Most of us are pretty well aware of how we think and feel day-to-day. Yet, paradoxically, many of us don’t really understand how much you can do to protect and promote your emotional and psychological wellbeing.
It wellbeing doesn’t come about by accident, and the world we have created can easily threaten the balance we rely on to stay resilient and healthy.
But there is plenty you can do to bolster your mental wellbeing; you can identify the things that threaten it and protect yourself with simple, daily practices to help you look after your mental health.
Here are five little habits that will help contribute to your motional and psychological wellbeing. You don’t have to do them all each day, but the last two (RYS and AYT) could usefully a be part of how you think.
I’ve covered the Random Act of Kindness before. An RAK is an unsolicited gesture of kindness towards someone else. It’s also is an indulgence, in the sense that it brings gratification and satisfaction to the giver. You can even claim a piece of moral superiority (if you are so inclined) because of a generous act you didn’t have to do, but did. Generosity towards others delivers an instant feelgood boost so there is an immediate payoff. I like to think that if you do it regularly and you’ll begin to train your mind to have a more positive outlook generally, and that benefits psychological wellbeing.
It goes without saying that you’d like to Give Yourself Enjoyment, but many people seem to think this one is taboo. Go on! Look after yourself and you’ll be in a better place and better able to carry out your good work that benefits others. Doing things that please you and give you enjoyment should be healthy, so avoid things like accidental over-indulgence or selfishness. That still leaves a huge range of healthy habits that make you feel good and will benefit psychological wellbeing.
The mind thrives when it is stimulated. Alternatively, it stagnates when allowed to fall into mindless routine. Try Something New each day if possible and you lift your horizons and improve creativity and spontaneity. Something New doesn’t have to be major endeavour like skydiving or taking a lover. It can be small, like eating your breakfast in a different room, wearing your underwear inside-out or using your non-dominant hand to open the door.
More about an attitude than action, to Review Your Successes means just what it says. Many of us have a natural inclination to mull over their failures. Reviewing your successes can turn the psychological tables and change your outlook. Once you know what they are, you can do more of them. Why focus on failure when success is more fun?
Accept Yourself Totally and you’ll be free of much of the mental CRAP (Cognitive Rubbish and Pain) that can SYD (Spoil Your Day). Learning to practice AYT cannot be done overnight, nor is it enough to do Louise Hay-type affirmations where you grin into the mirror and intone stuff about yourself that you don’t really believe. Little by little, AYT happens when you no longer have to think about it. And, accepting yourself as you are without judgement or recrimination is one of underpinnings of emotional and psychological wellbeing.
So there you have it, Five habits that will help you foster and maintain emotional and psychological wellbeing. Ideally, I’d say aim to do them all each day. That way, you’ll manage most of them and reap the benefits more quickly. If you feel that you are unable to make such a commitment (UMSC), and you’d rather PIOUAD (Put It Off Until Another Day), or even DIA (Disregard It Altogther), TCY, IYL (The Choice Is Yours, It’s Your Life).