In This Article:
As of writing this it is #BellLetsTalk Day 2024, and I wanted to take a moment to share some strategies that have significantly helped improve my mental health over the last few years. While these are personal points I’ve struggled with, I hope they can help you as well.
1. Curate Your Online Space
Mute or Unfriend people on social media whose posts conflict with your values or trigger negative emotions. Remember, free speech is for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you have to be exposed to it.
Avoid getting caught up in arguments in comment sections. It’s a time-consuming activity, and engaging with internet trolls rarely leads to meaningful discussions. Most of these accounts are just trying to get a response out of you.
2. Connect with Nature
Take a break from screens and turn off notifications by going for a walk outdoors. Listen to music you enjoy and let nature have a positive impact on your mental health. Let yourself think in peace, you’d be surprised by how creative you can be or what problems you can solve along the way.
3. Follow Your Passion
Too often we get caught up in the grind of chasing money/status, but not enough time doing things we love or dreamed of doing. Spend more time doing things you actually enjoy, create music or art, play sports or do activities you love, create short films as a hobby, or educate yourself in the field you’re dream job is in. Use your free time to create a life you can enjoy today, instead of waiting to retire to try to chase your passion.
4. Address Your Feelings
Therapy can help immensely with this but use self-reflection to understand and address your emotions. Acknowledging and managing your feelings in a constructive way can have a massive impact on your mental health.
Start a journal and ask yourself why you feel a certain way, and keep asking why to get deeper. Track your feelings and see what triggers them. Assess these patterns and see where you can make changes in your life.
5. Practice Forgiveness:
Forgive others for your own peace of mind. I found for long periods of my life I would hold on to resentment and bitterness towards past employers, friends, or girlfriends. That is until I found this exercise in Jay Shetty’s book “Think Like A Monk”
Make two notes:
1) saying “I forgive you for …”
2) saying “Forgive me for”
Fill these out with what you feel they’ve done to you, but what you could perceive may have caused those actions. This exercise is not only great for letting go of those resentments, but it’s a good way to take personal accountability as well.
Similarly, forgive yourself for imperfections, missed opportunities, or past mistakes.
6. Self-Care Matters
Prioritize your own health by getting adequate sleep, staying hydrated, moderating alcohol intake, consuming whole foods, taking breaks/vacations, and engaging in regular physical activity.
If you find yourself struggling with alcohol consumption – check out this previous article my friend Matt Gardiner did on How To Be Alcohol Free. While this is focused on the holiday season, this can be used year round.
7. Take Accountability
Instead of blaming others, take ownership of your decisions and actions. Recognize that your choices shape your present and future. Passing the blame off, and feeling like a victim is a defeating feeling. When you take accountability of the past, it allows us to take accountability for our future.
There are many situations where we have unfortunate circumstances happen to us that are truly outside of our control. This is where seeing a therapist can be extremely useful to get through those traumas.
Try to respond in a way that helps rather than hinders you.
8. Financial Health is Mental Health
Finances are a huge cause of stress both personally and on a relationship. Learning to control your financial situation, and staying within your means is a great way to avoid mental stress. Learn how to delay gratification, and don’t get caught up in the status seeking you see on social media.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a hole we simply can’t dig ourselves out of. Seeking guidance from a financial planner to create a healthy financial foundation is a great way to go. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Remember, these are all things I’ve struggled with in the past, and if any of these resonate with you, know that you’re not alone. I’m far from perfect and still navigate mental battles, but these steps have helped me move forward. I hope they prove valuable to you as well.
I wanted to include this video from Leon Taylor during his TED Talk discussing how to manage your mental health, fo a different perspective to this as well.
If you have any you’d like to share drop them in the comments!
I hope you choose to Live Life To The Fullest with RK Athletics,