The goal of therapy is to give yourself the necessary tools to help cope, improve or get through whatever situations you’re dealing with that are causing you to struggle. And truth be told, majority of the work done in therapy takes place outside of the Therapist’s office. This is because a Therapist doesn’t fix you, you fix yourself.
What this means is that you have the real power to enact change in your life. Consider taking small steps every day to help yourself feel better. The following are genuine suggestions provided by a therapist to help improve your present situation, if you’re in need of the boost to your well being.
Love, appreciate and respect yourself. If you’re willing to love, appreciate and respect others in your life, why aren’t you willing to do the same for yourself? Imagine what you could accomplish if you directed those feelings towards yourself.
When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, write down three things that you like about yourself. It could be something so simple as ‘I love that I’m tall’. Reminding yourself of the things you like about yourself will help to boost your self-esteem in times of need whilst also forcing some much needed serotonin to your brain to help your mood.
If you cannot control the situation, try to find a positive in every negative. Take your negative situations and turn them on their head. Even if it’s the smallest of positives, every positive thought will do your brain benefit. Ex: Did you get fired from your job? It sucks, yeah. Remind yourself that you dodged a bullet because you hated that job and the people who worked there. Is someone being a real asshole towards you lately? Remind yourself that their actions are a reflection of who they are and not of you.
Do something nice for yourself each day. It’s easy to neglect yourself when you’re in a slump. This, in fact, is one of the worst things you can do for yourself. Treat yourself well. Give yourself a reason to relax. Give yourself a reason to smile. You’ll thank yourself for it.
Make a list of ‘your people’. You know the people who you can call or text any time of the day and they’ll respond, be receptive to what you’ve got to say and try their best to help? Put them on your list and consider it cultivation of our inner circle. These are the people who are going to help you when you’re in your low moments and these are the people you need/want to keep around when you’re on top of the world.
Don’t let your inner-voice win. Anyone who’s dealt with mental health issues can agree, your inner-voice is a duplicitous SOB. Not only that, but it can often feel as though your head wins over your heart every time. Don’t let that negativity rear its ugly head without fighting back. When your brain tells you that you suck, say ‘not at all’. When your brain tells you that no one likes you, say ‘you’re lying’. Don’t let that inner-voice win. It seems easier said than done, so in these moments when you need to tell yourself better, imagine the advice you’d give to your best friend. Take that advice and give it to yourself.
Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution and when your main goal should be to fix things and make your life better, you don’t need that negativity in your life.
Exercise. Every day. Just thirty minutes of minimal exercise is the equivalent to a low-dose of Prozac for your brain. If you’re needing your mood brightened then take a walk, go to the gym, climb the stairs, go for a run, play some basketball, play some baseball. Just exercise. However you do it, it will benefit your mental and physical health.
Cut-back on the alcohol. If you find that you drink when you’re stressed, depressed, anxious or down, you’re probably not doing yourself any good. The alcohol may mask your feelings for a few hours, but the monster will rear its ugly head when the buzz wears off. Using alcohol as a coping mechanism is a crutch… one that isn’t doing you any favours.
Have a night-time ritual. It’s a well known fact that a good night’s sleep is integral to your health and well being. When you’re depressed, anxious, stressed or struggling, getting a good night’s sleep can seem like the world’s most difficult task. Train your body that certain activities are winding you down at the end of each day. Doing this when your in a good place will hep you to do this when you’re not in a good place, so to speak.
Remember that you, and only you, have the power to enact real change in your life. Take control of your mental health today and remember that it takes time to see real improvement. There is no quick fix, you need to make a serious and genuine investment in your well being.
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