Tips on how to protect your mental health and avoid emotional collapse.
If you physically over-stretch yourself, say, work too hard or party non-stop you should not be surprised if your body suddenly goes into a melt-down and ‘breaks’. Being aware of the risks to our body and not being able to ‘afford’ a systems’ failure we normally take care of ourselves by ensuring that we are drinking enough, resting and sleeping to recharge and eating healthy (at least some of the time).
Our mind operates by similar rules, which means that it can only take so much stress before going into a total melt-down. Still the majority of us neglect to do an occasional little ‘check-up from the neck up’, in the same manner we look after our physical well-being.
This is a huge mistake, which I’m sure you’re at least intuitively aware of, but still a mistake that can be easily remedied if you follow the following suggestions to achieve emotional resilience.
We’re talking here about seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Noticing little milestones which come about by achieving small accomplishments. These little ‘wins’ help increase our levels of hope because when we’re able to reach some of our goals it gives us a sense of support and validation which makes the future seem more hopeful.
Come to terms with who you are
Self-acceptance or the attitude we hold about ourselves is a major source of well-being and happy
life. This boils down to being content with who you are now, avoiding measuring your own worth by comparison to others and coming to terms with what you can’t change or control and making peace with your past. It’s about living in the ‘now’ and about recognising the futility in holding onto negativity regarding people, places and situations we have no control over and are major contributors to our stress.
Develop a mastery mind-set
You should have mastery over your environment and learn how to adapt and modify your own circumstances to have emotional resilience. Mastery comes from having the skills and competence required to progress and achieve what we need, as well as having the confidence and belief in our personal abilities. It can entail using skills such as prioritising and time management which when accomplished can provide a sense of pride and success, and is a catalyst for additional motivation to handle life’s challenges.
Being optimistic means having a positive attitude about the future and believing that things will turn out well and that any difficulty is merely transitory and shouldn’t be allowed to affect other areas of your life. Seeing the “full half of the glass” increases your ability to experience happiness regularly and at the same time help you cope with stress more effectively. So next time you encounter a stressful challenge, take care not to blow things out of proportion.
People who regularly feel gratitude for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions and are better equipped to reach the objectives they set up for themselves. Gratitude also fills us up with greater compassion which has been linked to reduced stress, happier moods, increased optimism and enhanced physical wellbeing. To feel gratitude you need to focus on the areas of your life that you regard as positive. It’s ok to make an effort to have more, but be aware that it might decrease your satisfaction with life.
Discover a purpose and meaning for your life
Once you find it, your life will take on a new meaning that supports your mental well-being. Having a direction wills us up with a sense of purpose and ‘aliveness’. You can find your true direction in your natural strengths and talents, from developing personal relationships or increasing spiritual growth. It is most satisfactory if your objectives and intentions offer a sense of something that is greater than yourself. It is very reassuring and offers greater meaning and purpose.
Embrace being connected
Having intimate relationships feeds our emotional needs and has been shown to relate to a more positive mind-set through feeling connected, accepted and loved by others. It is essential to have a caring, trusting and loving relationship in your life as the foundation of emotional stability. You can achieve this by becoming more assertive, reaching out to others, and becoming more open to sharing our positive emotions.
Exercising boosts levels of health-promoting neurochemicals such as serotonin,
dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help reduce some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although many of the benefits of regular exercise will be reaped in the future (weight loss, disease prevention and longevity) you will get immediate benefits regarding your frame of mind, reduction of stress and happier feeling. It doesn’t have to be intensive or strenuous exercise such as high intensity interval training. More information about physical exercise for improved cognitive health and secrets to losing mid-riff fat can help you make more informed decisions on how to make exercise a daily tool to instantly enhance your frame of mind, reduce stress and feel happier.
Meditation (to stop the mental noise in your mind)
Mental noise and obsessive processing of negative thoughts is a vicious circle that you need to get out of. There are many methods for meditation but I urge you to try one that is science based and very suitable for our modern way of living. It is called HeartMath and it offers several practical and efficient ‘tools’ for reducing stress and increasing emotional resilience. It’s ok to worry for about 10 minutes but after this point it becomes counter-productive and debilitating and therefore it’s important to find ways to interrupt the obsessive processing of negative thoughts. Practicing HeartMath will help you regain control of your wondering thoughts and negative feelings and break the pattern of negative thinking. This will reduce your stress, ‘recharge’ your ‘batteries’ and promote wellbeing as well as achieve better focus on what really important.
Get a hobby
What's the worth of a life with no fun, joy or sense of fulfillment? Sometimes the daily routine can start to drag, leading to feelings of boredom and unhappiness. When we get lost in work, money, family and relationship issues, we can very easily forget about the other things in life that make us happy. We need those for our mental survival.
A 'hobby' is any activity a person chooses to do for fun in their spare time, away from their usual commitments. Unlike pastimes like watching TV or browsing the Internet, a hobby usually involves learning new skills and working towards a goal.
Hobbies can add excitement, diversity and enjoyment to daily life. Through hobbies, people often meet friends and partners, discover things about themselves, develop new skills and find themselves in new situations. Without hobbies, it can become very easy to slip into a routine with no room for fun, adventure, or personal development, and from there the road to mental instability is short.
It can be quite challenging for some people to balance their hobbies with their daily routines, some struggle to find the time or energy to have a hobby, and others simply lack the confidence or motivation to start something new. However, having a hobby has been shown to increases our ability to experience happiness in our day-to-day life while helping us cope more effectively with stress.
Get yourself a life coach
If you feel that stress is leading you to an emotional collapse or you're simply getting a little bored of life, or you're looking to build new skills, meet new people or simply change the way things are going for you, then getting in touch with a life coach could be the first step on the road to improvement. Whether you need help finding your feet, making time to get out and do things, or building the confidence to fight any anxieties you might have, life coaching with me could provide the support and guidance needed to get you there.