The term sounds scary to many. However, you might have heard people talking about how important it is to have a healthy mind. A slight imbalance in mental health makes you act differently. But you can keep it in check and maintain your mental health.
College students like us are under some kind of stress every day. Irrespective of the cause of the stress it is very important to maintain your mental health.
Various psychologists have done the research and have developed ways through which one can maintain good mental health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also taken an initiative to help people all around the globe with psychological distress. They conduct various programmes to educate people about the importance of mental health. Click here to know more about WHO’s initiatives.
Mental health is the total psychological well-being of a person. Imbalance in mental health affects the feelings, thinking ability and behaviour of the person. Therefore all need to maintain a healthy mind.
HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?
We all wake up every day and go on with our daily routine. But sometimes you may notice that you are in no mood to wake up. You just want to lay back in bed and do nothing. And this may be because of some incident that has affected you.
Sometimes you don’t even realise it. It may be the smallest thing that you may choose to neglect. For instance, you may not like the taste of your morning coffee. Since you had a slightly bad start to your day, you end up having a bad day.
But do you realise why this happens?
A small incident like drinking a bad cup of coffee has brought a slight imbalance in your mental health. So imagine the impact of serious incidents!
Is there a way to deal with these small things that happen every day? Definitely. There is a force within each person that drives them to be better and be productive.
There is something in you that makes you want to wake up every day and go on with your daily routine. That is your self-motivation. And it keeps you mentally balanced.
Time and again there may be a lack of self-motivation. Panic not! There are simple ways to reboot it. Some tips and tricks to keep yourself motivated are:
- Surround yourself with like-minded people
- Express your feelings. Don’t keep them bottled up
- Reserve some time for yourself to relax
- Cultivate a hobby
- Read books and expand your knowledge
- Reward yourself for your achievements
Another integral part of mental health is Emotional Quotient.
EMOTIONAL QUOTIENT (EQ)
I know what you are thinking. ‘I thought it was Intelligence Quotient (IQ), what on earth in an EQ?’ Well, EQ is pretty darn important.
Sometimes it so happens that we tend to focus so much on ourselves that we stop caring about other things.
This is not healthy at all. One should be able to empathise and understand what is going on around. If not, what is the difference between us, humans and robots?
This quality of a person to understand and interpret their own emotions and that of others is known as emotional quotient or emotional intelligence.
We all have seen that the smartest people are not always the most successful people. This is because they have good IQ (Intelligence Quotient) but lack EQ.
With good IQ you may get good grades but will not know how to manage stress. This you can achieve only with EQ. So understand that IQ and EQ go hand-in-hand.
Very often you may need to improve your EQ. Here are a few ways to improve it:
- Self-awareness: You must be aware of your inner feelings so that you can control them. So question yourself every time you react. What was the reason for the act or behaviour? By doing so you can build self-awareness.
- Self-regulation: When you are stressed you lose control over emotions and in turn lose the ability to make a constructive decision. If you want to control it you should learn to manage your emotions. It is not an easy task but not an impossible one either.
- Social-awareness: People don’t just communicate with words. They also communicate with gestures and expressions that show their emotions. This will help you understand that person better. You will understand the way they think and feel. So pay attention and observe when somebody is communicating.
- Empathy: So many misunderstandings leave you sleepless during the night. This could have been avoided if you could understand the emotions of the other person. Try to understand the emotions of your friends and family.
Now you understand what mental health is and why it is so important. To keep it balanced you need to improve yourself.
Nobody is perfect. There is always scope for improvement. By improving you will find a better version of yourself.
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”– George Bernard Shaw
At schools and colleges, everyone receives a formal education. This does not teach you how to live a happy and peaceful life. This is something that you have to learn on your own. You can do this by taking the first step in improving yourself.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
When you assess yourself you will realise that you have the potential to be more productive. There is so much more you can do with your time.
Often you see yourself spending a lot of time on your phone or playing games. If you allow proper time for all that has to be done you can be a lot more productive.
