Knowing what to do to improve your mental health is vital to your overall wellness and quality of life.
We know we have to engage in physical fitness to have good physical health. Similarly, we also have to engage in mental fitness to sustain good mental health.
Our mental health is our psychological and emotional well-being. It’s our ability to cope with the normal stresses of life, while being the best we can be.
Having good mental health does not mean we won’t experience emotional lows such as sadness, frustration, grief or anger. It means, even though we may experience low points, we can deal with those experiences and move past them.
Why Improve Your Mental Health?
There are important reasons to improve our mental health. Benefits of good mental health include:
- More optimism and a healthier outlook on life.
- Improved physical health.
- Higher levels of self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Stronger personal and professional relationships.
- Willingness to support others in need.
- More drive or ambition.
- Greater desire to learn and grow.
- Better emotional control.
Chances are, you’re doing things to improve your mental health, but may not know how to sustain it. When you improve your mental health, other areas of your life will also improve.
Learning how to use the power of gratitude can make a big difference to our daily experiences.
Being grateful isn’t something we should do once in a while or when something “good” happens in our lives. To fully use the power of gratitude, it has to be a daily practice.
Why Should You Use the Power of Gratitude
Gratitude is a way of being or an attitude. Benefits of being grateful include:
- Improved mental, emotional and physical health.
- Less stress, anxiety or mental turmoil.
- Higher energy levels.
- Increased self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Better self-care.
- Greater capacity to forgive and let go.
- Healthier relationships.
- Greater levels of joy and happiness.
- More self-acceptance.
- Higher levels of presence and calmness.
Since being grateful brings many benefits, we have to learn to use it to our advantage.
As you deal with constant change, there are essential skills that will help improve your future prospects.
Focusing on skill improvement is important if you want to stay relevant in years to come. Those who do not develop skills may not be as valuable, while dealing with a world that does not exist.
Over the last couple of decades, change has disrupted industries, with many of them no longer existing. This disruption has led to new industries or markets starting up.
Examples of industries or markets disrupted or starting up include:
- Online streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime.
- Social media platforms.
- Transportation services such as Uber and Lyft.
- Hospitality with companies such as Airbnb.
- Photography with the introduction of mobile devices.
With industries or businesses needing to change to stay competitive in the twenty-first century, you and I are no different.
We must know the essential skills we have to develop to stay relevant years to come.
If we learn how to use a positive no to communicate what’s important, it will make things easier for us.
Every day, we’re dealing with many demands on our attention, time, expertise or resources. Saying no can be uncomfortable and cause us to say yes when we don’t want to.
Saying no to many things or requests is mandatory if we want to say yes to the right things or requests.
This is where learning how to use a positive no is helpful to stay true to our priorities, without affecting our relationships.
What is a Positive No?
Harvard Professor William Ury, shared the concept of a positive no, in his book, The Power of a Positive No.
A positive no is a way to respond to a request that works for everyone, without affecting the relationship or our priorities.
Using a positive no makes it easier to decline a request made on us, while being respectful of the person making the request.
The Costs of Not Knowing How to Use a Positive No
If we don’t use the concept of a positive no, and agree to something when we don’t want to, it can:
- Lead to emotions of resentment, frustration or anger.
- Take our focus away from what’s important.
- Delay what we want to get done.
- Cause us to waste time doing something that’s not beneficial.
- Reduce our confidence and level of self-trust.
Something as simple as saying no the right way can affect us and those we interact with.
There are things to avoid saying when experiencing a difficult time, if we want to deal with our situation better.
Whenever we experience a difficult time, if we’re not mindful of the language we use, we will generate unhealthy emotions.
Reasons to Pay More Attention to Your Words During a Difficult Time
The words we use, communicate what we’re thinking and feeling. We should pay more attention to our words during difficult times because they will:
- Affect our attitude.
- Determine the actions we take.
- Impact how we communicate with others.
- Affect our productivity levels.
- Influence how we deal with our problems.
If we use empowering words, we’re more likely to handle our challenges with the right attitude. Changing the words we use during a difficult time can change how we view our experiences.
Learning how to deal with bad experiences can help us move on, without hanging onto any pain that was caused.
Throughout our lives, we’ll have experiences we deem either good or bad. Even though we don’t want to have bad experiences, we cannot avoid them.
What we consider a bad experience depends on our conditioning and mental strength. Something we may think is a bad experience may not be a big deal to someone else.
Having the ability to deal with bad experiences is extremely valuable if we want to have good mental health.
The Dangers of Not Dealing With Bad Experiences
The real challenge of having a bad experience isn’t the experience itself, but the meaning we give them. If we’re not careful or handle those experiences well, they can cause us to form limiting beliefs.
Beliefs we could form include:
- Things never work out for me.
- I’ll never be successful.
- I’m not good enough to get what I want.
- I’m not going to take risks again.
- This is as good as things will get.
- I don’t know if I can ever be happy.
Other dangers of not dealing with bad experiences include:
- Feeling unhappy or depressed.
- Low levels of confidence or motivation.
- Additional stress on relationships.
- Poor attitude and performance.
- Resistance to take new actions.
Since bad experiences are a part of life, how we respond will determine how we deal with them.