Mental Health Tips

The following tips can help your mental health:

· Daydream – Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a dream location. Breathe slowly and deeply. Whether it’s a beach, a mountaintop, a hushed forest or a favourite room from your past, let the comforting environment wrap you in a sensation of peace and tranquility.

· “Collect” positive emotional moments – Make it a point to recall times when you have experienced pleasure, comfort, tenderness, confidence, or other positive emotions.

· Learn ways to cope with negative thoughts – Negative thoughts can be insistent and loud. Learn to interrupt them. Don’t try to block them (that never works), but don’t let them take over. Try distracting yourself or comforting yourself, if you can’t solve the problem right away.

· Do one thing at a time – For example, when you are out for a walk or spending time with friends, turn off your cell phone and stop making that mental “to do” list. Take in all the sights, sounds and smells you encounter.

· Exercise – Regular physical activity improves psychological well-being and can reduce depression and anxiety. Joining an exercise group or a gym can also reduce loneliness, since it connects you with a new set of people sharing a common goal.

· Enjoy hobbies – Taking up a hobby brings balance to your life by allowing you to do something you enjoy because you want to do it, free of the pressure of everyday tasks. It also keeps your brain active.

· Set personal goals – Goals don’t have to be ambitious. You might decide to finish that book you started three years ago; to take a walk around the block every day; to learn to knit or play bridge; to call your friends instead of waiting for the phone to ring. Whatever goal you set, reaching it will build confidence and a sense of satisfaction.

· Keep a journal (or even talk to the wall!) – Expressing yourself after a stressful day can help you gain perspective, release tension and even boost your body’s resistance to illness.

· Share humour – Life often gets too serious, so when you hear or see something that makes you smile or laugh, share it with someone you know. A little humour can go a long way to keeping us mentally fit!

· Volunteer – Volunteering is called the “win-win” activity because helping others makes us feel good about ourselves. At the same time, it widens our social network, provides us with new learning experiences and can bring balance to our lives.

· Treat yourself well – Cook yourself a good meal. Have a bubble bath. See a movie. Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in ages. Sit on a park bench and breathe in the fragrance of flowers and grass. Whatever it is, do it just for you.

Source: http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/mental-fitness-tips/#.ULGTHvXNk4w

7 Helpful Life Questions

1. If you had all the money you need, how would you choose to spend your life?

2. What makes, and when do, you lose yourself … and then realise that you’d lost track of time?

3.  What lifts your spirits on a dreary, grey day?

4. When you are old, and look back on your life, what sorts of things will matter the most?

5. What are three things that you hope to achieve?

6. What kind of person do you want to be?

7. Who’s your role model for a full, well-lived life?

10 Signs you may be Carrying Unresolved Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope

Some symptoms of unresolved trauma include: 1. You find it hard to experience joy. You want to feel alive and experience joy, but somehow that feeling continually eludes you 2. You fill up your life with distractions. Whether it’s binge-watching TV, or it’s snacking when you’re stressed … There’s always a way of avoiding painful […]

10 Signs you may be Carrying Unresolved Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope

A Mantra for Managing Emotions — Don’t Lose Hope

I recently came across a really helpful mantra for managing intense, overwhelming emotions. In its simplest form, the mantra is: 1. Notice 2. Accept 3. Check 4. Stay 1. Notice what you’re feeling when emotions are stirred. Don’t ignore what is happening inside your head and body. Don’t deny, or suppress, or trivialize your feelings. […]

A Mantra for Managing Emotions — Don’t Lose Hope

Help for when You Feel Broken

1. Share your story with someone. Often it helps to put the sadness into words.

2. Try to detach and unplug for a while. It’s hard to do more than the minimum right now.

3. Respect your need for space, and a period of low stress. Also, try to reduce your responsibilities.

4. Allow yourself to feel all the negative feelings. It’s counter-productive to push them down inside.

5. Take care of your body and your physical needs. This will help you heal emotionally, too.

6. Be kind and gentle with yourself, and deliberately invest in meaningful self care. It’s important that you treat yourself well.

