I sometimes posts links I find on physical health, which is all well and good. Here’s some pieces on mental health care and the the mind that I found worthwhile.
When I would run I was always struck by how I felt physically would literally changed my mind. If I was having a good run, positive thoughts would spring up. If I was struggling, plenty of negative thoughts arose. So I thought this was a good reminder of how our body — in this case, our physical heart — influences what we perceive and fear. Relatedly, when you feel sick, you can thank your brain. It’s a good reminder to me of the tight interconnection between our physical and mental health.
An important way to take care of your mental health is therapy. Here are a few pieces on the topic. Therapy is important and useful, but it has its limits. For example, this is a sad reminder of the limits of mental health therapy. More on the topic of the limits of therapy, here: The philosophical roots of CBT help explain its limitations.
Moving on to a practical note, here’s a good piece on the importance of rituals. And this piece on training your brain for hard things is good. As is this one on how habit stacking will trick your mind into adopting a new habit.
Let’s not forget exercise. A reminder that even a single exercise session can help shift depression. That’s especially important in the winter time if you suffer from something like SAD. Besides exercise, there are other things you can do for it. See this and feel better.
Finally, if Jonah Hill can take mental health breaks from his work, we all should.
Mental health is a serious matter, as is physical health. That’s why I think this made me sad: advice columnist does not take the mental health of someone’s dad too seriously.
Take care of yourself, mentally.
If you have done any work on dealing with difficult feelings, you may have come across The Feelings Wheel. You can see a typical one here at the Calm Blog. It can be a useful tool in helping you precisely describe what you are feeling. For example, you might think you are often fearful, but if you think about it more, it could be a range of feelings you are experiencing, from insecure to nervous to scared (all similar but different in degree). Being able to be precise about your feelings, especially your negative feelings, can help you deal with them.
The problem I have with some versions of the Feelings Wheel is that the feelings listed are predominantly negative. That’s ok for self help or therapy: you are trying to deal with negative feelings and having more ways to describe them is helpful.
I think it is good to have a range of ways to describe positive feelings, too. Even if you aren’t feeling them, it’s good to have a way to determine feelings that you would like to have. That’s why I was happy to find the Wheel below at the site YouthSMART, because it portrays more positive feelings. If you said you wanted to be more loving or joyful, it may mean feeling more Passionate or it may mean feeling more Excited. Having that vocabulary of feelings can help you move in a better direction, I believe.
You can argue that there is only so much room on such a Wheel and I agree. What’s important is having a tool to help you understand what you are feeling and how you would like to feel. I find the wheel above is good for that.
(Image: link to image at YouthSMART.)
Wait a second, you say. I am not a teen with anxiety, and I don’t know any. Fine, read this anyway: How to cope with teen anxiety | Psyche Guides
We all have a mix of bad feelings at all stages of our lives. You are likely reading this on a Monday: don’t tell me you don’t have some bad feelings right now. 🙂 The good news is that techniques used in CBT can help you deal with those feelings, whether you are somewhat anxious or depressed.
Not only that, but I think CBT can help people with feelings like being bored, disappointed or frustrated. Feelings you may feel weighing on you that don’t make you feel good. You can use it to shake yourself our of your current mindset which may not be helpful to you and move you into a better mindset.
Take those emotions that don’t make you feel your good self and move towards some better ones. Hey, it’s Monday: a good day to take a crack at it.
All the best.
(Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash)
It’s easy to let care for yourself slide in a pandemic. But even in normal times it can be a problem. If you find this to be the case, then I recommend this piece. It can help you understand why you aren’t taking better care of yourself. It then helps you understand what good selfcare looks like.
I’d add a base reason for self care is you can only take care of others if you take care of yourself as well. The airplane mask rule is always in effect.
(Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash)
And what is it: Say nice things – to yourself
It sounds ridiculous, and you may feel ridiculous if you try it. If so, consider this:
- you likely say terrible things to yourself all the time. “I can’t believe I did that…that was stupid…I am an idiot…etc”. You get the picture. If saying nice things about yourself is dumb, that is dumber. So get over yourself.
- athletes, from amateurs to the elite, talk positively to themselves ALL THE TIME. Indeed, when I played sports in school, we were admonished to “Talk it up!” all of the time. It made the team better: it made us better. Great athletes are great partially because they are always talking positively to themselves
- I mean, you are already standing there in the mirror brushing your teeth. Put that big brain of yours to work. Do better with it. Talk it up! 🙂