We were at a very interesting event where Bressie, the celebrity mental health campaigner gave his top tips for good mental health. They’re worth sharing.
1.Limit exposure to toxic people
These are the people you meet who are always moaning or being negative. They don’t even have to be nagging you, they may just be giving out about the world and how bad it is in general. Limit the time you spend with these people as they will lower your energy levels.
2.Draw a circle
If you do have to spend time with toxic people, then before you meet them, take a few minutes to draw a high, thick colourful imaginary circle around yourself. Then tell yourself, nobody can get into your circle. When you’re with this person keep thinking of the person being outside your imaginary circle and you’ll be impacted less by their negative energy. This is a very helpful tip for people who have a lot of empathy and tend to absorb other people’s emotions.
Each day before you get out of bed, think of a list of 30 things you’re grateful for. These can be as simple as you’re glad you’re awake, to looking forward to your breakfast, to meeting a friend. Initially it can be hard to think of 30 things, so start with 10 and build up. What this does is changes your mind set so your day starts on a much more positive note and you’ll have more energy to get through the day.
4.Limit the amount of bad news you listen or read to
We’re biologically wired to respond more to fear, because as cavemen the ability to react to threats kept us alive. So the media attract our attention by always focusing in on bad news and creating a sense of fear. They rarely report on all the good things happening because that does not sell enough newspapers or attract social media attention.
So limit the amount of bad news you read or listen to especially when there’s yet another dreadful tragedy. It does not mean you don’t care about the people involved. Does reading every little minute detail about a tragedy really help anybody? Why not focus your energy on something more positive instead to show you do care?
Try just two days without reading or listening to any news and you’ll be surprised how positive your mood becomes.
5.Stop judging people
As Atticus Finch, said in to “To kill a mockingbird”
“You never really understand a person, until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”
Yet, we spend a lot of time and energy judging people and what they do. Getting annoyed or angry at what someone does or does not do. Wasting a lot of energy on our thoughts saying,
“Well she was right out of line, saying that, she’s so mean and unfair, does she not realise I worked so hard on that”
We need to accept we can’t control what other people do and all we can control is our reaction to other people.
We don’t know what is going on in their lives. There may be very good reasons why they are acting the way they are.
So assuming you’re not in a toxic relationship and need to take action to protect yourself, don’t waste time judging and analysing other people.
6.Don’t use alcohol as a crutch
Bressie has been very open about his own struggles with mental health and using alcohol to manage his anxiety. While the first drink of alcohol can initially help you relax all the research shows alcohol makes you depressed. So don’t binge drink. Drink less than six standard drinks each time your drink and have two days off alcohol every week.
For more information on managing your drinking and avoiding hangovers, please click here.
Bressie has set up “Lust for Life”
If you find these tips helpful, Bressie and his team have set up a useful website on all things mental health and well being and you can find it here.