If we ask you what is even more important than physical health, most people will be quick to answer, mental health. That’s because after nineteen months into the pandemic we have rightly realised that it’s not only the physical health that will take us a long way but the mental wellbeing, too.
No matter how physically fit you must be feeling, a slight tension can make you put aside all the work, and take a short break, or maybe a long one, if the condition gets escalated. At a time when work is nothing less than a religion for many, it is imperative that one must take proper care of their mental health. Because positive mental health helps people understand their potential, cope with stressful situations, and find solutions to problems, and not succumb to them.
“Our bodies, emotions, thoughts, relationships, social systems, environment, past experiences, and sense of meaning all come together when we have to achieve our optimum mental health. The dimension of mental health is beyond our brain chemicals,” says Japneet Anand, Emotional wellness Coach, GOQii.
So, here is an amalgamation of what one needs to do to achieve optimum mental health.
Take care of your physical health
The first & foremost way to optimise mental health is by taking care of the foundations of your physical health. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Any form of exercise physically, naturally releases endorphins (happy hormones) for an individual. Also, there is a relationship between the food that you eat as that impacts how you feel overall. The integration of mind and body also helps take care of somatic conditions.
Cultivate emotional intelligence
The way we deal with our emotions in life defines the quality of our lives. Our emotions impact us at various levels. Emotional intelligence includes emotional awareness, emotional regulation & emotional understanding. Emotional awareness is about being aware of one’s & others’ emotions around us. Emotional regulation is about neutralising any triggers and emotional understanding is to understand various emotions and their fluctuations in us, and others around us.
Observe and question thought patterns
Since thoughts are an automatic part of our cognitive functioning, hence it’s easier to get stuck into negative thought patterns. But while we consider them to be automatic, they can also be directed with the help of constructive thinking. It’s not only about awareness of unhelpful thought patterns, it also includes observation of its impact on thoughts and emotions, and eventually analysing it. Also practising flexible thinking can help one to eventually work on replacing unhelpful thought patterns.
Develop a healthy sense of self
It is all about who we are at our core. Our core values, beliefs impact our feelings, thoughts, and behaviour. Hence self-awareness is of utmost importance when it comes to a healthy mind as understanding our core results in living in balance.
Process unresolved past experiences
At some point in our lives, most of us will face times that are extra stressful or that even shake us to our core. At such a time, having strong coping strategies can make a huge difference. Experiences that have been suppressed or repressed eventually start to play with our mind as our mind hasn’t processed those experiences well and coping mechanisms are used to protect ourselves from feeling them. Those same coping mechanisms that were once useful might now be inhibiting our growth and impacting our mental health due to the pressure of unresolved past experiences and traumas.
Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: World Mental Health Day 2021: What goes in the mind of a depressed person? Know from the experts