6 Habits for Better Mental Health

6 Habits for Better Mental Health

via Thrive Global by Dr Carmen Harra

If there’s one thing (among many) that this pandemic has taught us, it’s the need to cultivate a healthy state of mind. Mental health is a branch of wellbeing that deserves more attention; what we feel determines how we feel. We’re encouraged to take off from work if we have a fever or stomachache, so why aren’t we taught to validate our emotions and take our thoughts more seriously? Mental health is tantamount to physical health: we cannot have the latter if we don’t have the former because there exists an unbreakable bond between mind and body. All things begin and end in the mind.

Whether you’ve been feeling down, stressed out, anxious, or frustrated lately, implement these six habits into your everyday life to elevate your mood and pacify your mind:

  1. Alter your stories. We’re all guilty of creating stories in our minds. The brain does this as a defense mechanism. Sometimes, however, the stories we fabricate don’t match reality. In the sequence of thoughts-actions-reality, our stories write the next chapter. That’s because the things we envision in our minds induce energy. And if they’re negative in nature, our stories invite negative energy that manifests in the form of situations, events, and people. Let’s say your partner isn’t picking up your calls. Depending on your previous experiences with him, you might start to think he’s mad at you, with “someone else,” or in trouble. You begin to flesh out to these thoughts, adding details such as what the other person looks like or even planning your imminent breakup. If you dread the outcome of something, you might concoct a story that involves the worst possible scenario so that if the worst does transpire, at least you’re prepared. In reality, the only thing this does is afflict your mental health and propel more doubt and desperation. The next time you find yourself creating disadvantageous stories, stop your thoughts in their tracks. Return to the present and apply logic. Examine what’s making you imagine bad things: is it a former trauma, a tendency to be pessimistic, etc.? Remind yourself that these things haven’t happened and don’t need to happen. Then, distract yourself by getting out of your head. Pick up a book, read a random article, or learn about a new topic. When you feel calmer, close your eyes and start the story again. Go through the scenes and modify them to benefit you. Alter your stories regularly to regain emotional control and project more positive outcomes in time…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE