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9 Rarely-Used & Effective Tips To Boost Your Mental Health
“Just be positive.”
You’ve heard that, haven’t you? Often from people who don’t understand what you’re going through.
Mental health issues aren’t just “feelings” you can convince yourself you don’t have. You can’t just tell yourself it was a “GREAT DAY” when you’re mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. You can’t just wish away depression when a friend tells you “don’t be sad.”
For those struggling, thoughts and emotions can be cruel, lingering monsters. And there’s often no quick fix, either – instead, it’s a work in progress. Sometimes a tedious, meticulous, exhausting feat… but always worth it in the end.
Though it does beg the question…
Is there anything we can do to boost our mental health?
Thankfully, there is – and fortunately for you, we’ve dug up nine tips nearly everyone overlooks that can have a significant impact on your overall mental health and state of mind.
Let’s get to it.
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?”
― C.S. Lewis
Life is full of fleeting moments and painful goodbyes.
As life happens, it’s inevitable that you’ll experience loss – whether it’s the loss of a pet, friendship, parents, job, school or relationship. Despite the gravity of the situation you’re facing, it’s crucial you GRIEVE for what was altered as you moved into the next season of your life.
By grieving openly, you’re no longer allowing your pain to have control over you. Feel the grief in its entirety and let it pass through. After, welcome the calm. Bid the grief farewell and make peace with it. By not releasing your pain, you continue to let it weigh you down.
Manage Your Inner Dialogue
The person you’ll talk to the most throughout your life is yourself. YOU are your biggest critic, your roommate, co-worker, and peer. YOU are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you talk to at night. Your inner dialogue is the most powerful voice you have. Your best ideas and your worst judgements will come from you.
When you’re struggling with your mental health, become your own friend first. Start the day off with an affirmation. Tell yourself you are worthy, strong, and confident. Tell yourself you can overcome your darkest days. After doing this for long enough, you might even start to believe it.
Find Your Safe Place
Where’s the place that your troubles fade away? Where do you feel the safest? It’s different for everyone.
Where can you go after a heavy day full of mind chatter and numbness? Is it the gym? A bubble bath? Your bed? In your moms’ arms? A concert? Looking out over a lake?
Find the place that fills you with light and love and let it work its magic for you. Breathe. Clear your head. Meditate.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you”
– Maya Angelou
Discussing your fears, emotions and stresses isn’t something that comes easily to everyone. This tip might be something you have to work on over time, but being able to transform your pain into words and release them will help you move forward.
You can talk to a friend, a parent, a teacher, or a psychologist. Talk out-loud, openly and honestly about your feelings. Allow yourself to feel the emotions that cling to the words you chose. Verbalize everything you’re feeling and use your voice to RELEASE.
Evaluate Your Relationships
Your happiness is not the responsibility of another person. Similarly, you cannot place the blame of your misery on somebody else. However, take this opportunity to evaluate your relationships.
You should hold all your relationships to the same standard — whether it be a friendship, romantic relationship, or family member. The people you allow into your life should make you feel light, uplifted, supported, loved and respected. Do an inventory of the people you let into your life and analyze whether they are motivating you to reach your goals.
When you’re analyzing your relationships, take time to look and appreciate the healthy relationships in your life. Acknowledge the people that go the extra mile to make you feel loved. Call your mom, your best friend, or your brother to say a simple “thank you” to the people who are always there to lend a hand.
A cluttered room is a cluttered mind.
You might find more mental clarity when your personal space is tidied up. More importantly, use this time to clear your head. The routine act of tidying isn’t mentally straining, and it can result in overall relaxation.
Setting small goals, such as making your bed in the morning, can give you a sense of accomplishment.
Analyze Your Passions
What makes you feel fulfilled? What are the little things that give you an identity, and set you apart from other people?
Are you an artist, singer, volunteer, animal lover, runner? How can you incorporate these passions into everyday life? Is there a job or a hobby you can consider? If you’re passionate about running, can you set aside 20 minutes after school to go for a run?
Analyze — and then do more of the stuff that attracts your heart the most.
Set Little Goals
Set small goals for yourself so you can feel accomplished after completing them.
Wake up five minutes earlier. Complete the homework you’ve been procrastinating. Help your mom make dinner. Go for a run.
Set small, achievable goals that’ll give you a sense of pride once they’ve been completed.
Celebrate your victories – no matter how big or small.
When you get out of bed in the morning, or when you have a stranger smile to you on the street, CELEBRATE! Make everything into a little personal celebration. This tip will help you focus on the positives… and it’ll help make life exciting!
Don’t lose sight of the little moments that make life worth living. Celebrate life’s triumphs.
Written by Celina Dawdy