Our mental well-being starts with our own mental health awareness. However, in a culture of constant stimulus, where spaces in between our activities are filled with entertainment of all sorts it has become even more challenging to be aware of our mental states; we often simply allow ourselves to be pulled by one chain of distracting stimuli after another.
But cultivating our mental wellness requires some space to work on our self-awareness about the mental habits that cause us states of unease and usually deteriorate our ability to cope with normal stresses of life, to work productively and creatively; states that do not allow us to recognize our own potential. This requires of course effort and perseverance to deconstruct them, and it does imply identifying what help us to develop and maintain states of simplicity in a supple manner, relaxation and openness that nurture our mental ease.
In an endeavor to nourish our mental wellness, there are some basic strategies -at the individual level- that can help us in this process:
Take care of our presence
The link between physical and mental wellness is undeniable, so paying attention to our needs and taking care of our physical health is essential to experience mental well-being.
Nutrition, sleep and exercising are -of course- decisive. However, taking care of our presence implies having a responsible relationship with technology, controlling it instead of allowing it to control us, and dismantling our “always on” culture of doing and giving our brains a break by doing nothing for brief moments. This could be a great way of recharging.
When the mind is agitated and confused, mental unease and suffering arise. Mindfulness techniques can be a wonderful tool to notice these destructive thoughts when they arise and prevent them from invading our minds further.
It can help us to be truly in touch with what is going inside, not in a way of detaching from the world in a bubble, but rather as part of an engagement to better cope with the ups and downs of daily life.
Mindfulness methods have the purpose to develop qualities such as attention, as well as a correct understanding of reality. Therefore, giving ourselves some time every day to train our ability to deliberately be aware of our experience can be an important strategy to procure our mental wellness.
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity or significant sources of stress. It helps us better manage challenging moments and is related to mental flexibility.
Resilience involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learnt and developed by anyone. We all can learn from challenging moments; being able to pause and reflect about them enable us to process and then decide the best course of action to move forward; rather than ruminate and experience over worrisome thoughts that make us lose focus and feel anxiety.
It is in our hands to better prioritize and cultivate our mental well-being. Taking care of it will help us to become relaxed and spacious, so that we can be productive, generate new ideas and be able to put them into action in a very fluid state; there will be room for transformation and we will be aware of our full potential.