www.resiliencehealthcare.com.au | Why your mental health can be the most important and easiest thing to look after.
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Why your mental health can be the most important and easiest thing to look after.

Why your mental health can be the most important and easiest thing to look after.

I started writing this blog with a few things in mind but then realised it would be way too easy to get complex and technical. After all the brain is a complicated thing!! Instead I’m just going to outline a few simple truths as well as some tips and hints that you may be able to use to build more self awareness and improve your mental health and performance.

 

Yes, I said performance. Just like when you are physically tired or injured your brain can get tired or “injured” and stop you from living your happiest and most productive life. Awareness is the first part of improving any part of your health and wellbeing. It’s easy to assess the physical stuff but how do you know when your mental health might need attention? After working with psychologists and GP’s for the last 10years I’ve picked up some simple methods which I’m happy to share. This exercise is based on the premise that emotions in life are just moments. Both good and bad, they will pass. It’s important to acknowledge and understand how we act during these moments that influence the value of our days. 

Start below.

 

  1. Draw a box like this 

  1. Think of the bottom half of the box as everything that is going on inside your head. Now in the bottom left corner write down a list of some of the negative thoughts, feelings and emotions that you sometimes get stuck on. Not the ones that may come and go, like anger in a fight, but the ones that seem to hang around. For me these are often feelings of self doubt, fear of not being liked, feeling like I just can’t do the next thing on my list.
  2. Think of the top half of the box as everything that happens externally as if we were watching you Truman Show style (but not that creepy). In the top left corner write down some of the actions that we might see you doing when you are stuck on some of those negative or intrusive thoughts. It’s not going to be a comprehensive list. This is a skill to practice. For me I tend to isolate myself socially, I won’t do my laundry, I procrastinate more. Commonly people might get a bit snappy with colleagues, you might eat poorly, you might spend more time on social media. Remember all these things are normal but may just be a way for your brain to be coping at that particularly tough time.

 

Now you’ve got some awareness, how do we promote change?
4. In the bottom right corner, write down the names of some of the people that you value most in your life. Now write down some of the positive thoughts, feelings and emotions that you want to have in your life. For me these are connection and belonging, empathy, exploration and growth. These won’t change to often.

  1. Now in the top right corner write down the actions or behaviours that we might see you doing when you are moving towards those people or experiencing those thoughts and emotions. Again, this list will not be complete but may evolve over time as you become more aware.  

 
What you have now is a simple matrix that gives you an active solution to when you are experiencing a negative moment. You can identify the behaviours you might be exhibiting and then consciously choose to undertake the actions that draw you closer to the people and feeling that you value. 

 

A simple tool but one which can be very effective if you are feeling stuck and lost, which we all do from time to time. 

 

If you are having thoughts of self harm or suicide there is help available. Please reach out to your GP for help. 

I started writing this blog with a few things in mind but then realised it would be way too easy to get complex and technical. After all the brain is a complicated thing!! Instead I’m just going to outline a few simple truths as well as some tips and hints that you may be able to use to build more self awareness and improve your mental health and performance.

 

Yes, I said performance. Just like when you are physically tired or injured your brain can get tired or “injured” and stop you from living your happiest and most productive life. Awareness is the first part of improving any part of your health and wellbeing. It’s easy to assess the physical stuff but how do you know when your mental health might need attention? After working with psychologists and GP’s for the last 10years I’ve picked up some simple methods which I’m happy to share. This exercise is based on the premise that emotions in life are just moments. Both good and bad, they will pass. It’s important to acknowledge and understand how we act during these moments that influence the value of our days. 

Start below.

 

  1. Draw a box like this 

  1. Think of the bottom half of the box as everything that is going on inside your head. Now in the bottom left corner write down a list of some of the negative thoughts, feelings and emotions that you sometimes get stuck on. Not the ones that may come and go, like anger in a fight, but the ones that seem to hang around. For me these are often feelings of self doubt, fear of not being liked, feeling like I just can’t do the next thing on my list.
  2. Think of the top half of the box as everything that happens externally as if we were watching you Truman Show style (but not that creepy). In the top left corner write down some of the actions that we might see you doing when you are stuck on some of those negative or intrusive thoughts. It’s not going to be a comprehensive list. This is a skill to practice. For me I tend to isolate myself socially, I won’t do my laundry, I procrastinate more. Commonly people might get a bit snappy with colleagues, you might eat poorly, you might spend more time on social media. Remember all these things are normal but may just be a way for your brain to be coping at that particularly tough time.

 

Now you’ve got some awareness, how do we promote change?
4. In the bottom right corner, write down the names of some of the people that you value most in your life. Now write down some of the positive thoughts, feelings and emotions that you want to have in your life. For me these are connection and belonging, empathy, exploration and growth. These won’t change to often.

  1. Now in the top right corner write down the actions or behaviours that we might see you doing when you are moving towards those people or experiencing those thoughts and emotions. Again, this list will not be complete but may evolve over time as you become more aware.  

 
What you have now is a simple matrix that gives you an active solution to when you are experiencing a negative moment. You can identify the behaviours you might be exhibiting and then consciously choose to undertake the actions that draw you closer to the people and feeling that you value. 

 

A simple tool but one which can be very effective if you are feeling stuck and lost, which we all do from time to time. 

 

If you are having thoughts of self harm or suicide there is help available. Please reach out to your GP for help. 

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