Tuesday, May 29, 2012

15 Tips for Mental Fitness

1. Learn to Relax
Allow yourself to let go of inner tensions by giving yourself a “mini vacation.” Give your mind a break by becoming engrossed in a good book, watching a movie, listening to music, taking a walk, working on a hobby, meditating or similar activity that is relaxing for you.

2. Be Kind To Yourself
People are frequently too hard on themselves when things don’t go right. Tune into your self talk, and counteract your negative thoughts about yourself with positive statements.

3. Eat Properly
Nutrition has a direct impact on feeling mentally positive. Limit your intake of sugar, fat, salt, caffeine and alcohol and help yourself stay mentally fit.

4. Find A Friend
Friendships are very important to mental fitness. Working on developing and maintaining friendships is one of the best ways to continue growing as a person. Expressing feelings and ideas to another person can help us clarify what’s truly important to ourselves.

5. Learn to Say “No”
Often people feel the need to respond immediately when a friend or family member make a request. Help yourself set limits by avoiding the quick “knee jerk” response in the affirmative. Instead, let them know you will get back to them shortly. Then do a check of your schedule; ask yourself if you really want to add to your load. Give yourself permission to say “No” when you are too busy to take on additional commitments of your time or energy.

6. Exercise
Check with your doctor about what level is best for you. Even a brisk 15-minute walk, three times a week does wonders for how you think and feel.

7. Do It Now
Procrastination can lead to negative feelings about yourself. One doesn’t have to go to extremes, but it can feel very satisfying at the end of the day to have accomplished a hard task or met a difficult situation head-on.

8. Adapt To Rather Than Resist Change
Change is inevitable and is a necessary part of life. The important thing is to be patient with yourself when you are going through change, and to give yourself time to go through the phases of transition. Realize it takes time to let go of the old and embrace the new.

9. Test Your Assumptions
Sometimes in our interactions with other people, we make the most incredible assumptions and act as if they are true. Rather than assuming, it might be worth the risk to ask directly what was meant.

10. Express Your Feelings
Emotions are a natural response to life. It is important to find ways to express your feelings. Journaling your thoughts is one way that can help you clarify what you are feeling. Once you have identified your feelings, you may find it easier to share them with others.

11. Grieve Losses
Sadness and grief are natural and appropriate responses to the losses which we all experience. Grief over the loss of a love one can be very painful and may last for some time. By being kind and allowing ourselves the time to grieve, we have the potential to be stronger than ever

12. Rest
Get a good night’s sleep. Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep, but it should be restful sleep. There are many techniques available to help promote relaxation; or, you might want to check with your doctor rather than assuming your restless sleep is simply something you have to live with.

13. Review Your “Shoulds”
If you feel stuck by some things you “Should” be doing and aren’t, set a time limit by which you will either have them done or get rid of them. Staying stuck in the middle is a good way to punish yourself and cause mental anguish and stress.

14. Have A Laugh
Nurture your sense of humor, especially about yourself. Trying to see the humorous side of things makes even the most difficult situations easier to bear. Laughter is good medicine. Being too serious limits your ability to enjoy life.

15. Ask For Help
If you need emotional support or just someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to ask for it. There are times in life when everyone must look outside themselves for comfort and advice. If friends can do the job, ask them to help. If not, be assured that professional help is available through your employee assistance program.

I'd say I do about 13 of the 15.
How do you do with these?



Casey Camilleri said...

I've been working on each one of these tips slowly over time and if you chip away at each one day after day you will see a major difference. I removed alcohol and put in its place hiking and it's changed the way I think, the way I feel, the way I sleep. One change can cause a chain reaction. Try it and you are guaranteed to see a difference.

Purple said...

These are awesome :). Um, I do about...3 of them-that's not so good-lol.

www.livecounselling.ca said...

Wow Dr. Deb, you have done it again! You have done a great job in presenting mental fitness tips. With your approval I would like to share your blog with a couple of clients who will benefit from your writing.


Dr. Mike
Carpe Diem Online Counselling

www.livecounselling.ca said...

Wow Dr. Deb, you have done it again! You have done a great job in presenting mental fitness tips. With your approval I would like to share your blog with a couple of clients who will benefit from your writing.


Dr. Mike
Carpe Diem Online Counselling

Back Pain said...

WOW! This is really great. This is very helpful to us and I know it helps a lot too. I should follow this and start it this day.

Dr. Deb said...

I totally agree. One thing can lead to another. Thanks for sharing.

No, it's great. If you can do any of them, it will be of great help.

Dr. Mike,
Please feel share anything you find helpful on my blog!

Anything you can do with these tips will always lead to greater well being.

My Meddling Mind said...

Great tips! Thank you:)

Ian Lidster said...

I like these. And I think I'll keep the list, Deb. I probably do most (or try to)) but it's good to be reminded.

jenji said...

Hey! I'm more wise and experienced in my own mental fitness that I thought I was. Oh, wait. 20 years of therapy may have taught me those boundaries. :)


Dr Vin said...

Be kind to yourself seems to be so obvious but yet many of us are not doing. We have been taught to be kind to others since early childhood but not to ourselves. So take sometime today to teach our kids to be aware of their own negative self talk and simply stop being their inner tyrant and "Be kind to themselves". Sharing our thoughts from www.ePsychConnect.com

Dr. Deb said...

I think many people forget to be kind to themselves, which is different than being good to yourself....y know?

Kelly Menzies said...

I do the majority but I def need to work on having more fun and laughs. I find getting the balance in this difficult. I either go through spells where I have too much fun and not enough work or vice versa. Food for thought, thanks! Kelly

Psychologist Jacksonville Florida said...

You are right we need it, it is great post

S'onnie said...

Thanks for this Dr Deb, it couldn't have come at a better time for me... so much that could go wrong in my life is going wrong and I know that my mental health could easily tip into a not so good place.

Raine said...

yeah being kind to yourself is a hard one

Ed Kish said...

Dr. Deb. The tips were great! I'm thinking about trying them as soon as possible.

Ed Kish

Tim said...

I am among the many people who experience a terrible short-term feelings of confusion, lack of concentration and memory loss. The relaxation tips you have explained in your article will truly help me feel better. I am trying some of them already and every day i do breathing exercises for 20 to 30 minutes.

Rose said...

Good tips. I have actually been doing many of them. I have to get my weight under control and have been working on eatig right and walking. But I need to try something different. But the thing is, I am getting so much better.

Deborah said...

I eat my way through a lot of issues, particularly grief. So working on finding better habits. Writing has helped. See my interview below on moving forward after my first extremely low moment.