Some people are unsure about mental health as a topic, and often want a quick answer on what to do. Firstly, there is no quick fix. Health is an on-going thing and a natural part of life, and so mental health is no different.
However, here are my top 3 tips for better mental health if you want to know where to start…
Don’t hold things in
Get it out. Don’t hide from, suppress, or bottle up tough emotions, experiences or thoughts. Get them out with a loved one, in a journal, with a therapist, or even with a blog. Simply getting it out can be beautifully cathartic.
For some strange reason, we think that to be strong is to never show emotion. To never show that we are in pain or are struggling. This is so backwards. It takes strength to confront our demons, not hide from or ignore them.
Your mind will feel less heavy and tender if you get the gunk out, trust me.
Find what’s going on inside of you. Things may be happening due to suppressed emotions or experiences or a wonky belief that you didn’t realise you had. Only by getting in deep and letting it out can you ever free yourself.
Jameela Jamil (actress, presenter and influencer) had this to say about therapy and how it changed her life: “It is not a sign that there is anything wrong with you, it is the surest sign that there will not be anything wrong with you going forwards… It’s really important to get this toxicity out of you. That’s the only elimination diet worth doing: a psychological one.”
Be quiet and still
This is important because the world today makes it very hard to just sit still and be quiet. It feels uncomfortable and unnatural. It’s seemingly impossible with our busy, always-switched-on world.
Brene Brown suggests that this might be because as kids we were told to “sit down and shut up!” And so we associate that with being told off and something naughty.
We’re not kids anymore! We need to rest; we need to silence our minds. If our phones are on all the time doing this and that with multiple tabs open, they overheat and shut down, or run out of battery and die! The same goes for us.
Give your brain a rest. You needn’t meditate or do yoga or whatever if that’s not for you, but sitting with no purpose and no noise for 5-15 mins a day can do your mind a world of good.
Not only that, but it is only with quiet that we can truly listen. Listen to your heart, your thoughts, your feelings, your spirit, your pain…what are they telling you?
Some people think that the world is to blame for their problems, or that they are cursed with misfortune. It is useful to get quiet and find truths within yourself. Something may be festering within you unnoticed, which has been informing your life circumstance, bringing you pain, and “cursing” you.
This is how we cultivate self-awareness, which I believe is key to transformation and insight.
This is so important to me, hence why I have the Yin and Yang symbol tattooed on my wrist.
Balance is important to a healthy life. Balance in the mind does it a world of good. We can never have all of this thing and none of that thing. Things come in ebbs and flows, and accepting that without resistance does our health good.
It’s about striving for and maintaining a balance between:
- Work and play
- Alone time and togetherness
- Stress and relaxation
- Challenges/progression and gratitude/contentment
- Creativity and logic
- Speaking and listening
- Activity and rest
- “Negative” emotions and “positive” emotions
- The good in the bad and the bad in the good (Yin and Yang)
Making these three things an active, natural part of your life will have you on your way to better mental health in general. They are on-going practices and attitudes, so keep them in your tool-box!
Anything to add? Let me know!
If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.
If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!
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