Bettering your mental health is an uphill battle, it’s something that we have to constantly pursue and make a conscious effort to maintain a level of self-care. It’s a journey where we have to remind ourselves that we are in control of our destiny, but it doesn’t come easy, here are 5 tips for improving mental wellness I’ve personally found have helped me over the years keep a clearer headspace.
1. Know the difference between expectation and reality
Knowing the difference between what the general expectation of bettering your mental health is, versus the reality. The expectation is that you can just be in a better mood, or do a few days here and there of meditation but that isn’t the case. The reality is that when trying to better yourself you have to be constantly on your toes and telling yourself that you can get better, by setting rules and taking the time to allocate moments that you can spend getting to know yourself and clearing all of the negative energy in your mind and body.
2. Affirmations can change your world
A lot of people associate affirmations with something you do when you are speaking to the universe, this can be comforting because it’s referring to the world working with you instead of against you. Though affirmations can be just for yourself, to affirm is to declare, in this instance you can affirm to yourself that you can do this and that you can do that. Writing down the things you want or expect from yourself can make all the difference, it’s something you can keep up with to remind you of your short and long term goals, it’s also something you can look back on overtime to see how far you’ve come.
3. Coping mechanisms aren’t bad
Coping mechanisms aren’t just for when you’re in a rut and need something to pull you out. You can learn and repeat coping mechanisms to maintain a level, clear head. My personal favourite is meditation, I try to do it whenever I can.
I wake up in the mornings and put on my favourite calming playlist and simply sit and breathe. I make an effort to clear my mind of the running voice in the back of my head and simply try to find my peace, sounds cringe I know but it really does work. I find that throughout the day when I’m starting to feel a little worse for wear I can just close my eyes and try to center myself, blocking out the negative thoughts that keep trying take charge of my brain.
I have friends who use yoga as their coping mechanism, every other day the pull out their mats and dig into the movements that make them feel one with themselves – they relax your muscles as well as your mind, I’ve yet to try it because I have the flexibility of a steel plank but each to their own right? Another coping mechanism is breathing exercises, I personally use this for everything, when I’m trying to fall asleep I take long deep breaths, hold them in and let them out slowly to bring my heart rate down and before I know it I’m out like a light. I also use breathing techniques when I’m having problems with anxiety and even when I’m simply feeling overwhelmed.
4. Pat yourself on the back
Something I always forget to do is congratulate myself, telling myself well done for making it this far, well done for getting through the goals I set – but when I do it, it’s instant gratification. I love to look back through the affirmations I wrote done and realising ‘Oh wait, I did that and I finished that one too.‘ It’s so easy to think about all of the things we’ve done wrong but so hard to put into focus all of the things we’ve done right. Healing is so subtle that it’s natural to forget where you were when you started your journey to where you are now. Be kind to yourself.
5. Vocalize your feelings to the people you love
I have a tendency to keep things in, to not share how I feel and ultimately it just makes me feel worse. The idea that you’re a burden is only true when it comes to people who don’t respect and love you, and that in itself is something you should re-evaluate. Calling your friends or family when you’re feeling upset takes courage, it takes all of you to share things like that with other people but at the end of the day if those people care for you then they will comfort you with everything they have. You shouldn’t spend your days sulking in your own sadness, you should spend it healing with the people who make you laugh even when you’re crying.
A 23 year old writer, from fictional short stories to poetry and song writing. I enjoy making articles about modern culture, the way it affects our brains and creative lifestyles – how we can learn from it, what I’ve learned from it so far.