IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

Mental health encompasses the emotional resilience that enables us to enjoy life and to survive pain, disappointment and sadness, and an underlying belief in our own, and others’ dignity and worth. It also allows us to engage productively in and contribute to society or our community.

There are skills and practices a student can learn to improve mental wellness, and as time pass it turn into habits. Following are few tips to instill mental wellness in you:

MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE: Students with positive attitudes are apt to be happier, more successful and found to be more focused. In general, positive thoughts and positive attitude help create a better perspective on circumstances or events in day to day life and in turn help in meeting personal and educational goals.

DEVELOP EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE: Being mentally healthy doesn’t mean never going through bad times or experiencing emotional problems. Just as physically healthy people are able to bounce back from illness, people with good emotional health are better able to bounce back from adversity, trauma, and stress. This ability is called resilience.

CREATING POSITIVES FROM NEGATIVE: A crisis – no matter how big or small – can seem monumental in a student’s life. Take crisis situation as an opportunity. Creative problem solving, like listing the positive things that can result from the problems a student is facing, can expand their options and help to cope and recover from problems.

REMEMBER TO LAUGH: Humor has been proven to be a great stress reducer. Laughing improves physical and mental health, as humor activates the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, generating emotions and relaxing the mind.

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MENTAL HEALTH DAY

World Mental Health is yearly celebrated on 10th of October around the world. This day is celebrated to raise awareness of mental health issues by World Health Organization (WHO).

This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses more on SCHIZOPHRENIA. According to WHO, Schizophrenia affects 21 million people world wide. WHO brings into light SCHIZOPHRENIA so that necessary steps can be taken to help people suffering from schizophrenia and other severe psychological disorders.

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Mental Health is just not something that deteriorates all of a sudden, but progresses with time. The onset of mental health problems is a crucial time, which may not be understandable in the beginning. The DEPRESSION or STRESS we faces in our life have a huge impact of our MENTAL WELL BEING.

Though a lot of awareness is created through different forums, yet MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS are stigmatized, which makes it difficult for the suffering person to seek help. People who suffer are reluctant to speak about their problems because of embarrassment, or because that they will be stigmatized as MENTAL or they have to face humiliation.

We can bring in a positive change just by being more open and accepting without judging a person, just reach out to the people who are suffering or are going through a tough phase, be it DEPRESSION, STRESS, INSOMNIA, ANXIETY or other mental health problems. We can provide a helping hand to such people by identifying the stress the person might be going through or friend who tell us that they are depressed, instead of mocking them or disregarding their emotions we can at least hear them out, give positive suggestion or guide them to seek professional help.

We can make lives easier for people who are suffering by providing a helping hand, by being supportive, by being understanding.

DEVELOP YOUR INTRAPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE

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In life it is important to be intrapersonal intelligent, knowing who you are, an intelligence of self understanding. Being aware of oneself, knowing an understanding ones own strengths and weaknesses, thoughts and feelings, and along with this having a capability to recognize the similarities and differences with others.

Intrapersonal intelligence defines how good you are at things, and what goals you set for yourself and it is about the believe which you have in have in yourself. People who have high intrapersonal intelligence are aware of their emotions, their goals, their motivations and know how to achieve their goals in life. Such people have full knowledge of ones feelings, their attitudes, have moral priorities, they monitor their thought processes, their actions and behavior and have ability to deal with change in their social roles, in work place and in relationships.

HOW TO DEVELOP:

  • write a diary regarding events, your emotions attached to it, and your behavior.
  • read self help books.
  • practice mindfulness.
  • select a quiet and relaxing place in home to reflect on your inner self.
  • develop self confidence and practice assertive skills.
  • set goals according to your needs, and develop motivation and a strong will to achieve them.
  • keep company of people who are self motivated and self driven, who have a happy outlook of life.
  • take a journey of self exploration.

It is very important for us to know ourselves, our faults, and assets, to talk to ourselves intelligently, and to get along with one’s own self.

