By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: December 9, 2015
By Emma Lawson- Guest Contributor
In these times of high stress, constant changes and alienation in human relationships, everyone can lose their emotional and mental balance from time to time. There is a lot of talk about maintaining good physical health, but mental health has been a taboo even though it is equally important. However, there are many things you can do to help yourself achieve better mental wellbeing and here are a few.
Mindfulness means bringing your full attention to the present moment and following what is going on, in your internal world, and in your external world. There are many ways to do it, but you can simply focus on your breath and follow it with your attention for as long as you can. You can do the same with your senses – notice the things you can hear, see or smell. Let thoughts come and go without following them. Just be in the moment and observe.
Manage Your Thoughts
We don’t know where thoughts come from, but we know we can manage them. The first step is recognizing them, noticing what we are thinking and noticing how they are making us feel. Thoughts produce emotions. Once we can manage our thoughts, we manage our emotions. If some thoughts are causing us to feel fear, we need to change the thinking pattern and replace it with a more suitable one. This is the field of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy branch of psychology) and it has proven to be highly effective. You can learn more by attending their workshops or rehabilitation courses at local colleges.
Meditation is beneficial to mental and emotional health as it deals with thoughts and emotions at their very source – the human brain and the nervous system. It calms us down and relaxes the nerves, but strengthens our concentration, willpower and spirit. It also makes our brain function better and actually increases its mass. Benefits of meditation are many and there is no similar activity that can replace it.
Life is simply unpredictable and there are no guarantees for anything. We just cannot go on stressing about all the things that might go wrong – most of the things we worry about never even occur. Even if something bad happens, we will eventually have to accept it, which means, be at peace with it. Or we can suffer. Learning to accept situations, people and circumstances will greatly increase our sense of peace and satisfaction. We might not be happy about them, but we don’t need to suffer either.
No matter how hard our particular situation seems to us, we can always change our perspective. For example, there are whole villages in Haiti that survive eating only dirt. Thousands don’t have food, shelter, water, let alone telephones. Find things to be grateful for, imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t have them, and then feel gratitude. You can write them down to remind yourself.
It is important to know that it is normal to feel off sometimes. To help yourself you can read self -growth books, get emotional support from friends, or even seek professional help. We can all use someone to help us put our puzzle together now and then.
Emma Lawson is a teacher, constantly improving her skills both as a teacher and as a parent. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you to lead a quality life. You can follow her on Twitter @EmmahLawson