To know more about how to nurture a productive mindset, read: 5 Ways To Nurture A Productive Mindset.
2. CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE
The way you look at the world and people around you should change. Learn to be grateful. When somebody does something nice for you, thank them. The satisfaction you get is just wonderful.
Learn to say ‘sorry’ when you are wrong and correct yourself. If you develop this kind of attitude you will slowly see that your life is also peaceful.
Most importantly, change your attitude towards the way you perceive stress.
Everyday reserve 15 minutes to jot down all the ideas you have. You may think that it sounds stupid. But trust me it’s not. By doing this you will realise the talent you have. Try to implement the ideas you have written down.
Especially during this lockdown and quarantine a lot of you may find it difficult to keep yourselves motivated.
But you must not give up. There are ways in which you can improve yourself during this lockdown too.
Read COVID19 Lockdown: 4 Ways To Improve Yourself During The Lockdown to know ways in which you can improve yourself during COVID-19 lockdown.
One of the best ways to maintain balanced mental health is through meditation. It’s the best way to relax your mind.
A lot of students find this concept too philosophical and ‘uncool’ to do. But that is not the case. If you want to be free from mental stress meditation and Pranayama are the best options you have.
You will need to learn the proper techniques of meditation and Pranayama which you can easily learn through an online course or from a YouTube channel. Yogis have been practising this way of life for centuries now.
Through meditation, you will be able to control your emotions and anxiety. You will be able to focus better and also reduce your mental stress. As you find a perfect technique that best suits you you will realise that you have found a new perspective towards life.
Though there is no prescribed time for meditating, the best time is early in the morning when the breeze is cool and the atmosphere is peaceful. Try doing this for just 10 minutes a day and you will find a calmer and better version of yourself.
5. READING HABIT
Cultivate a habit of reading books. You already read what is prescribed by your colleges (hopefully). As mentioned earlier, this will not teach you how to lead your life. You need to expose yourselves to the world. One of the ways to do so is by reading books.
There are fictions out there that will ensure you stay up all night turning the pages; trust me! One of the best feelings ever! You also need some food for your brain other than entertainment.
So start reading non-fiction books. It autobiographies, self-help books or educative books. Read at least 3 such books in a year.
Don’t know where to start with Self-Help books? Read Top 5 Self-Help Books to get yourself started
You won’t even realise but you will gain a different perspective through this. You will be able to understand the world in a better way.
6. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Having adequate physical activity is a major requirement to maintain one’s mental and overall well being. As kids, you all used to go out and play for hours together. But now, the pressure and stress from studies and internships don’t leave you with any time for physical activities.
This puts a toll on your total well being, especially your mental health. So in your daily routine fix at least 20 minutes for some kind of physical activity.
Find an exercise that you love. It maybe Yoga, Pilates or Zumba. Find what suits you the best and start today. The challenge here is to not let go of this practice. You need to do it every day.
If you are looking for simple exercises that you can do during this quarantine, read: 5 Simple Exercises You Can Do During Quarantine.
7. EAT SALAD WHEN YOUR BODY NEEDS IT AND CHOCOLATE CAKE WHEN YOUR HEART WANTS IT
If you follow everything mentioned above and don’t have healthy food habits, what’s the use?
You need to have a proper and healthy diet. If you eat junk food every day you are bound to fall sick and this, in turn, will cause mental stress other than the physical distress you are already in.
Try consuming a balanced diet. One should consume healthy food with lots of nutrients. However, this does not mean that you should never eat junk food. You should treat yourselves to what you like the most once in a while. This way your body and mind both are happy.
Want to get better at eating healthy food however, feeling lost? Read Essentials Of Great Diet Plan.
In order for you to follow all these protocols and improve yourself, you need to first discover yourself.
If you think that you know everything about yourself, you will be astonished to find out that you don’t know yourself that well after you take up this test. Download this and answer the questions to discover more about yourself.
Also, we would love to get to know you! Kindly fill in the details to get the PDF. Thank You.
Your Mental Health Test
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