Do go through the following link:

http://www.niu.edu/facdev/resources/guide/learning/howard_gardner_theory_multiple_intelligences.pdf

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GRATITUDE

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“Gratitude opens the door to….the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude” — DEEPAK CHOPRA.

Gratitude is a state of thankfulness and appreciation, to things that are valuable and important to oneself. Gratitude makes us realize and appreciate what good things we have inn our lives, which we sometimes tend to forget. It helps us in connecting to ourselves, to people who are around us, to the wonders of nature.

In Positive Psychology, Gratitude is the basis for happiness, for feeling happy from within, and for feeling more positive emotions, eradicating the negative ones, making us relish good experiences, making a positive change and making stronger to with stand adversity, and have a larger good impact on the health and over all well being. Gratitude becomes the basis for strong and positive basis for relationships, strengthening the bond.

According to Psychologists and Behaviorists, Gratitude holds that the happiest people are the ones who choose to be happy by showing gratitude regardless of the circumstances. It changes the mindset of the person, and the person start view self, and the world in a new brighter perspective. Numerous researchers like Sonja Lyubomirsky who is a happiness expert suggests that in order to be happy, practice gratitude as it increases your happiness level. It increases the positive attitude you have towards life, bring in enthusiasm, joy and optimism and you start living your life to the fullest.

Gratitude strengthens the relationships, when you as a partner express your gratitude, towards other, they become more satisfied with the relationship, thus developing a stronger bond. Gratitude helps in relaxing your mind, and you become more open to new ideas and wonders, look into your problems with a new light, which helps in making you non judgmental towards yourself and others, thus approaching to solve problems in a better manner.

Start by:

  • keeping a gratitude journal.
  • thanking someone mentally, and wishing them well.
  • count the blessing you have.
  • write a thank you note, for expressing gratitude.
  • thank God for your blessings.
  • Start your day by appreciating things that you have in our life, no matter how big or small they are.

I’m currently reading this wonderful book and I’m on the first chapter. Do read it 🙂

http://thesecret.tv/themagic/

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YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF

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Are you in pursuit to find yourself, searching for answers that you never thought of earlier? But have you thought of the most basic questions:

  • “Are you the real you?”
  • Have you ever thought that, “Whether you are doing what you are meant to do?”
  • “Have you reached the height of actualizing your potentials?”
  • “Are you connected to who you really are?”

I didn’t knew about it too, so many years ago I went to a self help group, where I was asked questions like these, whether I was connected to my core or not. Speechless as I was and shake my head in favor of NO. There I learned what connecting to your real self means. Its definitely not, which place I belong to, what role I am in, what profession I pursue. I was asked to write on a plain paper what I like in life, what I really see myself doing, what I love doing, what things make me cry, make me laugh, what things I enjoy the most, what my hobbies are. Making me realize which path to choose for myself in practical life. Even now I think of it, it warms me up, just by knowing who I really am, what I really should be doing. And I am again on the path to find the real Authentic Me.

The Trainer in that course made me realize and helped me in connecting to my core, finding who I really am. It is not the job that you do, not the social status that you have, but what your abilities, skills, aspirations, talents, and wisdom are. This defines your real self. Every one is unique, so are the abilities, the power of one’s wisdom, certain skills that are novel. All waiting to be explored to be acknowledged, expressed and to be worked on.

You can never be happy of satisfied from inside until you connect to your real self, attain your Authentic self, it is you who is the master of the game in your life, and no one else. Doing something forcefully which is not there in you will bring in negatives, and you will be drained of all the light which is in you. Discover who you really are, putting aside all the roles that are demanded of you, your pressures form your work, your other responsibilities.

