The journey of developing your life can be challenging on your mind and overall well-being. Prioritizing mental health can help us build the resilience we need to find fulfillment at work and in our personal relationships.
Often we focus on physical health and the list of things we want to accomplish. It’s important to remember that our body and mind always work together. We need to take care of both!
What is mental health?
Being mentally healthy is defined by having positive characteristics in terms of how we feel, think and behave in daily life. It also influences our ability to cope with stress and conquer life’s challenges.
This doesn’t mean we no longer feel anxiety, frustration or stress. Rather, we learn to accept that hardships are part of life. Holding a healthy mental space empowers us to find ways of reacting better to whatever pain or challenges we face.
Learning to pay attention to your mental health will teach you to reframe your mindset – from preparing for the worst that could happen, to expecting the best that could happen.
Here are 3 practices to help develop and maintain a healthy mental space:
- Remember to look inside
Introspection is a healthy habit to integrate into your daily routine. Being introspective also teaches you to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings as well as your actions.
Through practising introspection you’ll learn to identify thoughts and the physical or emotional sensations that tend to contribute to your cycles of stress and dis-ease. From there you’ll look to find solutions on how to address those sensations to more positive ones.
Meditation is one of the best ways to look inside. You learn to control your breathing and focus your mind. You discover that your thoughts are controlled by you and not the other way around.
- Become more active
Again, your mind and body always work together. Improving your mental health comes with improving your body.
The wonderful thing about working out is that it can be done at home. The Coronavirus lockdown may have kept you indoors but you could still keep fit. Apps and videos of effective 5- to 10-minute daily workouts are in abundance.
Keeping fit doesn’t only mean you need to pound weights or run long distances. Dancing, playing activity-based games with friends and family can also help you become more active and improve your physical health. The hormones that are released during these activities boost your mental health considerably.
Simple things like gardening or cleaning your home also contribute to your physical and mental health.
- Have a purpose
Finding purpose and establishing a vision can help you create meaning in your life because you’ll have something that drives you. An inspiration that pulls you towards all that you wish to accomplish.
Purpose can be found in your work. You can choose to focus on work that challenges you to be more productive and improve your service to others. Volunteering in old-age homes, charities and non-profit organisations are other heartfelt ways to establish purpose in your life.
It’s also possible to find meaning in the relationships you build. Focus on building fulfilling and mutually beneficial relationships. Socialise more with people who will be empathetic and supportive and less with those who put you down and are constantly in competition with you.
Manage your expectations. Be patient and compassionate with yourself. Results will come even though it doesn’t seem like it now. We need to pay attention to our mental health because that is what helps us reframe our minds and look towards a happier future instead of focusing on the uncertainty and stress of our current situation.