Five Ways I Build Mental Wellness – My Brain’s Not Broken

Since it’s Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s a great time to share resources, tips and techniques about mental health and well-being. After more than a decade living with depression and anxiety, I am proud of how I have learned to manage my mental health challenges. However, chronic mental health issues can mean that I sometimes go through the day on autopilot, which is not good for my mental health. That’s why I want to share again some things I turn to when I want to work on my health and develop mental well-being. While there are many more tips and techniques in this area, these are five things that work well for me. I hope this information helps you!

Meditation

My journey with meditation has been a long one, but I’m finally in a place where I can confidently say it’s part of my mental health toolkit. Meditation has gained importance and value in my daily life, and I would say that there are more days than when I participate in one or two meditation sessions. What I enjoy most about meditation is that I have stopped seeing it as a solution to my problems, and more as a practice and a way of being. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that meditation is the perfect solution for everyone (I’ve tried it more than a few times), it doesn’t hurt to try!

Exercise

You may already know this, but physical exercise can play an important role in improving mental health. While it’s important to make sure people have a healthy relationship with fitness and exercise, I know it can also be harmful to do things only when I’m properly motivated (thanks, depression!). Exercising, in any capacity, has the opportunity to give someone a brief boost of confidence, get our heart rate higher than before, and make us feel like we’ve accomplished something. Physical exercise has many other benefits, but I have come to appreciate the benefits to my mental health and well-being more than anything else.

Therapy (there is more than one type!)

Surprise, I know: a mental health blogger suggesting therapy. But I want to go beyond the generic “therapy is good for you” advice and take things a step further. Instead of suggesting that people pursue therapy more, I want them to question what their idea of ​​therapy is. Yes, it’s sitting in a room with a therapist or on a Zoom call with a mental health professional; but therapy is much more than that. There are several types of talk therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialect behavioral therapy (DBT), mentalization-based therapy (MBT), and many more. And even beyond that, there are types of therapy that involve activities and movement, going beyond talking and trying to meet the needs of other parts of who we are. I’m not here to say that therapy will solve all your problems, but it is often a safe place to figure out where to start.

knowing myself

An important part of developing my mental well-being is improving my relationship with someone very important: myself. We spend our entire lives getting to know ourselves, understanding who we are and how we see the world. But there are some things about us that are hard to come to terms with. Maybe it’s part of our personality or an experience we go through, but all of these things encompass who we are and why we act the way we do. When I think about my mental health challenges, I know that there are aspects of my personality that don’t play a big role in why I deal with anxiety and depression. But those aspects do make up the person I am, and understanding how I see the world helps me understand how it affects me. I know this may seem a little outlandish, but the more I focus on understanding why I do things, the more I understand my mental health challenges.

Reflection

Whether it’s journaling, talking to people, or just sitting and thinking a bit, reflecting on my mental health journey has done incredible things for my mental well-being. When I reflect on the journey I’ve had, I can see my growth. I can see the improvements I’ve made and the ways I’ve gotten better at managing anxiety and depression. As I reflect, I can also look at the ups and downs with a softer lens than before. I am not perfect and I never will be. But instead of chasing perfectionism and “getting rid” of my mental health issues, my reflection leads to gratitude. To be proud of who I am and what I have experienced. And it is that attitude that has made me stronger, braver and better equipped to face the challenges that I know await me. And I know that as we reflect on what we’ve been through, many people reading this might feel the same way.

While these are important ways to build mental health and well-being, they are by no means the only ones! What do you do to develop mental wellbeing in your daily life and what helps you work on your mental health? Let me know in the comments below!

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