Analyze yourself, start knowing your nature, what makes you tick, what your limitations are, what things you acquired in your behavior and attitude, how you interact with people, what your goals are in life, which things you can change in yourself and in your surrounding, what are the strengths and weaknesses in you, find out what guides you , motivates you, which relations are your strength, and which relations drag you. Each of us have a unique self,  unique potentials, and unique way of thinking,    this is Maslow’s Self Actualization, in Psychology of self.

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

Authentic Self means connecting the inner real you, with the outer image which is attributed to you. Authentic Self means that all is in congruence. And you have a deeper knowledge of yourself, by knowing your weaknesses you strengthen your positive points, by knowing your failings you work on your gains, you do things that are according to your beliefs and your value system. Expressing all the way your Authentic Self. You will a much fuller sense of your self, one which is more contending, relaxing, cherishing, and purposeful one. 

Being Authentic will make you confident, you will feel more positive, have a better insight in yourself and LIFE, greater self esteem, more emotionally intelligent, vital, and more creative. 

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw.

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COPING SKILLS

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You may find yourself frequently in situations that are troublesome, to demanding, pull on your nerves, pushes you to your nerves end, unbearable, stressful, anxiety provoking, or depressing.

USEFULNESS OF COPING STRATEGIES:

Every situation bring forward a different set of coping mechanism, that you can put into use, in order to deal effectively with the current situation, which is bothering you. It is important that you find out the right set of coping strategies that works best with your needs and your present situation. positive coping mechanism helps in tackling with the hand-on challenges effectively, making you more prepared and strong, while you find out ways to deal with the  stressful situation.

EFFECTIVE COPING STRATEGIES:

Some strategies are based on long term, short term, relief while others focus on increasing your confidence, preparing you to be strong, while some increase your motivation levels. the coping strategies help in defusing the stress and anxiety level, your apprehensions and upsetting emotions. Maturity is also an ruling factor in coping, the more mature and realistic you are the more effective your coping style would be. Coping strategies are behavioral patterns that we analyze and learn according to our requirements. People develop positive coping mechanism to have a better life and face difficulties and problems in an effective manner. Stay away from negativity, and negative coping mechanism, as they are harmful in the long run, like engaging in emotional eating, gambling, irrational thinking, drugs, denial of situation etc.

COPING STRATEGIES:

  • analyze the situation, the current circumstances will define what strategies to apply.
  • ask for help, form someone you trust, who understands you, or a professional help.
  • give yourself a time out, and try to relax in that time.
  • learn form your mistakes and try not to commit it again.
  • be honest to your feelings and emotions. Understand what you are going through  and how you feel for it.
  • learn and practice mindfulness.
  • develop skills to deal effectively with others.
  • develop management techniques.
  • engage in healthy activities, sports, exercise, hobbies.
  • develop patience.
  • develop an insight.
  • learn to laugh often.

MINDFUL ATTITUDE TOWARDS LIFE

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Mindfulness is the favorite topic of discussion and learning in psychology these days. It is now considered an effective technique to becoming aware of yourself, without being judgmental  enjoying your present moment, reducing your stress, becoming conscious of your sensations, feeling and emotions.

If you become aware and conscious of yourself and your behavior, and what you are doing in the present moment, you will notice that you are engaged in so many mindless activities, like, nail biting  pulling strand of your hair, emotional eating, day dreaming, plucking your eye lashes, tearing skin of your thumb perhaps and many more. we resume to all these activities when we are not feeling emotionally stable, or perhaps thinking about something which is stressful or beyond our powers to control, perhaps when nervous. We are so engrossed in it, that we hardly become aware of it.

Mindfulness is becoming aware of your body, making a connection between mind and body, our emotions and feelings, becoming aware of the present moment, while removing the distractions, paying attention to the present, stopping and breathing, and connecting with inner-self.

In today’s busy world be are so involved in technology that we hardly notice of whats happening around us, not noticing what we are eating, not able to finger point why we are feeling stressed or depressed, and not even ready to let go of it. we divert our attention more to TV, Cellphones, laptops, computers, iPad in order to keep busy, while the problem the root cause remains the same.

