“A lot of people are living with mental illness around them. Either you love one or you are one.” – Mark Ruffalo
There is no denying the fact, that globally mental health issues have been steadily on the rise. According to the WHO – World Health Organization, Depression is expected to be the second leading cause of disease, by 2020.
Why Is It Important To Have Good Mental Health
Mental Health includes your emotional and social well being and that in turn impacts how you think, feel and behave. Mental Health also indicates how you interact with others, manage relationships and take decisions.
When you are free of mental health issues, you could live life to the fullest. On the contrary, when you are ailing with psychological problems, you not only suffer emotionally, but also are at higher risk of physical illness.
The Mental Health Foundation Has Reported That :
- Depression has been linked to 67% increased risk of death from heart disease and 50% increased risk of death from cancer.
- Schizophrenia is associated with double the risk of death from heart disease and three times the risk of death from respiratory disease.
Therefore, no prizes for guessing that caring for your mental health, is crucial for your overall well being.
5 Strategies To Nurture Your Mental Well Being and Improve The Quality Of Your Life
1. Practicing Forgiveness
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Hanging on to resentments, can eat away your joy and peace of mind. Practicing forgiveness helps you move forward, by letting go of anger, bitterness and resentment.
Tip – Understand that Forgiving does not equal Excusing, and forgiving does not mean forgetting what had happened. That stated, in your own best interest, release the limiting emotions and move forward in life.
2. Making Self Esteem A Priority
“Value yourself. The only people who appreciate a doormat are people with dirty shoes.” – Leo Buscaglia
Treat yourself with kindness and respect. Stop being overly critical about yourself. Channelize your self critique in a positive manner and invest into developing yourself further.
Tip – Make time for your interests, reconnect with an old hobby or pick up a new one, invest in continued education / personal development and remember to appreciate your efforts, along the way.
3. Letting Go Of Regret
“Surrender to what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be.” – Sonia Ricotti
At certain points in our lives, we all have experienced the sharp stings of regret.
- Maybe you did something that was wrong, and now you could be wishing, that it should have never happened.
- You are unable to change the outcome, of what you had caused.
Tip – Realize that whatever happened is in the past, and the past cannot be changed. Take a step forward, by becoming clear about your existing morals and values, and build further on them, in a positive manner.
4. Overcoming Stressors
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
A stressor is anything that causes the release of stress hormones. On a daily basis, we go through experiences; some of these activate the stress response within us.
Some Examples Of Stressors (Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory) :
- Death of spouse or close friend / family member
- Troubles with the boss
- Being fired at work
- Major change in sleeping habits
- Going into starvation mode or binge eating
- Sudden change in physical activity (too less or too much)
Tip – While the situation might not be in your control, you can still choose how to react to it. By clarifying / re-aligning goals, practicing self regulation, developing healthier habits and maintaining a more positive outlook, you would be in a better position to overcome the stressors.
5. Staying In Touch
“Cherish your human connections – your relationships with friends and family.” – Barbara Bush
People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Stay in touch with your dear ones, in a proactive manner. Meet supportive family members and friends, or explore social activities that could help you meet new people.
Tip – Choose activities that complement your interests. If you are interested in dancing, join a class or if you enjoy helping others, volunteer for a cause that you believe in.
Seeking Professional Help – If you have made consistent efforts to improve your emotional health, but are not able to function optimally on your own, do consider seeking professional help. Following the mentioned strategies, would be helpful nonetheless.
Remember – We owe it to ourselves to nurture our mental and physical health. By making the right choices, pursuing constructive interests and staying connected with positive people, you would be surely able to protect your mental health and improve the quality of your life.
WHO – World Health Organization
Mental Health Foundation
Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale
This article was originally published on LinkedIn, on 14 March 2017