Below, experts share their tips on what you can do every day to help keep in good mental health.
1. Reframe – think about the bad and good things
“Did you know that we are hard-wired to register negative thoughts over positive ones? Although this is an in-built tool to help us for survival, it can have a powerful effect on our behaviour, our decisions and relationships. You may get a number of positive comments about your work or appearance for example but dwell on and remember the one negative comment you received.”
“There are a number of ways you can overcome negative bias for example reframing a situation. This means that when you’re recalling events, experiences or people and you find yourself thinking negatively, remember to take some time to find the positives in the situation. It doesn’t mean looking at the world through rose tinted glasses but it does mean consciously focusing on a balanced view,” explains Isabella Venour, Mindset & Marketing Coach (www.mind-style.com)
2. Social Media Breaks
“Social media makes many of us feel inadequate, unattractive, envious and jealous. Whilst it can be a useful tool, it can also be addictive. People develop an ‘illusion’ of being popular or having hundreds of friends – when, in fact, they have limited social lives. It is possible to hide behind a screen of social media and still be very lonely and isolated,” explains Psychotherapist and Psychologist Corinne Sweet, working with ThinkWell LiveWell.
Corrine adds that’s many strive for perfection on social media – “perfection is an impossible goal and can never be attained, so striving for perfection is futile. Nobody is perfect and we need to remember there is beauty in human imperfection. Striving for perfection becomes unhealthy when it becomes obsessional.”
According to research, more than half (57%) think social media creates “overwhelming pressure” to succeed. If social media is making you feel anxious, The Postcard to Anxiety module on the new mindfulness toolkit, ThinkWell-LiveWell (£8.00 a month, www.thinkwell-livewell.com) can help change your response to the cause of anxiety (in this case social media). No one can live a life completely free of anxiety – because we can’t control the world around us. But we can control how we respond to things we find challenging in our day-to-day lives including the demands and pressures online.
3. Inject joy
“Despite life’s ups and downs you can encourage your mind to spot the positives in your life more easily. The simple act of thinking about the day ahead and anticipating things in your day that brings you joy can help you register the moment as a core part of your day rather than allowing it to slip by. This practice helps us become more resilient and we start to see negative moments as short-term blips. I choose to prime my mind while I’m in the shower by asking two simple questions – what am I looking forward to today? How can I inject a little joy into someone’s life today? ” explains Isabella Venour.
4. Invest in Lemon Balm
It may sound unusal but “the lemon balm plant is a member of the mint family, which comes with a beautiful lemony aroma. It has traditionally been used to improve cognition as well as reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that supplementation with lemon balm may help to induce a sense of calmness which may be of benefit for those struggling with anxiety,” explains London’s Leading Nutritionist Lily Soutter (www.lilysoutternutrition.com)
Implement walking meetings – these are not only a great way to encourage everyone to get out of the office but it’ll also give their mind some TLC – “Movement is essential, at minimum 20 minutes daily, the mantra is ‘move for mental health’ and a walk around the block is sufficient,” explains qualified psychologist, yoga teacher and health & fitness coach, Suzy Reading, working with the new mindfulness toolkit ThinkWell-LiveWell.
6. Inspire yourself
“Life changes when we work harder at how we feel than how we look. When we actually live a life that inspires us, rather than one that presents well to others but feels empty on the inside, then we start to become proud of ourselves – our self-esteem grows,” explains Mindset and Purpose Life Coach Ben Bidwell, also known as The Naked Professor, working in association with the mindfulness toolkit ThinkWell-LiveWell.
7. Transition – let go of emotional baggage
Isabella Venour says, “Do you sometimes find your energy levels dropping as the day goes on? Does it take just one thing to happen, for you to know that it’s going to be ‘one of those days’? I use a technique that helps me stay energised throughout the day and go from one part of my day to another with ‘useful emotional states’. As you move throughout your day – from your commute, into the office, off to meet friends and back home – between each stage, do the following steps (they take less than five minutes)” :
• Accept the experience and let go of the emotions you felt
• Take three deep breathes
• Set an intention for the next stage e.g. I want to show them I mean business
• Choose three emotional states that will be most useful e.g. confidence, fun, energy