Mindfulness helps in eliminating many psychological problems, depression, stress, anxiety, lowering your blood pressure, make you breath in a relaxed way, making you aware of what you put in your mouth, and making your emotionally charged self, a calm one. By focusing on your present and staying connected to here and now, makes you less jumpy, less preoccupied with unwanted negative thoughts, develops your ability to be connected to yourself and helps in understanding others and developing better relations with them.

It helps in:

  • Have a relaxed state of mind, open to curiosity towards your feelings, openness to understand your emotions. it leads to being happy, as you know your negative feelings and reasons behind it, and you look at other positive ways to remove those negative thoughts. 
  • You become aware of your present, and whats happening at that present time. Helps in bringing things to perspective.
  • It increases your awareness about your own self.
  • It helps in making you realize that negative emotions or feeling are part of life, just as setbacks, and they pass and start focusing on more positive thoughts.
  • When you become aware of your emotions, volatile they may be, you come to know that they are baseless.
  • It helps in developing acceptance of your self.
  • You become aware of your bodily needs.
  • Make you acknowledge you emotional eating pattern.
  • Make you more calm and peaceful.
  • It helps in facilitating in having good relationship.
  • You learn to manage your stress or negative thoughts.
  • It improves your concentration ability.

 Have mindfulness and have a better life. 

HAPPINESS OF MARRIED AND UNMARRIED

“Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see in touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy, it is that which we think, feel and do, first for the other fellow than for ourselves”,  Helen Keller.

The terms associated with happiness are momentary joy, satisfaction with life, long term enjoyment. It is a positive state; which refers to relaxed, elated or calm. It is mediated by the person’s system of values and cognitive interpretive structures. Some predictors of happiness are; social competence, social skills, and cooperativeness, satisfaction with relationships with people from whom support has been received and engagement in serious leisure activity and sense of achievement.

 It is the sense of acceptance with things, people and situations, and even with ourselves which makes us happy. Acceptance makes our lives easier and helps us in coming to terms with people and the situation. If we are contended with what we are, and have acceptance of our successes and failures, and of the people among whom we live, of the situations and events which we go through in our daily life we would certainly feel happiness and calmness in us. Think about the people we love in our life, do we love them the way they are. It develops acceptance in us, by loving the person the way he/she is.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful”, Albert Schweitzer.

Throughout our lives we run after money and do everything possible in order to gain more of it, in the meanwhile sacrificing our family life. Researches done recently negate this theory. Over the life cycle as income increases and then levels off, happiness remains unchanged, contradicting the inference that income and happiness go together.

 It doesn’t matter to which socioeconomic status you belong, whether you are married or single, male or female, happiness is not going to be predicted by any of these factors. The differences between the happiness level of male and female, whether they are married or not are fast decreasing. Lyubomirsky, Seccombe and Shehan concluded that, the “happiness gap” has decreased both because those who have never married have experienced increasing happiness, and those married have experienced decreasing happiness along with no significant relationship between gender and happiness. The difference in happiness between married people and people who never married has fallen in recent years, as found in research.

Some steps can be taken in order to have a more satisfying life:

(1)   Positive things that happened:

Go through the events of the whole week and screen out the things whose outcomes were positive. Count your blessings, and focus on them. Be optimistic, as it keeps away the negative thoughts from entering into your mind.

(2)   Pay gratitude visit:

Write a testimonial thanking your mentor, teacher, friend, your parent, grandparents or anyone whom you owe a debt of gratitude for guiding you or helping you in any way. Don’t wait to express your appreciation.

Seligman says; “the people who show their gratitude towards someone, even just once, are remarkably happier and less depressed a month later”.

(3)   Commit acts of kindness:   

Be kind and generous to others, whether friends or strangers, and also show kindness toward yourself. We often are kind to complete strangers but when we reach home we turn into an angry person. Because we become relaxed and in the meanwhile forget basic kindness and gentleness. Just being kind to others fill us up with positive feelings and gives us a sense of connection with others and wins us smiles and appreciation which are happiness boosters.

