It’s a fact of life: everyone on this planet struggles in one way or another. It’s natural for people to confide in close friends or trustworthy family members, but when the burden gets too heavy, psychologists and therapists can provide guidance and support.
That said, not everyone can afford to consult a mental health professional. If you are struggling, here are four pieces of life advice a therapist or psychologist might give you.
1. Practise self-care more seriously
Self-care is important but often gets neglected. It’s about making time and putting in the effort to improve your mental and physical health.
Practising self-care has been proven to help with anxiety, stress, and anger. Moreover, it is also shown to improve concentration, minimise frustration, increase happiness, and boost energy.
Now sure how to do it? You can start by following these simple habits:
- practise good hygiene;
- eat healthy food and drink enough water;
- avoid junk food, alcohol, and other drugs;
- sleep well;
- pamper yourself with something you enjoy; and
- get enough exercise.
2. Feel your feelings
Do you know why most people struggle with moving on from experiences that have hurt them? It’s because humans generally try to run from their feelings.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the best practice. Whether you are happy, sad, anxious, hurt, or disappointed, do not try to escape your emotions.
Instead, feel what you need to, because if you choose to go against it, it could lead to more suffering. This practice will build your emotional awareness and improve your mental health.
3. Forgive yourself
It’s hard to forgive yourself, especially if you fail at a major task or disappoint a loved one. However, self-forgiveness is crucial for the following reasons:
- it improves mental and emotional wellbeing;
- it encourages a positive attitude and healthier relationships; and
- it allows you to separate yourself from the mistakes you have made.
To forgive yourself, you first have to focus on your emotions, acknowledge your mistake, and say out loud that you have forgiven yourself.
Once you are done, you can think of it as an experience you have learnt an invaluable lesson from.
4. Make a habit of writing your thoughts
Whenever something good or bad happens, we all go to our loved ones to share our thoughts. But it’s not always healthy to share “everything” you think or feel.
Instead of venting to those you know, make it a habit of writing your thoughts down. It will help you quieten your mind and understand your thoughts and feelings more clearly, which, in turn, allows you to better manage stress, anxiety, and depression.