Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

Extra credit to Time Magazine for listing some of the bad habits that produce bad mental health.

It writes:

Depression is usually brought on by factors beyond our control—the death of a loved one, a job loss, or financial troubles. But the small choices you make every day may also affect your mood more than you may realize. Your social media habits, exercise routine, and even the way you walk may be sucking the happiness out of your day, and you may not even know it. Luckily, these behaviors can be changed. Read on for 12 ways you’re sabotaging your good moods, and what you can do to turn it around.

For those who think that there is a magic potion or a pill or even an insight that will one day free you from depression, this list shows the complexity of the condition and offers a number of constructive ways to overcome it.

Among the bad habits that contribute to your depression and anguish are these:

1. Slouching.

Agreed, how we feel influences the way we walk. Yet, if we improve the way we hold ourselves when we walk, we can elevate our mood. Walk like you feel proud of yourself and you will feel more proud of yourself.

Aside from basic military training, the best way to improve your posture is: Pilates.

2. Taking too many pictures.

If you believe that no experience is complete unless you have taken a picture of it, think again. Putting a camera between you and the world diminishes the quality of your experience and your ability to remember it. Life does not need a filter.

3. Being bullied.

If you allow someone to disrespect you, demean you, defame you, insult you… with impunity… you will not feel very good about yourself.

If such is your case, check with a professional who understands how to manage complicated relationships.

4. Lethargy and sloth.

Other terms for insufficient exercise. Everyone now knows the value of exercise, even to your mental health. You no longer have a good excuse for not doing it.

5. Procrastination.

Being anxious about completing a task often causes people to delay and defer. It’s a bad idea.

How can you overcome a tendency to procrastinate? Try writing down a daily agenda, a schedule of your activities. Follow your agenda, not your bliss.

6. Toxic relationships.

This is another way of saying that you should choose your friends well. Those who treat you badly or whose bad behavior reflects poorly on you should be dismissed… without prejudice.

7. Too much texting, not enough conversation.

It’s a modern malady. We write all the time and have lost the art of engaging in a real conversation with someone who is present to us. When we do not have face-to-face conversations, we lose face and we feel disconnected. I don’t need to tell you how to overcome it.

8. Multitasking.

Doing too many things at the same time means that you do not have focus. When you do not have focus you do not work as effectively.

The rule applies to conversation. When you are involved in a conversation be present to the conversation. If you are distracted by your phone or even the people around you, you will be rude to your interlocutor and will feel increasingly isolated.

1 comment:

Ares Olympus said...

re: 6. Toxic relationships. This is another way of saying that you should choose your friends well. Those who treat you badly or whose bad behavior reflects poorly on you should be dismissed… without prejudice.

I've long been skeptical about the endless uses of the word "toxic" as way of categorizing anything. Even water is "intoxicating" beyond moderation.

But it might also because of my reflective nature, so when someone acts in some way, I try to put myself in their place and see if I can understand. And I wonder what I might "need" if I was acting that way.

It also sort of reminds me of the priest dilemma - when a priest would act badly, or worse, like child abuse, BECAUSE it makes the church look bad, they ended up just transfering this priest to somewhere new where they could cause new havoc to unsuspecting "victims".

So maybe this shows a "value" higher than "mental health" - pushing troubled people away is a wrong answer in most cases, unless it happens to be off a cliff where they won't be causing anyone any new trouble.

PLUS, I always wonder "What if I'm the toxic person?"

Maybe there's a self-help book "How to stop being a toxic person." I wonder if it would sell?

But until then I'll have to live the rest of my life in social isolating commenting on blogs and breaking #7!