Having inner peace is the secret to happiness but most of us have more than one ongoing struggle. These can easily contribute to stress and anxiety, having a detrimental effect on overall mental wellbeing.
Understanding the challenges you’re facing and adopting the right strategies to prioritize your mental health are both essential on the journey towards happiness. If you’d like to make things better, here are some of the strategies that mental health professionals recommend.
Learn to Let Go of Stuff You Can’t Control
Do you sweat the small stuff, the things that are out of your control? Do these keep you anxious and dissatisfied?
It’s time to have a mental cleanse. Prioritize the things that you can change in your life. These are the ones that give you a sense of agency and control. Let go of the stuff that’s out of your reach, whether because of circumstances or the very nature of the problem.
Bad stuff will still happen to you, even if you try your hardest.
Instead of dwelling on the negatives and asking why a certain nasty thing has occurred in your life, strategize ways you can handle the situation in the most productive way. Dwelling on the negative and why it has impacted you will simply not lead to a resolution.
Happiness isn’t about being in control and making everything you want happen. Such goals are unrealistic and they’ll keep you dissatisfied. Rather, you should set manageable milestones that you can work towards, regardless of the circumstances.
Exercise isn’t needed just to transform your body. It can have much more profound effects when it comes to your physical wellbeing and your mental health.
Get in the habit of working out and enjoying physical activity. You don’t need to go to the gym if you don’t feel like it. There are so many other forms of moving your body that can be much more enjoyable – walking, running, hiking, swimming, biking, dancing, roller skating and so on.
When working out, your body produces serotonin – the so-called feel good hormone. It’s essential for overcoming stress and it gives you that positive mindset. In addition, exercise is a great form of stress relief in the end of a busy day.
If you feel that you simply don’t have enough willpower to change your routine and start working out, get an exercise buddy. If you’re too self-conscious to join a class, you can start with home exercise programs. In time, you’ll be confident enough to start taking on new challenges.
Cultivate a Loving, Fulfilling Relationship
Having a supportive, loving partner will make you feel like you can move mountains. In case you haven’t invested enough effort into getting love and stability in your life, the time is now to make a change.
As humans, we are social creatures. While some people enjoy solitude, most wouldn’t be happy living on their own.
According to research, strong connections (whether romantic or social) reduce the risk of anxiety and depression, increase self-esteem and build empathy.
Is there a special someone in your life? Take some time each day to show them how much they mean to you. Taking a partner for granted is one of the easiest ways to ruin a connection that started off great. Love has to build and nourished continuously, just like your mental health.
Learn to consciously enjoy every single thing that a relationship gives you. The long conversations with someone special, the intimate dinners, waking up next to each other. Explore opportunities to strengthen your bond. Make sex more passionate and exciting. You can get squirting sex toys from HotCherry to keep things interesting in and around the bedroom. And that’s just one simple step. Be open, be vulnerable and put yourself out there. The reward will come in the form of a genuine, meaningful and highly fulfilling connection.
Take Care of Negative Thoughts
The negative voice in your head has to die if you want to feel happiness.
Your inner critic can play an important role in making you better. At the same time, however, our inner critics tend to exaggerate situations and make us feel completely lacking in confidence.
If you’re facing a negative thought, try to dissect its origin. Does it stem from reality? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you ignore the negative voice? Facing the criticism with a rationalization is one of the best ways to get the critic to disappear.
Other negative thought patterns you should definitely handle as soon as possible include taking everything personally and catastrophizing.
Understand that most of the negative stuff that occurs in your life isn’t person. Most often than not, there isn’t someone out there ready to get you. Taking things personally will give them a lot more depth and significance, jeopardizing the mental health balance you’ve just achieved.
The same applies to catastrophizing. Most people are really good at coming up with a worst case scenario. In real life, however, such a scenario is highly unlikely to come true. Catastrophizing usually results from past experiences, trauma and the desire not to get hurt again (hence, getting prepared for the worst possible outcome).
Instead of catastrophizing and looking at negative scenarios in absolute terms, try to think of strategies to get out. Such an approach will give your mind something positive to focus on and a chance to turn harmful thoughts into something productive.
In many situations, mental health is in your own hands. Don’t let things get out of hand. Don’t be afraid of the negative thoughts and the self-destructive patterns. Rather, gather the courage to face them head on. If you do, you’ll find out that the reality is much better than what you envisioned and anticipated in your health.
Finally, if you find yourself incapable of handling a particular hurdle, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Sometimes, therapy is the best approach to restore your inner balance and discover piece. It will teach you valuable coping skills and give you the tools to turn a mentally challenging situation around.