(4)   Reduce stress:  

We feel unhappy, angry, irrational, depressed, and anxious, have low self esteem, become impatient and are easily frustrated. Take control of your life and distress yourself. Take a deep breath and relax yourself, think rationally while in control of yourself.

Communication also plays a vital role in reducing stress. Talk to someone whom you are close to, be it your friend, parent or life partner. Sharing your problem, ideas, and fears or even discussing about the future or your aspirations with someone close helps in reducing stress.

(5)   Recharge yourself by eating healthy:    

Recharge by getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and breathing fresh air, walking, stretching, smiling and laughing. These all will enhance your mood and refresh your mind. Eat healthy food, green leafy vegetables, drink fresh juices.

(6)   Set goals and identify your strengths and weaknesses: 

Setting goals and aims helps us in identifying our strengths and weaknesses. “Writing about your goals gives you an opportunity to learn about who you really are”, says Lyubomirsky, “It helps you to see the big picture of your life”.

“People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within” Romana L. Anderson.

YOU ARE WORTHY

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Have you been feeling down lately. Worrying, what others think of you, and about the way you spend your life.

You really do need to focus here. See what words I used in above sentence “the way you spend your life”. It means it is your life, and no one has anything to do with it. Self worth comes from within, and no one else can fix it for you. And self worth is not linked to how rich you are, how much money you earn, how many cars you have, your social status, etc.

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You cannot make anyone to be a judge on your behavior, your aspirations, your goals, your life. It is your own, and you have all the power to exercise it, the way you want it to. It is your own opinion about yourself that counts. Other peoples opinions can not be in any way the yard stick for your worth. The way you perceive yourself, what value you think you have in your own eyes, counts.

It is only this realization, that helps you in defining and understanding of your actions, your strengths and weaknesses, your attitude towards life in general.

“Your outlook on life is a direct reflection on how much you like yourself.” ~ Lululemon.

Only through reflecting, knowing your talents and taking control of your life, ignoring what others think of you, can lead you to your destiny, to a path that you think is best for you. Know that you are not here to impress or please anyone, or to dance on someone else’s tune. Seek affirmations of your attitude towards life, from yourself, as you alone knows what is best for you. Then take the path that is more enlightening for yourself, based on your own judgement, capabilities and desire.

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Compulsive liars

Compulsive liars lie on regular basis, and have no control over their lying, despite of the fact what negative consequences they have to face. The lying pattern don’t serve the long term goals of the person, and have a self defeating quality.

The people suffering from compulsive lying pattern, have built it as a habit. for such people lying seems something which comforts and supports them. The people around compulsive liars are bound to be hurt, so much to the extent of ending a relationship. As compulsive liars cannot restrain themselves from lying, even when they are around their loved ones. This thing makes it more harder for having trustworthy relationships. This doesn’t mean that they can not make friends or have a large social circle. But keeping them in the long run, is a different matter altogether. Such people are lonely and feel unloved.

The person suffering from this disorder, produce convincing lies, which makes is difficult for the other people to judge. Here i must tell you that habitual lying is a completely different thing, in which the person tell “White” lies, which are basically avoidance of truth, and are told to hide something or avoiding to hurt the feelings of others.

Such people do not want to be confronted, have got something to hide, want to live up to the expectation of others, cover embarrassment, and want to have a higher self esteem.

The person has no guilt feeling in telling lies, and continue to do so on regular bases, even daily. The underlying cause should be identified, which in such disorder is feeling of low self esteem and inadequacy.

Lying pattern may be caused due to a number of reasons:

#1. Neuropsychological abnormalities.
#2. Personality disorders.
#3. Dysfunctional family.
#4. Substance abuse.

It is a serious mental illness, and the person requires professional psychological help.