Your way to mental fitness.
The world is increasingly demanding. Life becomes complicated than ever before. This is the key reason why depression rate is increasing for the past two decades or so.
Almost everyone is becoming depressed. Students and employees are often the most affected.
Given all life’s circumstances, does anyone still have the chance to remain psychologically and physically healthy?
Psychologist Dr. Deborah Serani says yes. Dr. Deb outlined fifteen actionable tips to achieve mental fitness. So let’s take a look.
1. “Learn To Relax”
The simplest way to escape from stress is relaxation. It may involve small steps such as visiting a park, watching your favorite TV shows, reading books, doing your hobby, meditating, taking a vacation, etc. Detaching from your current world (either a stressful job or relationship) can make a huge positive impact on your mental health.
2. “Be Kind To Yourself”
Of course, frustrations can be devastating to your self-esteem and confidence. But no matter how bad your failure may be, do not hurt yourself. Instead, maintain your composure and counteract negative thoughts with positive self-talk.
3. “Eat Properly”
Your mental fitness does not solely rely on your experience and cognitive process (the way you perceive things) but also on your food intake. So include healthy foods in your eating habit. Avoid instant or fast foods.
4. “Find A Friend”
One of the simplest ways to escape stress is through social interactions. Widen your world by making more friends and acquaintances. The wider your circle of friends the better your chances of having people to listen to your personal stories. Bear in mind that storytelling is an effective way to alleviate stress.
5. “Learn To Say ‘No’”
It is normal and sometimes necessary to respond to your friends or family members’ request. But it does not mean that you always devote your time to others’ necessities. Know your own schedule. If the request compromises your schedule, just say “No”. It’s not bad. People will understand your own priorities. Avoid becoming stressed by trying to attend others’ needs.
A regular exercise has a huge positive impact not only on your physical but also on your mental fitness. Exercise does not always mean weightlifting. A short 15-minute walk will do.
7. “Do It Now”
Try to accomplish your projects accordingly. Plan everything and follow your schedule. Avoid cramming. The reason why most students become so stressed in their academic load is that they let things fall uncontrolled. Of course, procrastination paralyzes projects. So don’t wait the perfect time because there’s no perfect time. Start right away.
8. “Adapt To Rather Than Resist Change”
Life is always changing. What is new today might be obsolete tomorrow. Those who can quickly adapt to change live happily. And those who don’t may find life on a difficult journey. Stress starts when you are stunned by the massive changes that happen in your life. Learn to be flexible.
9. “Test Your Assumptions”
Sometimes what makes us depressed is not about what happens but how we interpret events. Sometimes our mind runs on autopilot. Our behavior becomes automatic. As a result, the assumptions become seemingly real. To avoid this, you need to test whether or not your assumptions are correct.
10. “Express Your Feelings”
Do not keep your negative emotions, talk about them. Talking is very helpful in lessening the inner burden. This is the reason why having more friends is helpful. If you can’t talk to others, make a journal. Studies found that daily journaling can be a huge help to attain mental fitness.
11. “Grieve Losses”
Grief is a normal emotional response to a loss of a loved one or to any painful experience. But you should not confine yourself to it. Move on. The only way to do it is by allowing yourself to feel the pain. Later on, you’ll realize that the same pain makes you even stronger.
No matter how busy your schedule might be, do not forget to rest. Remember that you are not a working machine. Your body needs rest. So have enough sleep.
13. “Review Your ‘Shoulds’”
We all have priorities. But sometimes the same priorities make us stressful. Sometimes we feel like everything does not make any sense at all. If this happens, the best thing to do is revisit your priorities. Then ask yourself whether or not pursuing such endeavor is necessary. If not, do not afraid to eliminate the unnecessary.
14. “Have A Laugh”
Laughter is a good medicine. Recently, scientific studies found that laughing has significant positive effects on the body. If you are in a difficult situation, try to smile or laugh. You’ll notice that everything becomes lighter and bearable.
15. “Ask For Help”
Do not put the world on your shoulder. If life is a journey, you have company. There are people who experience the same experience that you might have. Don’t afraid to share your burden with others. Ask for a help if necessary.
These mental fitness tips are only a few of available remedies. Although limited, I hope that you find this helpful. If you want to add something, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Special thanks to Dr. Deborah Serani
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.