Mental health is something we’re still very much just getting to grips with. Even though we’ve made some huge strides forward in the last ten years or so, our understanding is still very much in its infancy. What we can say, though, without question, is that a sense of mental wellbeing is key to living a happy and fulfilled life.
Life isn’t easy, and there are bound to be plenty of challenges along the way in both your professional and social life that will test you to your limits. What’s important is that you attack these challenges head on to maintain a positive headspace.
With that in mind, here are three key steps to all-round better mental health.
Get on top of money worries
“It’s only money”, so they say. True, but money matters and often plays a huge part in dictating mental state, whether you like it or not.
There will be a point, or indeed points, in life, when you’re in a little trouble financially. Perhaps you’ve got some credit card debts that need paying off, or you’ve just had to bankroll a big life event like putting a deposit down on a home. No one is immune to money worries; it’s what you do about them that counts.
Getting a grip on your money through better financial practice is key to staying on top of things mentally. Careful budgeting, breaking down your debts and finding ways to optimise your spending will go a long way in keeping you happy, as well as setting you up for the future.
Sound financial advice is readily available online, for free. Your problems might seem daunting now, but attacking them will be easier than you think.
Make your behaviours meaningful & positive
Your mind is excellent at being your own worst enemy, and again; no one is exempt from the odd negative thought here and there. Of course, negativity affects the way you carry yourself and the way you behave on a daily basis. If you struggle with negative thoughts, making a conscious effort to change your perspective will have a huge impact on who you are as a person.
Creating a list of challenging but achievable goals (short and long term) is a great way to introduce a positive growth structure in your life. Regular exercise might be one of those goals, as it’s proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels naturally.
Surrounding yourself with positivity is key. What does that mean? Being around good people, looking to inspiring role models and engaging in the right hobbies. Even changing your day-to-day language will help you channel positivity. If someone asks you how you’re doing, say ‘awesome’ instead of ‘not bad’. See problems as situations to overcome and challenges as opportunities to prove yourself.
All sounding a bit cliché. Maybe, but try it; it will do you the world of good.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Some old sayings still reign true, and ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ seems more relevant than ever these days. Life is riddled with little things that are oh so easy to get annoyed about. Bad driving. A rude shop assistant. Poor service in a restaurant. Ask yourself: does any of it really matter?
The answer is, of course, no. For those of us riled up by every small inconvenience life throws at us, our stress levels are steadily building up to boiling point. Whether that means you snap at someone who doesn’t deserve it, or just go home in a foul mood; it’s not healthy for anyone.
If you can dodge these fleeting moments of anger through the day, then you’ll find yourself a happier person through the week. It doesn’t matter if you turn the other cheek or just laugh off any problems; not letting the daily grind get you down will make life a whole lot more enjoyable.
No one quite knows the answer to true 100% mental wellbeing, but you can go a long way to helping yourself out by practicing these three simple steps.
Additional advice: seek help
Many of us wouldn’t think twice about discussing a physical health issue with a friend or scheduling an appointment to see a doctor. When it comes to mental health, we are often more reluctant to talk and to reach out and seek help and advice. If you are struggling with anxiety, you’ve been feeling low or lethargic for a long time or you have things on your mind, don’t hesitate to be proactive in talking to others. You might feel comfortable opening up to a friend or a family member, or you may want to explore therapy or counseling services like those available from Michigan Psychological Care. There is nothing wrong with wanting to offload, to share your thoughts or feelings or to admit that you’re not coping or that you need support. We should all try to look after and nourish our mental wellbeing in the same way as our physical health.