In support of World Mental Health Day, which is recognised by the World Health Organisation on the 10 October every year, we asked Dr Stephanie Jones (Senior Clinical Psychologist at the Rowans) if she would share some top tips to help you make a difference to your mental health and wellbeing.
The theme for 2022 is set by the World Federation for Mental Health and is
‘Make Mental Health and Wellbeing For All A Global Priority’.
Here is what Stephanie shared…
When we see campaigns led by well-known public figures for increased access to mental health or hear politicians talking about budgets for mental health service provision, we might think about people we know who struggle with a mental illness or particular groups of people who are vulnerable, we might not immediately think that making mental health and wellbeing a priority applies to ourselves.
It is important to acknowledge that, however large or small, we all encounter challenges to our mental health and psychological wellbeing on a daily basis and that we should all aim to make our own mental health a priority.
Here are some top tips to help you make a difference to your psychological wellbeing in a short amount of time.
Thoughts about the past and the future help us to solve problems and learn from our experiences, however the only thing we can truly control is our behaviour in the present moment.
Make sure there are times each day when you make a conscious choice to focus only on the present moment. Learning some simple Mindfulness techniques, such as focusing on the sensation of your breath or noticing your surroundings in greater detail can help with this.
Accept What Is.
We all have thoughts and feelings we would rather not have or parts of ourselves we would like to banish, but trying to control these aspects of ourselves and our experience uses up a lot of energy, often leaving us feeling depleted and unhappy.
We cannot control our thoughts or emotions but we can accept them and change the way we respond. Use your energy to work on changing your behaviour in the present moment.
Do What Matters.
Take time out to consider what matters most to you and plan to do things regularly that nourish those values.
We often set ourselves finite goals, but we rarely consider adjusting the way we live our lives so that we are always doing something that matters to us.
For example, try taking a goal, such as riding your bike once a week, and broadening it into a value that is ongoing, such as ‘taking care of my health and wellbeing’. Once we know what our values are, we can use goals as steps to get us closer to our values.
Be kind to yourself
Notice the way you talk to yourself (in your head, as well as out loud). Is it different from the way you talk to other people? Kindness can be easy when we talk to another person as we usually don’t want to hurt their feelings or damage our relationships, but often pay much less attention to the way we speak to ourselves. Notice the language of your inner monologue and try to step away from the unkind words and harsh labels you might be repeating to yourself.