not particularly seen nor felt by others. Other people might unconsciously demean your efforts, making you feel like it was all for naught.
But that’s exactly why it’s important to take care of our own mental well-being. Our mental health is our own responsibility, and no one else’s. We must work harder to be in a better position than yesterday, and here are a few ideas you can try.
Teach Yourself to Be Resilient and Positive
You don’t just wake up one day feeling resilient and positive. It has to be a conscious effort, one that requires you to take practical steps. The first step is to understand that resiliency and positivity come hand-in-hand. When you’re resilient, you see mistakes as an opportunity to learn, thereby being positive.
So do your best to approach mistakes as a learning opportunity. Don’t be afraid to face what went wrong and study how to prevent it from happening. Your response should reflect this: allow yourself to be disappointed by your failure, but act on the desire to improve. Pick yourself up, pick your tools up, and go to town to see what you did wrong and how you can do it right the next time.
Distinguish and Eliminate Stressors
Often, our stresses get the best of us. Unfortunately, many of us only have a vague awareness of what stresses us. We must first find out what our stressors are before we can remove them. It’s vague statements like “my work stresses me” that make the process of distinguishing and eliminating difficult.
Instead of making sweeping statements, ask yourself, “what is it about my work that triggers my stress response?” Once you’ve found the answer to that (needless to say, apply this to different situations), the next step is analyzing how it can be resolved or removed entirely.
Most of the time, our stresses require us to address them head-on, and that’s perfectly fine. Mustering the courage to face it may take asking for help or preparing for the situation, but once you’ve faced it, you’ll definitely discover that you have the power to overcome it.
Know that Walking Away Is Fine
If there’s one thing everyone in this fast-paced digital era needs to learn, it’s that walking away is by no means an act of cowardice. It’s the self-understanding that some fights are better not fought and that the only way to win is not to engage.
If you are engaged already, it’s still perfectly fine to stop halfway through. That’s much better than forcing yourself to see it through, much less suffering along the way.
Even in the case of a relationship, knowing when to end it is a virtue. Naturally, both parties should still try to do their best, like attending a couple’s therapy session. But if only one is willing to cooperate, perhaps it’s best to part ways.
Keep a Social Support System
No one is an island, and insisting you are will often result in feelings of isolation and depression. It’s important to maintain social connections. Having friends and loved ones to support us and lift us when we need it helps a lot.
Even having low-commitment friendships with people, which doesn’t require you to bear your experiences but be with them, can help as you’ll have a social stimulus. Of course, it’s still best to have friends who understand you and can support you. But remember not to use them as a crutch. Simply being out with people, especially a good crowd, can do wonders for your mental health.
Preventive Healthy Habits
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and there’s no getting around that fact. It’s a great idea to approach mental well-being as if it’s physical health. If physical well-being requires constant maintenance like trips to the doctor, exercise, and a good diet, so does mental health.
In truth, our mental health also benefits from the aforementioned good habits. Still, it’s critical to form good mental habits such as being grateful, going out to socialize and connect, and releasing stress and pent-up emotions. Our mental health directly impacts how we perceive the world, and to be happy and content with ourselves, being mentally healthy is necessary.