Simple Ways To Boost Your Mental Health

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Image credit: www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/fizkes

Everybody gets a little down sometimes, especially these days with so much going on in the world. Looking after your mental health is as important as looking after your physical health. If you’re feeling a little blue, try one of these techniques to return to the sunny side of life.

Plan a Trip

Planning a trip is a great way to give yourself something to look forward to. Even if the trip is over a year away, having it on your calendar can really give you a boost. You can take your time to research activities, climate and special area cuisine. You can wait for a sale to buy a new swimsuit (or parka) and really enjoy the anticipation of going somewhere new. It doesn’t matter whether your interest lies in the ski slopes, the Big Apple or cruises from Florida. Pick a destination that makes you smile and start planning.

Learn Something New

If you find yourself with extra time on your hands or extra energy to burn, learn something new. This is a great time to buy a keyboard and teach yourself piano from YouTube videos. Join a crafting circle at the local community center and learn to knit or take a pottery class and make everyone you know vases for their birthday. There are tons of free and reduced-price classes on sites such as EdX, and if you’re working towards your own happiness, take whatever class you want. It doesn’t have to benefit you in any specific way other than you will enjoy the learning process.

Do Something Old-Fashioned

When was the last time you wrote a letter to your grandma or a childhood friend? Instead of sending a quick snap or texting a series of emojis, buy some pretty stationary and a nice pen and write an old-fashioned snail mail letter. While many younger people barely know how to address an envelope or where to put a stamp, the older generations cherish the thought and effort put into handwritten notes.  If you have an older neighbor who doesn’t get out much, invite him or her over for tea and just sit and chat without the distraction of cell phones. You might be amazed at some of the stories older folks tell about their lives.

Commune With Nature

It’s difficult not to feel uplifted after listening to a bird sing its little heart out or watching a squirrel scurry up a tree with a cheek full of nuts. Take a walk around the block or through a park. Fresh air and sunshine are great mood-boosters. Even if you live in a very urban area, getting out of your building and onto the balcony or street can do wonders. If you simply can’t leave the house, make a cup of tea and put on a nature documentary. It’s hard not to get enthralled with images of some of the earth’s most interesting creatures.

Commit Random Acts of Kindness

Make a plan that as you go through the business of the day, you will attempt to commit a specified number of random acts of kindness towards the earth and your fellow man. Some ideas include complimenting a stranger, letting someone cut in line at the coffee shop, paying for someone’s order behind you, throwing away a piece of blowing trash, holding the door for someone or thanking a grumpy store clerk. If you put your focus on other people and away from yourself, you may be surprised to find yourself feeling just a little bit lighter at the end of the day.

Start a Gratitude Journal

Even if your gratitude list starts out slim, the more you write down, the more you will think of to be thankful for. Focusing on the positive is a great way to put yourself in an upbeat frame of mind. Start with “I found two shoes that matched” or “I had enough milk for my cereal” and use that as a launching point to recognize other positive forces at work in your life.

Everyone falls into mood slumps sometimes. The trick is to not wallow in them. Look for ways to jump, leap or claw your way out.

Therapeutic approaches to the care of the mentally ill

Psychopathology is a term used to indicate that a person is emotionally unable to deal with the stress and strain of everyday life. Such a condition usually comes about when people’s defense mechanisms are no longer able to defend them against the anxiety created by stress and strain, when they have not been able to develop defense mechanisms against such forces, or when they use defense mechanisms so excessively that reality is not accurately perceived. If individuals’ defenses work adequately and they seem to be able to get along reasonably well in everyday life, they are said to be “adjusted.” If they are not able to get along well and people see them as being strange or peculiar, or if their behavior is obviously inappropriate, they are said to be manifesting a significant degree of psychopathology.

With the idea, then, that most behaviors have an appropriate range that is both acceptable and expected, let us look at some of the specific things that may be used to judge one’s overall mental health.

  1. Thinking well of oneself; being fairly free of feelings of inadequacy and inferiority; being able to express or to communicate one’s emotions.
  2. The ability to trust oneself to make decisions and to act on those decisions after careful consideration of the consequences of one’s actions.
  3. A genuine feeling of well-being and a realistic degree of optimism (expectation that things will turn out well).
  4. Accepting one’s real limitations while developing one’s assets.
  5. Evaluating one’s mistakes, determining their causes, and learning not to repeat the same behavior.
  6. Being able to delay immediate gratification for future satisfaction (for example, putting off getting married until one’s career preparation is finished).
  7. The ability to form close and lasting relationships with persons of both sexes, being relatively satisfied with one’s own sex; and having the ability to enjoy an active and satisfactory sex life.
  8. An appropriate conscience that prevents the individual from getting into trouble by resisting behavior that is destructive either to the individual or to others; a conscience that also produces guilt when one behaves in an antisocial fashion.
  9. The ability to accept authority (obey traffic laws, follow the rules of the organization for which one works, and so forth) in appropriate situations, but not to be afraid of authority and to contest authority if necessary.
  10. The ability to meet one’s needs in a socially acceptable manner while taking into consideration the needs of others.
  11. The absence of petty jealousies and the need to exploit and manipulate others.
  12. An ability to maintain a reasonably accurate perception of reality and of one’s social and interpersonal interactions.
  13. The ability to work alone and to work effectively with others; compromising and sharing when appropriate, but being able to compete and be aggressive when necessary; being organized and systematic in order to get things done; possessing an acceptable amount of cleanliness, promptness, orderliness, and neatness.
  14. The ability to function in both dependent and independent roles; to follow or to lead, to take care of others or to be taken care of, depending on the circumstances.
  15. Acceptance of the fact that stress and change are part of everyday life; being flexible enough to adapt to these continual changes without a great deal of psychologic discomfort.
  16. A sense of humor; the ability to laugh at oneself and others when life situations are absurd.
  17. The ability to maintain a balanced or integrated personality so that one can respond adaptively to life experiences.

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