We All Have Mental Health : Let’s Look After It

We All Have Mental Health : Let’s Look After It


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By Fostering Families

Mental health is usually spoken about when things go wrong. The focus is on the issues and struggles people face, yet  we ALL have mental health just like we all  have physical health.

There is a far better understanding when it comes to our  physical health. We know that exercising and eating the right  things are good for us and proactively improves our general wellbeing. The approach to mental health is much more reactive – it’s about responding to issues as and when they arise.  And this really isn’t the best answer. Prevention is always  better than cure.
So how can we better look after our mental health?

Self-awareness is the cornerstone of success. Understanding our emotions and how they impact our thoughts and behaviours allow us to figure out what is working and what is not. This awareness enable us to take it to the next level and  start managing our emotions, actively taking steps to choose  the response we want in given situations.

Another essential pillar is building our self-confidence  and esteem. When we believe in our abilities and value our self-worth we become unstoppable.  Our esteem and confidence levels have a profound influence on the decisions  we make and the actions we take. It fuels  motivation, drives persistence and enables  us to adapt to change better – and it takes  a lot of work to keep on top of. Our confidence levels fluctuate constantly, so it’s  something we need to actively work on to  ensure it stays high.

And looking after our mental health  is about our happiness levels. Happiness  is often seen as an end goal – work hard  then you’ll be successful, and once you’re  successful then you’ll be happy. Happiness is not a by-product of success, but a fundamental part of it. When we are happy  we are much more likely to perform  better, and when we deliver better results  we become more successful. Happiness isn’t about short bursts of elation when  we achieve something good, but the long-term contentment we get from cultivating  a positive mindset.

1- Check in with yourself- How we feel changes on a daily basis so checking in with yourself regularly and giving yourself a few moments to reflect on  how you feel really helps. Ask yourself how you are, examine why you feel that way, and explore whether there is anything you can do to maintain or improve it. I like keeping a journal. Getting my thoughts down on paper helps me clarify them, stops me from blowing things out of proportion and enables me to see patterns. If I notice particular emotions or behaviours being triggered over a period of time then I can start figuring out why and do something about it.

2- Exercise everyday- When we exercise it releases endorphins – this is a ‘feel good’  chemical which improves our mood. Exercise has been linked to an increase in self-confidence and esteem, helps us sleep better, gets us to feel more positively about ourselves and life in general, reduces stress, anxiety and depression, along with a whole lot more. And I mean a whole lot more. Every important life skill that you could possibly need can be practised, developed and improved through sport.

3- Talk about it– It’s okay to not be okay. We all have ups and downs and talking about how we feel (both the good stuff and the bad) is really healthy. Sharing the burden with other people prevents us feeling isolated and alone. Sometimes it can be difficult to make sense of our emotions. They can be chaotic and messy, and trying to unravel them is hard. Starting conversations around this might feel a little awkward at first, but gently persisting with this can lead to some incredibly positive breakthroughs and it might encourage others to open up too.

4- Surround Yourself With Positivity- A negative person has vampiric like qualities, sucking the energy out of us. They have such a draining effect that it’s can be quite difficult to hold on to your own positivity. Limit your time around people like this and set firm boundaries. This doesn’t mean surrounding yourself with people who agree with you all the time, but the people who act like rechargeable batteries.

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