10 top tips for good mental health
Look after your physical health
Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is really important for our physical and mental health. …
Eat well. …
Avoid alcohol, smoking and drugs. …
Get plenty of sunlight. …
Manage stress. …
Spot your early warning signs, keep a list
Activity and exercise. …
Do something you enjoy. …
Connect with others and be sociable.
Do things for others
Ask for help
Using Present Moment Awareness to Stop Worrying
Speaking of worry, present moment awareness is a great way to cut down on how much you worry.
Follow these six steps to become more attuned to the present and rid yourself of excess anxiety:
Cultivate unselfconsciousness: let go and stop thinking about your performance.
Practice savouring: avoid worrying about the future by fully experiencing the present.
Focus on your breath: allow mindfulness to make you more peaceful and smooth your interactions with others.
Find your flow: make the most of your time by losing track of it.
Improve your ability to accept: move toward what is bothering you rather than denying or running away from it.
Enhance your engagement: work on reducing moments of mindlessness and noticing new things to improve your mindfulness
RAIN is a technique you can use to steady your thoughts as you practice mindfulness. The steps are easy to remember, but you may find it difficult to apply at first.
However, this is a tried and tested technique and if used regularly will become exceptionally beneficial to the user on a daily basis.
What the steps mean
The first task is to recognise the emotion itself. Part of the coping mechanism we regularly use is to try and push away negative emotions because they make us feel bad. When we push the emotion away we do not deal with it, so we only feel worse.
Recognition means that we allow the emotion to BE, then we recognise it for exactly what it is. The art is trying to observe the emotion from outside it. Observe and quietly listen until you recognise what the emotion is without drowning in it.
The next part of the process is to simply allow the emotion to be present. This is one of the scary areas because we do not want to live in negative emotions and we certainly do not want to encourage them. So, we bottle them up and put the lid on. (this is exactly what most people do all of their lives and it leads to physical and mental ailments).
Allowing the emotion to be present is an important part of dealing with it.
This can also be described as giving the emotion consent to be within your body. Consent is vital because as soon as you consent to a present emotion it begins to lose its grip on you. It is at the stage of allowing a negative emotion that you may begin to recognise the underlying reason for the feeling, then when you allow the underlying reason for the feeling to be present, that will also lose its power over you.
At times you may not need to investigate your emotions. Recognising and letting go may be enough to bring you back into a mindful state of awareness.
As you grow in awareness, you may want to investigate your emotions. Recognising and letting go may be enough to bring you back into a mindful state of awareness.
As you grow in awareness, you may want to investigate your feelings in a deeper way in order to develop your ability to practice mindfulness.
When you investigate an emotion, you may be able to trace it back to a learning process that created a worry within you that you carry around in your mind, you may have been carrying it around for many years. Investigation does not mean unpacking your emotional baggage (unless you want it to) but it means finding the deepest, underlying emotion that triggers negative thoughts and emotions on a more regular basis.
Natural awareness (or non-identification) is the final aim for this practice. It is the eventual realisation that you can feel, experience and observe your own emotional state in an objective way, without becoming ruled by the emotions themselves. That is mindfulness in action.