Eight steps for mental well-being
A healthy mind is a prerequisite for a healthy body and a happy life. Mental health is not a luxury but a necessity. It is important to seek professional help if you are suffering from a mental health disorder, but there are several self-improvement strategies that you can incorporate into your life before consulting a healthcare professional.
Here are 8 steps recommended by Dr. Ruhi Satija, counseling therapist and mind transformation mentor of Cloudnine Hospital in India’s Mumbai, to enhance your mental well-being and improve your quality of life.
1. Healthy physical body: There is a strong connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind. The mind-body connection is a real phenomenon backed by several researches. Start by making small changes or additions to your lifestyle. Quit smoking, build a workout regimen, eat healthy food, and get regular body checkups.
2. Regular sleep schedule: In our fast-paced lives, sometimes it is hard to maintain a sleep schedule, but lack of sleep can have severe consequences. It can be tempting to delay sleep to catch up on some entertainment or some solitude, but it does more harm than good in the long term. So it is important to maintain sleep hygiene and a regular sleep cycle.
3. Active relaxation: People often confuse sleeping with being the only way to relax. There are many simple practices that one can include in a daily schedule that can actively help one relax and reduce stress levels. For example, meditation can be as simple as 10 minutes of sitting quietly and observing your breath or chanting a mantra or an affirmation. Yoga or stretching can be helpful too.
4. Reducing stress: Mental health techniques like deep breathing exercises, even if done for 5–20 minutes a day, have amazing stress-reducing properties. Techniques like 2:4 or 4:7:8 breathing are simple and effective.
5. Routine: Having some form of structure brings a feeling of stability and grounding, which then helps in feeling less stressed or anxious. One can start with a simple morning or night routine of 2-3 activities that they practice consistently.
6. Good connections: Fostering healthy relationships is vital to one’s well-being. Meaningful companionship and friendship not only help improve life quality but also overall mental health.
7. Avoiding negative influences: Avoiding negative influences like toxic relationships and social media channels, which can have detrimental effects on our mental health,
8. Therapy: It is a myth that only those with a mental health disorder need counseling or therapy. Anyone who wants to understand themselves and wants to work on their own can opt for counseling. Learning life skills and techniques to work on your emotions and overthinking patterns goes a long way toward making you a better person, not only for others but for themselves as well.