Updated: Nov 12, 2019
On Mental Health Awareness Month we praise to be open about it and knock down the stigma around
On Mental Health Awareness Month, we find important to talk again about connecting with ourselves to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In this day we praise and encourage people to be open about this, to feel the need to educate themselves, and more importantly to support people around us to feel safe. For many years it was seen as a non socially acceptable matter to talk about, and since World Mental Health Awareness Month has been established, we have seen the world be more conscious about the mental problems around us.
Two weeks ago we did a workshop at Taboola’s offices in London on how our thoughts are constantly defining our success, our outlook to life, and our attitude. Mamta Gera, CEO of The New Leadership UK, led it to discuss powerful tools that we all can use to connect with ourselves. Our minds are constantly analyzing everything around us, and we can control these thoughts. We tend to have negative perspectives and thoughts because this might be the easiest way for our outlook on life.
Let’s stop for a minute and think if we have ever seen ourselves as the victim of a situation, or maybe we have taken a transactional comment as something offensive, which translates into something getting personal. Mamta mentioned these come as thought traps that are constantly limiting us, and many of these might lead us to mental problems that can develop into higher and deeper mental complications. When we have these reactions, we are putting ourselves into a continually negative environment that is blocking us and constantly messing with our mind.
To be on a rush, working hard to achieve our goals we might find times when we feel disconnected, exhausted, in all these hard-working how much time do you take each day to be aware of yourself? Are you conscious of how your thoughts are deciding and building your path for your future? And with this, your outlook on life.
Having a mental health problem can affect our lives in many ways, in our personal life, our career, our studies, our family, and friends. We know it is difficult to change our mindset, it’s hard when we feel in a deep black hole and feeling without hope, illusion, and positive vibes around us. Mamta Gera defined key tools for our self-awareness, to translate negative thoughts into positive ones, and many others that we thought these can help us prevent mental health problems and to have a deeper relationship with ourselves to constantly check how we are feeling.
When we remain self-aware we know what our strengths and our opportunities to grow. Being self-aware means you are taking conscious time to think about you, your feelings, and your mind; it also means understanding your mind and why you are getting your thoughts. Self-awareness is also linked with mindfulness, and by this, we mean knowing our thoughts, listening to our body and being aware of our surrounding. We can practice mindfulness by meditating, doing yoga, Tai-Chi, sound healing, even running, disengaging from all the buzz in your life, and taking care of yourself. This can help us be calmer, and stay healthy.
Replacing our negative thoughts that are self-sabotaging us into a positive one is called Affirmations. Let’s say we just heard from a job application process we were not chosen, instead of feeling bad, or as the victim of this, we should feel happy that we got that far away in the process, and that we learn a lot just from taking those interviews, and at the end that is giving you the tools to work from a different and better perspective for the next time. And actually say it to yourself: “I am successful, I am proud of myself”.
Finally, another great tool that it’s just on our hands and we just need to do it, is visualising your goals, dreams, and intentions. The minute you start dreaming about something, think about it and actually picture it yourself, that will help it to be on your subconscious and brain, and everything that you’re working for it will be building your path for your dreams. It helps you stay motivated, and set your goals for every day in order to achieve your long term objectives.
You can do all this as part of your daily routine. Take some minutes in the morning to actually set your intentions for your day, your goals, how you are feeling, what are you thinking about, to listen to your body, meditate for a few minutes, and after, you can visualise your dreams. This is being self-aware, this is truly genuine connecting with your emotions and your thoughts.
The most important thing is to be aware of this lifestyle, and take time on a daily basis to actually practice this. Don’t put yourself limits as “I don’t have time to do this” - if you want it, you can always make time to start redefining your thoughts.
The last exercise we leave for you. Every night, before going to bed ask yourself these three effective questions, and write them down:
What made you happy today?
What did you accomplish?
What are you grateful for?
It might be hard to transform our thinking, but do it as a gradual process. Start incorporating a new habit every two to three weeks, and after a few months, you will be doing all of these as a habit. As often as we do this the more easy they will become part of our thinking unconsciously.
You have as much power on your mind as you want. Always think as you are doing it because you want to see the best version of yourself, for your well-being, and your happiness. We are aware that we can’t control everything that happens to us or around us, but we can control our mind, our reactions, and our intentions. Our mind is very powerful, and we are aware of this, our whole perspective of life can change. When we start seeing the world as a possible, and positive environment we start seeing clearly and we start accomplishing our dreams.
These tools are not the solution but will help our journey to be happier, to become more self-aware, and to know that people around us will help you and have time to talk about it.
Photos by Danielle Kidd.