When it comes to improving your mental health, there are plenty of options that you can follow in order to feel a lot better. One might work better than the other, or some might work equally as well for you. Keep in mind that one solution that works for someone else might not work for you, so don’t be afraid to try multiple options and see what helps your current situation the best.
The first way to improve your mental self-care is by meditation. People often mistake meditation for something spiritual or religious, but it doesn’t always have to be. Sometimes, mediation is just a way for you to take your mind off of things, like letting the steam get released from a pressure cooker of stress.
The core of mediation practice is focus or direction of your attention. Here we are focusing on a type of meditation that gives your mind a rest. You will see various figures, but neuroscientist estimate we have 30,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. Break this down, you may have upwards of 48 thoughts per minute. This is a lot of mental activity, of which much is automatic. It’s not only automatic, but much of the thought patterns are the same ones from yesterday and the day before. Meditation will help you interrupt thought patterns and help you relax and gain clarity
In simplest terms, transcendental meditation essentially involves sitting comfortably in silence, not thinking of anything at all, and just letting your body sit still. You can close your eyes in order to prevent yourself from being distracted. It’s important that you don’t think of anything and simply let your body relax. Mediation is a great way to reset after a stressful event.
Practice deep breathing. Deep breathing is second great tactic to help you relax, and it can often go hand in hand with mediation, though you can do it at any time.
Deep breathing is exactly what it sounds like. You take long, deep breaths in order to help clear your mind and help yourself feel better. Taking deep breaths lowers your heart rate, which can reduce anxious feelings you might be having. Deep breathing can be done anywhere at any time, making it an ideal means of self-care if you’re out and about in a public setting.
Set personal boundaries. Personal boundaries is a third tactic to consider in your overall health strategy. Setting boundaries is an important part of caring for your mental health, too. We often let ourselves get pushed around and trampled on by others, especially when we don’t put up proper boundaries. This causes a lot of stress and fear. Only allow others to influence your decisions so much before you simply say no. Don’t let others control your life. Put up boundaries that they can’t cross that allow you to be you.
Give and receive affirmation is a fourth tactic. Receiving affirmations, whether from others or from yourself, can go a long way when it comes to mental health.
Affirmations are essentially just words of praise or encouragement, reminding you that you’re doing fine – that everything will be okay – and that you don’t need to worry about whether or not you’re doing enough. Such a simple reminder can help you calm down and relax immensely.
Learn to use your imagination is a fifth tactic. Visualization can have some incredible effects on you. By actually imagining or visualizing what you need to do or what you want to do, you can get a clearer image of what needs to be done in your mind.
The practice of journaling is sixth tactic to aid your mental health. It’s a way to identify emotional clutter associated with your own thoughts. It’s a good way to preview or review your mental state. You can use all these methods alone or in combination.
While a mental checklist works for some, a physical reminder can help so much more. Feel free to doodle your visualization on paper if it helps, or just close your eyes and see the end result so that you can gain the clarity and relief you need to focus without anxiety.
Last, but not least, gain new ways of thinking and perceiving yourself, others and your environment. Try simply listening to an audiobook on a topic that helps you understand a topic of interest. You can work your way though the book 15-30 minutes per day. You can find many solid books on human psychology, mental health, habit building, or even meditation. By listening to specific books, you can learn and reinforce ways to strengthen your mental health.
Remember, you can add these tactics little by little to your life. Be flexible, and make the amount of time you dedicate work for you. Maybe tag team with someone or a group so you can share experiences and insights.