Mental Health Tips 2022
With May being Mental Health Awareness month, we wanted to remind you that YOU MATTER. -Mental Health Tips 2022
When last did you slow down and check-in with yourself?
At Connectable Life, we believe in small acts that create big and lasting change. There are small things we can do EVERY day to make ourselves feel happier and live better. We want to encourage wellness over illness. We want to eradicate the stigma attached to reaching out for help. We want to highlight that mental health IS health.
We all have a brain, which means we all have mental health.
Like with your physical health, it’s important to maintain your mental health but being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean that you don’t have a mental health problem. Having good mental health means that you are taking responsibility for the way you live your life and making the most of your life. It means taking healthy action towards achieving your goals, and in doing so, achieving that innermost goal we all retain, HAPPINESS and PEACE.
It means making decisions that are good for you and being able to cope when things get tough.
We put together a few ideas that we can implement in our daily lives to achieve good mental health and to create balance, happiness, and peace.
- Know yourself, and your triggers, and then love yourself some more.
Knowing ourselves (and loving ourselves) allows us to stay true to our values, which normally means that we will make the right decisions and feel better about ourselves and our lives. It will also help you to stay in charge of your thoughts and understand your triggers better. You will better be able to release self-doubt and be able to live in confidence. Understanding our own emotions and thinking patterns can also help us more easily empathise with others.
- Practice mindfulness techniques. Spend time in nature.
Mindfulness is your superpower! It helps us to remain present and be in the now- rather than ruminate about the past or worry about the future. In doing so, it is a great tool for managing anxiety, depression, addiction, and stress. It helps us to have more of a positive mindset and to find joy and gratitude. It helps us to connect with those around us and to really enjoy what we are doing, rather than to be distracted.
A fantastic place to practice mindfulness is in nature. Take a mindful walk, do some mindful listening. Use all your senses, there is so much to see, smell, hear and touch and just BE. Observe the clouds, take in the sun, smell the flowers, and study the sounds of birds. Not thinking of yesterday, not worrying about tomorrow. Being in nature has also proven to reduce feelings of depression and increase feelings of joy, connection, calmness, creativity, and concentration.
- Have healthy boundaries, and relationships.
When we consider boundaries, they are normally in relation to those around us. But what it really boils down to is your relationship with YOURSELF. We need to really get to know ourselves: our goals, priorities, values, needs and feelings. We need to think about what is important to us, what we are comfortable (and uncomfortable) with: and set these boundaries in place.
Boundaries are crucial to our mental health and well-being. When we set clear boundaries, it allows us to be our true selves without compromising on things that matter most to us. We don’t put other people’s needs ahead of our own well-being. Boundaries allow us to establish an identity and autonomy (independence in one’s thoughts or actions). Boundaries are a way of taking control of ourselves and our self-care. They mean that we value ourselves and look after ourselves and our feelings.
- Move your body. Figure out which form of exercise brings you joy and do it consistently, especially when you don’t feel like it.
Exercise is a natural way to improve your mood and better your sleep. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body.
You don’t have to punish yourself. Start small, start slow. Do something you actually enjoy.
- Look after your body: get sunlight, rest and SLEEP! Eat good food and drink lots of water: eat to balance your hormones and manage your gut health.
Sunlight increases the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. It also improves your sleep, which also improves your mental health. Sleep is a vital, often neglected, component of every person’s overall health and well-being. Sleep is important because it enables the body to repair and be fit and ready for another day.
I think we can all agree that there is nothing better than a good night’s sleep. It only takes one bad night’s sleep to remind us how much our bodies and minds depend on it. When we are tired, we are simply not ourselves- emotionally, physically and mentally. As the Irish Proverb goes, “Go to bed and you’ll feel better tomorrow” is the human version of “Did you try turning it off and on again?”.
- Do something for you EVERY DAY. Get creative. Learn something new. Find joy!
Doing something you love helps to alleviate stress and boosts your mood- it can also help you to find your people. Learning something new improves the quality of your life and boosts your self-esteem while giving you a sense of purpose. Doing something creative sharpens and focuses the mind, helps us to be more mindful and has even been likened to meditation in its calming effects.
- Use your superpowers. Breathe!!! Be grateful and show kindness.
Breathing exercises allow you to think more clearly and reduce feelings of anxiety. Breathing allows us to focus on the now. It also tells our body that we are safe and that everything is okay. Breathing exercises are a good way to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress.
“Expressing gratitude can positively change your brain,” says Kristin Francis, MD, a psychiatrist at Huntsman Mental Health Institute. “It boosts dopamine and serotonin, the neurotransmitters in the brain that improve your mood immediately, giving you those positive feelings of pleasure, happiness, and well-being.”
Research shows that kindness is an antidote to isolation and creates a sense of belonging. It helps reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective, and deepens friendships. But remember to be kind to yourself first!
- Think about your thinking, and then don’t believe all your thoughts!
Our brain is there to protect us and alert us of danger- so it is understandable that we may tend to always go to the negative or scary scenario first. But did you know that your brain is like a muscle and that you can ‘retrain’ your thoughts? What do you think about yourself? Your life? Your world? What thoughts are serving you, and are there any that are causing more harm?
Did you know that your thoughts, feelings and behaviour are all interconnected and that you have the power to redirect these?
- Acknowledge your feelings and accept where you are at.
‘Awareness is a powerful catalyst for positive change.’ Cheryl Richardson. We don’t know what we don’t know. So, before we can make any changes, we need to acknowledge where we are at. We need to be aware of how things are now, so we know where we want to go, and maybe where we don’t. Once we have that awareness, it is important to accept it. Acknowledge everything about yourself and your life, and you will set the foundations for some powerful change.
- Reach out! Ask for help. Connect. We are not supposed to do life alone.
We are social beings. We are built for connection. There is strength in reaching out for help!
How many of the ‘ten tips’ do you do? Which would you like to try?
Mental Health Tips 2022
Not sure if you need help?
Not sure what help you need?
Intrigued by therapy?
Want to know yourself better?
Want to improve your life?
Want to improve your relationships?
Whatever the reason! We want to help.