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.
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.
Reaching higher levels of success often comes down to having ways to overcome self-doubt and continually taking new actions.
Those who can deal with their self-doubt usually achieve things they haven’t previously, while gaining more confidence.
What is Self-Doubt?
Self-doubt is an internal struggle. It prevents us from pursuing something we want or taking an action to achieve a different result.
It’s our internal voice that tells us:
- To be practical or realistic.
- Now is not the right time to make a change.
- We could fail.
- We don’t know how to do something.
- We are not good enough to achieve the thing we want.
The Costs of Not Having Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt
If we succumb to our self-doubt, we won’t pursue or experience the things that matters most to us. The costs of not overcoming it can include:
- Not following our dreams.
- Lower self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Feeling unhappy.
- Being very self-critical.
- Not believing in possibilities or dreaming big dreams.
As we recognise and deal with self-doubt, it will help us do what we should, to get what we want.
When you can be more mindful of the language you use, you will improve the way you communicate with others.
Communication with others involves using words, writings and gestures. The language you use plays an important part in how effective you are with your communication.
Why You Should Be More Mindful of the Language You Use
Paying more attention to the language you use is important because:
- It will impact the interaction you’ll have with someone.
- It will affect the quality of your relationships.
- It will affect your self-confidence.
- It will influence people’s perception, which can affect your reputation.
- It will determine whether you achieve your outcomes or not.
When you learn to be more mindful of the language you use, communicating with others will become easier.
Our willingness to practice appreciation consistently reveals our attitude and outlook on life.
If we practice appreciation, it means we’re being intentional about giving attention to the positive things in our lives.
It’s easy to give attention to what’s not going well or things we don’t like. This is because our environments can cause us to focus more on what’s not right rather than what’s right.
Practicing appreciation doesn’t require a lot of time and it can be done at any time. It comes down to our mindset and consciously focusing on positive things rather than negative things.
Examples of what we can appreciate every day includes:
- Waking up and having another day to make a difference.
- Having food to eat and clothes to wear daily.
- Having a home to sleep in.
- Opportunities to follow our dreams and achieve goals.
- The ability to serve others and use our knowledge, skills and abilities.
- Being able to create things in the world.
- Having use of things that makes our lives easier or better.
We often take things for granted because they’ve always been in our lives. We can enhance our experience of life if we make appreciation an everyday practice.
You may have heard or been told you should stop comparing yourself to others, but that can be difficult.
What others do, often becomes a filter through which we see ourselves, which then can affect our actions. A part of our upbringing is influenced by what other people do.
For example, we may have been told, “This is what so and so did (or achieved).” Or “Why can’t you be more like so and so?”
That becomes a part of our programming. As a result, we have a habit of looking at what others are doing or not doing.
The Consequences of Comparing Yourself to Others
The danger of comparing yourself to others can include:
- It will lead to poor self-esteem.
- It will cause you to waste time and energy on what you cannot change or control.
- It will affect your mental and emotional states.
- It will deprive you of joy.
- It will cause you to believe you’re worse off or better than someone else.
- It can cause you to compensate by seeking approval and validation in unhealthy ways.
- It can make you believe you are not enough the way you are.
- It can cause uncharacteristic behaviours towards others.
When we compare ourselves to others, we’ll rarely conclude we’re exactly the same as them. If we conclude we’re better or worse than someone, we’ve created a distance or separation from them.
The interesting thing is we often only see the results of what someone achieved. We don’t see the struggles, sacrifices or challenges they had to overcome to produce those results.
Therefore, we have to learn to stop comparing ourselves to others.
It’s encouraging to know there are easy things you can do to improve your mental toughness.
Everyone has faced and will continue to face challenges, experience failures or feel discouraged. How you deal with experiences that don’t go your way depends on your attitude and mental toughness.
What is Mental Toughness?
The term mental toughness is often used in sports psychology, however it’s also applicable to everyday life.
A simple definition of mental toughness is it’s the ability to accept, deal with and overcome challenges, concerns or worries to reach one’s objectives.
It’s the ability to push pass internal and external hurdles to reach a level of performance and achieve certain outcomes.
Why Improve Your Mental Toughness?
Mental toughness affects a person’s ability to persevere and stay on course, no matter what’s happening. It also shows a person’s level of resilience as they face challenges in life.
When you improve your mental toughness, benefits you can expect include:
- Remain calm and poised when experiencing stressful situations.
- Emotional stability.
- Greater levels of patience.
- Better focus especially on things that matter.
- Acceptance of things that cannot be controlled or changed.
- Handle change with the right attitude.
- Better mental health.
- Improved perspective and outlook on life.
- Better inner strength.
- Less attachment to things that aren’t important.
As you improve your mental toughness, you’ll experience a shift in how you view and respond to your experiences.