After many years of personal research, going through moments of constant anxiety and overthinking that sometimes paralyzed me or separated me from loved ones, I acquired habits that for me and my clients have become essential tools for life.
Let’s see below what they are habits that help maintain good mental health.
Habits that improve mental health
These are the 12 habits to maintain a good level of mental health that you can apply on a daily basis.
1. Change the concept of having to fix something inside of you
When we think we need to fix something inside ourselves and feel inadequate, we assume we came into the world with something wrong.
When we use the concept of fixing something referring to us, we feel trapped in a continuous cycle of insecurity. Therefore, we act from the need to change what is wrong or make us incomplete. We identify with a negative image of ourselves.
Put aside the idea that something is wrong with you. You came equipped with everything you need and you are complete. You just need to be more discriminating in helping others.
2. Be aware of the thoughts you generate
The mind continually throws all kinds of thoughts at us. Creating thoughts is inevitable, just be aware of it as it is: thoughts.
As soon as we observe them, we create a space that allows us not to stay there for long. They can happen, but if we don’t validate them as fact, they lose their power. In this way, they stop conditioning us and turn our attention to other things. That makes all the difference.
3. Use breathing to slow down the flow of your thoughts
There is a very close connection between breathing and the flow of thoughts. Anxiety is a reflection of an overactive mind. When we reduce the speed of our breathing, we naturally reduce the speed of our thoughts and therefore reduce our anxiety.
4. Look at the past as an illusion
The past is just a concept. Often part of our suffering comes from the fact that past thoughts determine and justify current behavior. For example, if someone was bullied at school, they will justify thinking about those facts to determine a current personality who fears criticism. When we are aware of how the past conditions us and we decide to let go, we are free to enjoy the present.
5. Exercise almost every day
If you want to keep your mind healthy, understand the connection between mind and body. When we take care of ourselves physically, our spirit also benefits. The mind in a sense is our body. We are much more vulnerable to unhealthy thought patterns when we are not moving our energy through our bodies. Life is movement. However, we often try to cheat life, crippling our energy when we remain static for too long.
Yoga is undoubtedly one of the healthiest practices to improve our mental health, to move our energy through our body and to position our body in the most appropriate way, as if it were a prepared antenna to properly reorganize our energy.
6. Treat difficult times as an opportunity or a lesson
To remember: there is a lesson in every difficulty. When we are immersed in suffering, we lose the ability to see clearly. It’s a matter of perspective, it all depends on where one chooses to look at each situation. In every problem there is an opportunity to grow.
7. Familiarize yourself with “space”
“Space” is a pause between a thought and a behavioral response. Practice not reacting angrily when you have an immediate impulse. Instead, it allows that “space” between thought/emotion and response to occur. It’s usually a ten second question.
8. Tolerate uncertainty
Intolerance of uncertainty and the desire to be in control is a sure path to anxiety. We have a (very human) need to know exactly what is going to happen next. This is obviously not possible in many cases. Inner peace comes naturally when you put aside the need to always know what will happen next… Trust uncertainty and instead of looking at it as a danger, look at it as an ally. You will develop better in all areas of your life.
9. Choose happiness
Many of us believe that our stress is determined by what is happening in our lives and in our circumstances. It’s wrong. The tension arises only from our way of thinking, from our personal perceptions. Based on this, we determine our experiences because we are the creators. We can choose to be comfortable. We can choose to be happy. It is something that is internally generated.
10. Act slower
Life slows down when we slow down and hurry. Try it. Notice how those who are restless or who move and talk quickly are often the most anxious. Much of the anxiety is created by trying to get through life quickly. We can’t process reality that quickly, so things get complicated when we rush. To slow down. Do one thing and then another; you will see that everything becomes easier.
11. Understand the difference between imagination and rumination
Be aware of the immense power of thoughts. They can be used to visualize the future, design bridges, empathize with others, and make valuable calculations. But I am also aware of their destructive power, especially when they take the form of worry or rumination. Pay attention to the difference and shorten the rumination. How do you do this? – Pay attention to the present.
12. Log in regularly with a clear conscience
Pure consciousness consists of experiencing the world around us without judging. When we judge, we also feel the negative meaning of those judgments, which stresses us out. For example, if we think someone or a situation is upset, we will feel that discomfort in our mind and body. Awareness is our way out of all of this.
Take a moment each day to listen and feel what comes from you and around you without judging., without labeling it. Remember: since everything is in the field of your consciousness, in one way or another, everything is within you. You will find a surprisingly calming power in mindfulness.