Good mental health must be cultivated. There is a direct correlation between the time, effort and discipline one uses to cultivate good mental health and one's actual mental health.
My top 10 list for cultivating good mental health falls into three basic categories : Behavior Modification, Skills Mastery, Self Mastery.
Behavior Modification - Positive changes in the realm of physical health can improve mental health.
10. Exercise - Releases hormones and neurotransmitters associated with positive emotions.
9. Healthy Diet - Not only does a healthy body need good nutrition, so does a healthy mind. Our relationship with food is also significant and includes body-image, issues of control and emotional eating.
8. Hobby - Spending time engaged in activities which bring us joy fosters well-being.
Skills Mastery - A few basic skills can be of a tremendous help in relationships and self growth
7. Relationships Skills - Many skills such as assertive communication, active listening and attending to relationships cultivate the loving relationships where we find support, validation and a sense of belonging
6. Take in the Good - According to neuropsychologist Rick Hanson we have a biological and evolutionary propensity to be negative. Our ancestors had to remember the location of the hostile tribes, not necessarily the location of the gorgeous waterfalls in order to stay alive. To stay positive, notice the positive. Stay with them and try to enhance the experience.
5. Learn to Set Boundaries- Most of us have a tendency of either passive or negative energy when we set boundaries. Learning assertive behaviors and communication is empowering and fosters confidence and a sense of control.
Self Mastery - These skills allow us to master our thoughts, emotions and responses to our environment
4. Energy Hygiene - We are energetic beings. The intensity of negative emotions can be diminished, and positive emotions can be easily instilled by learning and using simple energy hygiene exercises such as Emotional Freedom Tapping.
3. Know thyself - What have you packed away in your ego? We all have something. Is it an inflated (egotistical) or deflated (low self esteem) sense of self ? Discovering how you define self is a fascinating journey. Yet, the ego remains unconscious to many of us, even though it defines how we see and respond to the world.
2. Mindfulness - When we stay in the present moment, we touch life. We become aware of the miracles around us. We begin to think more clearly and can subsequently respond to our environment in a more adaptive manner.
1. Meditation - Is the deepest of mindfulness practices. As we focus on the breathe we observe our thoughts as they arise. This is different from attaching to our thoughts. Meditation also generates a sense of peace, improves concentration, and slows down racing thought patterns.
Be in peace - diane