7 Mental Health Tips From Therapists That Actually Work

There’s so much competing thoughts as to what works in the world of therapy, it can be hard to discern the right course of treatment for every individual situation. Certainly, there’s no rule of thumb, and therapy ought to be personally tailored as much as possible. That said, there are some good principles that most people could benefit from with regard to coping mechanisms and ways to live more positively and constructively. Here are seven tips that are guaranteed to do no harm:

1. Write Down Your Thoughts

This can be a great way to let off some pressure and organise your mind. It might even be beneficial to regularly maintain a mental health journal. As well as helping structure the way you understand thoughts and feelings, it can also help externalise these emotions and frame them as things outside of yourself and not intrinsic to your personality.

2. Exercise

This is a bit of a no-brainer and a fairly well-worn advice, but it deserves reiterating. Any level of exercise provides nothing but benefit, even if it’s something as low-key as going for a walk every day. Exercise is good for mental as well as physical health, and, done on a regular basis, has been shown to be effective at alleviating depression and anxiety. While it’s certainly not a cure-all, there are nothing but positives to integrating it into a daily routine. As much as anything else, getting out of the house can help you get out of your head psychologically, provide you with some peaceful downtime, and make you feel more in step with the world.

3. Watch the Alcohol

Drinking can be damaging mentally as well as physically. Whilst it’s possible to drink in moderation, if it starts to function as a coping mechanism, it will only prove problematic in the long term. Consider how much alcohol you consume and try to establish if it’s too much and whether you have a pathology developing around your drinking habits. If so, seriously consider cutting down your alcohol intake. It can even be helpful to record when and how you drink and how you find it impacts your emotions and behaviour.

4. Compile a List of “Your People”

One of the overwhelmingly common aspects of mental health difficulties can be the feeling of alienation and loneliness that makes a person feel helpless in the face of problems. The reality, however, is usually that there are plenty of friends, family, and loved ones in our lives who care for us and would happily drop everything if they thought they could help us with our problems. By creating a list of people you trust who you can reach by phone, text or email, you’ll feel less trapped by your problems. Even if you don’t necessarily intend to discuss the problem at hand, socialising with others can help relieve stress and make us feel part of a greater whole.

5. Meet Negative Thoughts with Positive Ones

Negative thoughts are natural and by no means necessarily a fait accompli when encountered. It’s also essential to remember that, like any thought, they are not some intrinsic part of the owner that you have to embrace. Take a step back from yourself and consider whether you want to continue paying the idea attention. By practicing mindful thinking, you can help externalise negative thoughts making them easier to negate. Try looking on the bright side of situations and affirming the positive perspectives available to you.

6. Have a Self-Care Inventory

This can be as easy as having a favourite jumper to wear, keeping a playlist of songs at hand that bring you joy or are associated with happy memories, keeping a childhood teddy bear or running a long bath. Surround yourself with things that make you happy and don’t forget that you deserve to enjoy good things.

7. Have a Bedtime Ritual

Going to bed can, unfortunately, be one of the times when anxiety or stress is likely to linger in the silence of our thoughts, that can be compounded by worries over getting quality sleep that’s important to health in the daytime. If this is a problem, try to draw a line under your thoughts and realise there’s nothing you can do about them for now. Try writing them down on a pad next to the bed so you can reassure yourself that you can attack them actively the next day. Consider putting some of your favourite essential oils on your pillow, and reading a good book to wind your mind down.

By following these simple tips, you can improve your mental health and maintain a peace of mind which is so important in the modern world.

by Thomas Nemel

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 at 15:38
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