4 Habits Everyone Needs for Better Mental Health

What you do regularly determines who you are.

There are many misconceptions about mental health:

  • There is a widespread belief that one’s heredity and brain chemistry predetermine one’s mental health.
  • Those with the “just think positive” mentality feel that it’s all a matter of willpower.

The truth, however, lies somewhere in the middle:

“Mental health is largely a matter of habits rather than chance or a single decision.”

As a psychologist, it’s been my experience that the best approach to assist people in improving their mental health is to teach them healthy habits, particularly mental ones.

However, this does not imply that your biology or social circumstances are not important – they are! However, we have the most power over our daily habits since we choose to form and adhere to them for most of us.

This article will look at four habits that aren’t typical yet can help you improve your mental well-being.

 

1-Investigate your thoughts and feelings:

Mental health requires watching and thinking about your mind and its functions, and metacognition is a critical component of this process.

When powerful emotions are involved, most people go into “autopilot mode“:

  • When you’re anxious, you’ll do anything to keep yourself occupied, like calling a friend or making a pointless phone call.
  • As soon as you become enraged, you tend to lash out somehow, whether by saying something snarky or slamming a door.
  • You drink or eat when you’re down because you don’t know what else to do.

In addition to making poor decisions, impulsiveness stops us from discovering new things about ourselves.

Your understanding of anger and its meaning will be severely limited if you always resort to sarcasm when you’re furious. Just because you’re feeling down doesn’t mean you should say terrible things.

As a result of cultivating the habit of paying attention to your thoughts and feelings, you can become interested in them.

Self-awareness and progress follow when you learn to be curious about your thinking.

Observing and becoming curious about your anger, for example, could lead you to discover that lurking beneath your rage is a sense of anxiety, a fear of being rejected, a dread of being left alone, or even fear of the anger itself. As a result, rage and all of its accompanying actions are only a distraction from the true problem—your fear and uncertainty.

However, you can only achieve this level of self-awareness by often pausing and observing your thoughts out of genuine curiosity.

After some time, you free anxiety, then it’s converted into a headache; you can read this article. Read more.

 

2-Be kind to yourself amid your pain:

To be mentally healthy, you must be kind to yourself when things go tough – you must be able to handle your mistakes and pain rationally without resorting to excessive measures.

Self-compassion is a common denominator among nearly all of my clients, according to my own experience as a psychotherapist.

We’re all good at being sympathetic to others, but we’re terrible at being compassionate to ourselves:

  • When you make a mistake, your first reaction is to berate yourself with self-critical self-talk and dire projections of what will happen.
  • When you’re upset or scared, the first thing you do is blame yourself, calling yourself weak and dismissing your suffering as insignificant.
  • When you’re unsure or confused, you compare yourself to others, as though humiliation can spur you on to discover the answers.

In other words, when you make a mistake or suffer an injury, your first instinct is to be critical of yourself. I believe this is a result of a culture that believes the only way to succeed in life (and thus happiness) is to be severe on oneself.

However, being critical of yourself does not lead to long-term success or pleasure, in my opinion. People who have achieved success have done so despite, not because of, their lack of self-compassion.

Compassion for oneself is a powerful antidote to being too harsh on oneself.

You don’t have to be a softie to practice self-compassion; it’s simply a matter of adopting a fair view of your faults and shortcomings:

  • Practicing self-compassion entails accepting your mistakes as they are and moving on.
  • Self-compassion is reminding oneself that you are more than the sum of your mistakes. Much more.
  • Acknowledging that just because you feel awful doesn’t mean you are a nasty person is a key component of self-compassion.

 

3- Don’t be rigid in your actions:

Rigid behavior is a telltale symptom of poor mental health. However, the reverse of rigidity — flexibility — is the key to a better, healthier emotional life.

Insanity, according to an old phrase, is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome each time.

Insanity may be a legal term, but many of us can certainly think back to a point in our lives when we were emotionally drained and saw the same pattern of attempting the same things repeatedly to feel better, only to get worse.

 

For example:

  • When you’re feeling low, it’s all too simple to withdraw from the outside world.
  • Reliving your past mistakes in a loop of rumination and self-criticism is common when you feel guilty or humiliated.
  • Rather than confronting your anxieties head-on, it’s easier to succumb to a thoughtless diversion.

To put it another way, we latency to fall into old behavior patterns when confronted with stressful or difficult situations. Our instincts kick in when we’re feeling down, and we don’t realize it.

 

4-Be frank about what you believe in:

The underlying tragedy of chronic emotional distress is that you lose sight of the most important things in your life — your ideals and aspirations — because you are so focused on soothing your misery.

When we are in pain, our focus shifts to finding a quick fix for the problem at hand, physical or mental.

There is a bonus you can read more about mental health by clicking here.

It’s not uncommon for people to put all of their attention and energy into trying to move their hand off of a hot frying pan when they feel pain in their fingers. For a good cause, too—leaving your hand on a hot burner could be dangerous and harmful!

However, although pain is generally a sign of danger, it isn’t always. There is no such thing as too much sadness or anxiety, no matter how intense the agony.

There is, nevertheless, the potential for confusion. It’s easy to misinterpret any kind of discomfort as a warning sign. In doing so, our attention and energy are focused solely on escaping the agony.

Instant pain avoidance comes at a price, however:

The more time you spend running away from something you don’t want, the less time you have to go toward something you want.

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