Our mental health is a lot more difficult to track than our physical health, mainly because we can’t see it, and it varies greatly from person to person. In the 21st century, however, mental health has been getting a lot more attention, and health care professionals have been heavily focused on readdressing the skewed balance between mental and physical wellbeing. Physical ailments have obvious causes and specific treatments. For example, if you suffer from reduced mobility, but still need to drive, you can avail of a handicap parking permit; everyone around you knows that you require special provisions for a disability. However, if you suffer from a mental health problem, it’s impossible for people to actually tell just how much you’re suffering, as it’s invisible from the outside.
Focusing on improving your mental health can have a remarkable effect in all corners of your life; it can improve your interpersonal relationships, improve your quality of sleep, provide you with a better sense of self-worth, and help you deal with the pressures of your hectic day-to-day life. And the good news is, it’s easy to do! Even if you don’t suffer from an afflicting mental disorder like depression or anxiety, chances are that you can take steps to improve your mental outlook, even if you don’t think it’s particularly in need of fixing. So here are four great methods for achieving a positive mental state!
1. Mingle with Positive People
Some people are just inherently negative – about life, about themselves, about everything in general. This negativity can take the form of cynicism, nihilism, or just plain belittlement of others and their efforts. Other people are just inherently unlucky, or have gotten so trapped in a pessimistic mindset that they can’t see the woods for the trees. If you’re set on achieving a positive mental state, then ideally, you want to have as little to do with these people as possible. Keep away from them and don’t succumb to their thought patterns. Instead, surround yourself with upbeat, positive people who have an awesome outlook and are generally grateful to be in the world. Luckily, these are exactly the type of people you’ll want to be around anyway!
2. Take Up Meditation
Meditation doesn’t have to be a huge lifestyle change. Some people think it involves a complete overhaul of their current way of being, but it’s much simpler than all that. You don’t have to learn any chants or burn any incense. Simply take ten or fifteen minutes out of your day to sit by yourself and focus on your breathing; the aim is to clear your mind of all extraneous thought. If you have enough time to spare, you can practice meditating in the morning and evening, but don’t let the stress of having to fit it in undo all the good work it’s doing you. Among many other benefits, meditation has been proven to lower stress levels, provide clarity, and remove anxiety, so it’s one of the best methods of achieving a positive mental state.
3. Prioritize Some Leisure Time
It can be all too easy to get caught up in the back-and-forth hectic pace of life; work demands are constant mounting, there are deadlines everywhere, and for all but a fortunate few of us, money all seems to be hemorrhaging from our accounts. In the midst of this cacophony, it can be critical to find some time to do the things you truly enjoy; and no, this doesn’t mean coasting the tides of Facebook and Twitter. As opposed to a virtual book, why not relax with a real one? Switch off for an hour and listen to a podcast or audiobook. Listen to your favorite record. Play video games if that’s your thing. Whatever it is, make time in your schedule to do it; these snatches of leisure time can pay back dividends when it comes to maintaining your mental health.
4. Take the Good with the Bad
Life comes at us in all sorts of unexpected ways, and can turn around in the blink of an eye. In the midst of this unpredictability, keeping an even head can be tough, but if you can manage it, your mental health will be robust, and your outlook will remain largely positive. Bad things are sure to happen in life; that’s an unfortunate fact of living. But on the flip side of that, good things are sure to take you by surprise too. It’s all part of the ride of being alive. You should always prepare yourself for the worst, but at the same time, don’t forget to prepare yourself for the best, too. Life is a long time, the longest thing you’ll ever do, and you’re bound to meet with glorious ups and devastating downs. If you can treat both of these outcomes the same, you’ll be well on your way to living a full, happy life – and achieving a positive mental state along the way.