It’s Mental Health Awareness week in the UK and the campaign has been helping people to recognise mental health as an important part of gaining and maintaining our well-being as a whole.
Staying emotionally healthy is not only through understanding how our mind works. It is recognizing the symptoms of depression, but also by conducting a regular maintenance of our body and mind.
Most of us suffer from depression at one time or another in our lives. But we can help deal with our low-time better when we regularly do some essential maintenance of your body, mind and soul.
How much of your time and energy are you currently spending on trying to change people’s behaviour, thoughts and opinions? Are you stressing over your spouse disagree on how to parent the children? Or are you wishing your boss would miraculously change his character and be nice to you from tomorrow? Or anything else that involves altering someone’s behaviour, opinion or thoughts? Stop. That is a complete waste of time. Likewise, trying to make someone love you is a waste of time and it can only happen in a movie.
One of the most important life skills to learn is to distinguish what you can control and what you can’t.
That has just reminded me…
I was sitting on a plane to Munich the other day and the plane was standing by for taking off.
I am looking out from the window and seeing the sunny runway at Heathrow airport. Suddenly I felt a commotion next to me. A woman, I think in her 40s with black curly hair with casual clothes who was moments earlier sitting on the other side of the aisle is now sitting next to me.
She says, ‘do you mind me sitting next to you because I am scared of flying. I have been since I was a teenager. I don’t fly very often’. She is looking scared and asks if she could hold on to me.
‘Sure, no problem’, I say.
I suppose this is the first time I have come across someone who is that nervous on the plane sitting next to me. I am sure the fear she is feeling is real and I am no way finding this a tiny thing to brush off. I am not saying this is someone who is not emotionally healthy. She seems otherwise a confident woman who is doing well in her career as a technical translator.
But I am curious.
As I started talking to her, I began thinking that much of our fear, in this case, death or serious injury, comes from wanting or believing we should be in control. The moment you start realising that you are not in control of this plane or situations, you might feel seriously scared. But, is that because you believe you should be in control of when you are going to die? Or it is the pain you might feel that is scary?
It is true that I am not absolutely fearless whenever I travel. There is something about air travel that makes me think that something can happen and it is possible I will never come back. I usually let my children know of my travel arrangement and remind them of the password to my bank accounts, should anything happen to me.
But I equally know that I have no control over what happens in the air, so it is a waste of time worrying.
To live a fearless life, you have to let go of such control and surrender to the universal force. Trust your life’s journey and focus on only what you can control which is usually your own thoughts and behaviours.
Here is a reminder of the serenity prayer.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
#2 Get More Than 7-hour Sleep
Have you been thinking that it is a sign of toughness or being fashionable to be able to sustain the lack of decent night sleep?
Mrs Margaret Thatcher, was known to only have 4 hours sleep each night while she was running the county as Prime Minister in the 1980s. Some of us believe that is a sign of hard work, dedication and commitment to work. But you really need to understand the importance of sleep for your physical and mental well-being.
#2 LOL or LMAO Big Time
Regular laughter and being able to laugh at oneself is a huge benefit when it comes to maintaining the health of your mental state. Rather than relying on medications of any kind, having a genuine laugh gives you natural pain relief. This is because your brain releases endorphins which are linked to the feeling of happiness. If you can laugh at yourself also, you are deemed to be emotionally healthy.
Your ‘laugh’ could be triggered by enjoying a comedy or hanging out with friends who make you laugh. Playing with children like children is also a method used by some to trigger the happy hormone. Something simple can be a lot of fun and you need to make time to laugh on a regular basis.
#3 Talk With Your ‘Real’ Friends
No matter how many followers you have on social media, most of us have just a handful of people we can call as ‘real’ friends. Make sure you know who these people are.
They are the ones who believe in your own authenticity, have high respect for you and know you very well. They encourage you relentlessly when you are feeling low, make time to listen to you no matter how busy they are. They are open and honest with you and gives you occasional ass kicking when you need it. Only because, they want you to succeed. All this is because they love you the way you are.
If you have identified them, make sure you nurture the relationship with them by being the same ‘real’ friend to them as well.
In a busy society we live in, sometimes it is easy to lose sight of what is real and what is not. There are many levels of relationships you hold in society, most of them are on the surface. Perhaps you have those superficial friends in the workplace, in the community and even within the family network.
But seek out the buddy who will always be on your side no matter how vulnerable you feel. Cultivate that relationship so that it continues to grow. People who are emotionally healthy nurture this sense of belonging, love and venerability.
#4 Stop Living to Please Others.
Most of us have got used to living our lives that also suit other’s needs. This is the price you have to pay for when you enter into a long term relationship or have children.
While we may have no regrets about getting married or putting children first, we need to recognise what changes we made in the past to our passion and purpose in order to accommodate the union of other people’s desires and wishes.
How much of your needs and wants have you put aside in order to keep other people in your lives happy?
It is possible you feel no resentment about this but there comes a time you can revisit what you have missed out on your journey and see whether you can reignite what you have left behind.
It is not too late to get back to the mind frame of being free.
In a recent business seminar, one of the mentors said, ‘depressed is the opposite of expressed’.
If your ‘self’ is restrained or not being expressed, your mental well-being suffers.
Go and die your hair in exactly the way you want. In orange or something.
Develop the courage to be yourself. Accept that it is impossible to please everyone.
#5 Recover From Stress Each Day
Stress seems to be the disease of the 21st Century. Suffering from chronic stress means that your mind is on constant ‘fight or flight’ mode. No wonder so many of us seek help when it gets too much to cope.
While we all wish for our life with less stress, it is not easy to attain it without careful planning. Even with a good lif plan, there is always going to be some unexpected events that can trigger stress.
Medical research shows that rather than being able to deal with each stress effectively through time management and productivity shift, success in life and work is actually dependent on the speed of your recovery from stress.
So rather than focusing on reducing stress, what you want to do is to learn to recover from it as quickly as possible. In fact daily.
If you are unable to switch off from work at the end of the day or have constant worries about something, whatever the size of stress itself, your body is under an attack and having to rebalance it. Your brain releases the stress hormone called, cortisol in order to cope with this.
This usually ends up with you eating unhealthily and or drinking too much alcohol. Because your body is trying to raise the energy in your body to cope with it.
Instead of stressing your mind and body like this, help yourself to recover from it by taking time to refocus on your energy frequency. Retune your frequency to the universal energy so that you will be in touch with your higher self. This is the basis of emotionally healthy being.
Meditation is one such method but it does not have to be. Playing a musical instrument, dancing, walking or simply taking a relaxing bath are some of the examples of restoring your mental balance on a daily basis.
By raising your vibration and re-tuning your energy frequency to that of the universe, you will gain inner peace that comes with it. You know that you need to get back to this state on a daily basis for your mind to regain the balance it needs.
If you have enjoyed the article, please comment below or send me a question.
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