World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. There are many people around the world who have challenges with mental health issues but do not seek help because of the negative connotation that comes with asking for it or its simply too expensive. No two people are alike; what works for you might not work for others. So as an advocate for health & wellness, here are some tips that you or someone you know can most definitely benefit from:
- Value yourself, treat yourself with kindness, respect and avoid criticism.
- Talk positively to yourself. Sometimes our inner voice can be harsh, so speak back with more soothing, reassuring and positive tone.
- Counter negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Strengthen relationships by sharing your thoughts and feeling with people who are important to you.
- Make plans with supportive family members and friends or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group.
- When you start to feel negative, enlist aid from a happy friend to help turn your focus toward more joyful thoughts.
- Listening to friends and family members’ life experiences can help you find new ways to deal with your own struggles.
- Getting your home organized and tidy can ease stress- physically removing the clutter will assist in regaining mental clarity.
- Try a new type of workout or entering a fitness challenge can give you an incentive to stick to your health goals.
- Regular exercise can ease your stress levels, just choose an activity that you love.
- When something bad happens, try reframing the problem so that you aren’t blaming yourself.
- Vent to your journal & write down those thoughts. 5 minutes, just to write out thoughts, feelings or ideas.
- Feeling stuck negatively, write down two good things.
- When you live in the moment, you are more likely to appreciate the good things in your life.
- Avoid “self-medicating” with alcohol and drugs, which can further aggravate the problem.
- Try meditating, mindfulness and/or prayer. Relaxation exercises and prayer can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. In fact, research shows that meditation may help you feel calm and enhance the effects of therapy. Meditation is one way that you can lower stress levels, ease negative thinking and reduce body tension.
- Get help when you need it. Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective.
Remember that therapy is not always accessible to most who want and/or need it. Actually, most therapy happens outside of the therapist’s office. In hopes of making mental health care a reality for people worldwide, I just wanted to remind you all that you can start somewhere. In some cases, there is no substitute for professional intervention, but hopefully this gave you a few ideas that you can use the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed.
This list will change over time, so check back whenever you need a new idea on how to find balance in your life. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website for valuable resources to find help and support, or call the toll-free helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
Until Next Time!