Improve your mental health with these tips
Improving mental health is very important, as it plays a major role in determining several aspects of our lives. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you achieve a better state of mind.
It seems “almost mandatory” to be in good physical shape, to take care of our diets, to rest, to have a proper sleep schedule, to spend time with our loved ones… But, what about our mental health?
The importance of mental health
Being aware of our mental health is important not only when we are feeling low or stressed. It is important to check how we are doing by taking a moment to work out how to address our emotions.
We lead fast-paced lives: work, family, friends and a multitude of responsibilities that we take care of over the course of the week. On top of this, we also have to deal with the excessive and continuous influx of information we receive through the media and social networks, which shapes the way we see and tackle problems, and determines the way we think.
Have you ever felt like you were stuck in a tunnel with no way out? This sensation, which we often experience unknowingly, can lead us to neglect ourselves, hence why it is highly important to have a few guidelines for us to follow in order to take care of our mental health.
Tips to boost your mental health
When we feel uneasy or uncomfortable in a situation, this is our negative emotions telling us that something is not right. Our response to these emotions influences our behaviour; this behaviour is conditioned by our thoughts which can either be positive or negative. It is well known that we often unwittingly become entangled in our negative thoughts as a result of emotional discomfort.
In order to tackle this head-on, it is important to identify where these thoughts are coming from: bad news, a stressful situation at work or at home, or a problem with another person. All of these situations have the tendency to make us feel bad and they often produce negative emotions.
When negative thoughts and feelings are prolonged over time, our bodies sometimes begin to show signs and symptoms known as somatisation: headaches, neck pain, digestive problems, breathing difficulties, restlessness and physical agitation, palpitations, tiredness or sleeping difficulties. It is important that we listen to our bodies and not fall victim to our urges. More often than not, we don’t these warnings seriously.
SOS, your body is trying to tell you something. Listen to it!
It is important to address these points:
- Note down the circumstances or situations that have triggered unease or discomfort, both cognitive (negative thoughts) and emotional, in order to take care of yourself. The best way to do this is to make a STOP. It can help to have such a sign at hand, either digitally or on paper.
- Take a deep breath: simply take a moment to regulate your breathing rhythm and be conscious of your breathing. The heart and lungs are responsible for keeping us stable and alive. The practice of mindfulness, which uses breathing and awareness of the heartbeat as anchors to enhance psychological wellbeing, is becoming increasingly popular.
- Look for solutions: by looking at what has happened in a different light, by adopting healthy and convenient measures for our physical and mental health, we can work on the different solutions based on some key criteria. For example, we should ensure that the solution is favourable for us but that it does not harm or damage other people, and that it does not lead to another problem.
When is it necessary to seek professional help?
It is worth mentioning that seeking professional help is the most appropriate action to take, especially when you find yourself with a problem that you cannot solve yourself. Before consulting with a professional, make sure to find out whether they are endorsed by a professional association, as this will guarantee their academic training and ensure that they work with the most appropriate techniques: those based on scientific evidence.