Four tips for improved mental health

Do you have a ‘busy brain’? One which battles against your every decision and keeps you awake at night swishing around feeling like a broken washing machine? 

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One of the more common cognitive disturbances brought to therapy is ‘overthinking’. It creates anxiety and panic attacks. It can also cloud your judgement, lead to irrational choice-making and commonly it initiates insomnia. Not feeling in control of our own thought-processing can be extremely daunting and leads to feelings of disassociation and helplessness.

Although we cannot prevent unwelcome thoughts which often lead on to another and another and another; it is in fact mastering the art of recognising them, and replacing them with positive/rational thoughts to break the cycle. This sound easier said than done, I know; however, knowing this simplified Cognitive Behavioural technique is a sound place to begin. Once you implement this into your coping strategies, you will be surprised how empowering this small step can be to slowing down that swishing mind. 

Resting the mind can also happen by practising mindfulness and meditation, again these are positive strategies with which you need to become consistent for maximum effect. 

Setting three to five realistic, achievable goals is a healthy and empowering tool to support your overall mental wellness. Having something positive to work towards keeps the mind focused and hopeful; not to mention the enormous feelings of self-pride once achieved. Goals can be as small or life-changing as you feel ready to apply yourself to, but remember that the key is just that: ensuring your goals are realistic ones. 

Managing a healthy, nutritious diet and regular exercise can be especially difficult if you are not usually a balanced eater or passionate sports or exercise person, however, if you can find that one thing that you do enjoy (mine is swimming), it can be your ‘go to’ method of clearing your mind in times of overwhelm and stress, and of course releasing those endorphins which are always great for the mind, body and soul. 

Valuing yourself! Sounds easy, right? Well, it is anything other than easy for many people whose self-worth, self-belief and overall confidence have been damaged. When other people or negative life experiences have played a detrimental role in our own lives, losing a rational view of our qualities, such as our strengths, creative flair, and even our sense of self is a normal cognitive reaction. It is commonplace that people look inside of themselves for the answers and in the process begin self-loathing or blaming themselves for others' wrongdoings. It is often hard for a person to value their own being when often a person closest to them does not, thus decreased self-worth is ignited.

So, how can we repair our damaged sense of self and rekindle with the old flame that is our lost confidence? There are more simplified practices of self-compassion, self-love and healing, such as educating ourselves on these life-enhancing topics by reading books, taking a leap forward by seeking therapy sessions and taking care of our minds and bodies.

Another proactive way of healing our own worth is by the choices we make. Be mindful of the way you feel when parting company with people. Identify who energises you, who is also making positive life choices and you feel inspired by. The people who also have your best interest at heart and show their love and care by actions - these people can play a huge role in helping you to learn how to love yourself. 

Love & strength 
LJ

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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