7. Believe that you’re able to recover, and go on. Even though you feel weak, you are capable and strong.

Successful Interviewing Tips

1. Before applying for a job, find out as much as you can about it – and make sure it’s something you want to do!

2. Also, find out what you can about the interviewers. For example, what are their names and job titles? What other jobs have they done in the past? You can often uncover a lot of information by simply googling peoples’ names and positions.

3. Try to find out about the company’s normal interviewing style. For example, is it likely to be one-on-one interview, or will you be interviewed by a couple of people, or will there be an interview panel? Also, will you be required to sit any kinds of test (general knowledge, case studies, IQ tests etc.)?

4.  If possible, connect with others who have undergone a similar interview. Ask them for tips and ideas – or things to watch out for, or how best to prepare.

5. Research the company. It’s important to know as much as possible about the company’s history, what is does now, it’s plans for the future – and the expectations associated with the job.

6. Be clear about what you have to offer the company. It’s important that you match their needs to your experience, abilities and personality. Practising selling yourself to them!

7. If possible, rehearse the interview with a friend.

8. Pay attention to your appearance. Dress appropriately (err on the side of dressing conservatively); make sure you look tidy and smart; brush your hair and teeth; wear perfume or aftershave (but not so much that it’s overpowering).

9. Check out the directions in advance (if necessary drive there the day before to ensure you don’t get lost). Arrive 5 minutes early for the interview.

10. Be confident, respectful, polite, truthful, positive and enthusiastic. Think carefully before you respond – use proper grammar, and don’t speak too quickly.   

Quick Tips for Relieving Stress

Quick steps for relieving stress include:

1. Go for a walk around the block – and even longer if you have the time.

2. Make faces in a mirror to reduce the muscle tension (and the chances are it will make you laugh as well).

3. Stretch – and loosen the muscles in the shoulders, neck and jaw

4. Make a thankfulness list.

5. Find a place to withdraw from everyone. Five minutes on your own can really make a world of difference!

6. Turn off your phone and any notifications.

7. Switch off the inner critic in your head.

8. Look for humour in the situation.

9. Have a cup of herbal tea.

10. Eat a banana. It increases your levels of potassium (which are depleted in times of stress) and gives an immediate boost in energy.

7 Ways of Dealing with the Winter Blues

Many of us struggle with the winter blues. Here are some suggestions to help life your mood:

1. Stay active – Make sure you build exercise into your life.

2. Stay warm – Wear plenty of clothes, and have hot drinks and meals as feeling cold can make you feel depressed and blue.

3. Go outside – And get all the light you can. The days may be short but you can still grab some fresh air.

4. Eat a healthy diet – As high carbs affect our mood, and a drop in sugar level will cause feelings to slump.

5. Spend time with other people – Don’t isolate yourself. Being with good friends and family can keep your spirits high.

6. Keep busy – Try a new activity or do something you love, as feeling bored and empty will exacerbate the blues.

7. Play your favourite music – The kind that lifts your mood, and blows away the cobwebs, and leaves you feeling good.

Signs that Life is Demanding your Attention

Signs that life is demanding your attention include:

1. The same themes and patterns (which are usually self-defeating) keep reappearing, or repeating themselves.

2. Hurt, and unresolved issues and problems from your past, are stopping you from living and enjoying your life now. Also, these are triggered more frequently than previously.

3. You have trouble coping with powerful emotions – like overwhelming anger or excessive crying.

4. You feel anxious, restless and dissatisfied, and feel as if something needs to change in your life.

5. You feel dazed or shocked by something that has happened, and can’t pick up the pieces and just ‘be normal’ again.

6. You keep pushing down your feelings, and denying your emotions, but they keep resurfacing – and crying for attention.

7. You’re afraid of digging deeper … so you make a lot of changes that are surface, superficial – but don’t really set you free.

8. You can’t let go of something that meant a lot to you – a disappointment, or a failure, or a past relationship.

Do You Suffer From GAD? — Don’t Lose Hope

One of the fall-outs from experiencing trauma is living with generalized anxiety disorder. It is a of a sense of dread that colours everything in life, so the person can’t relax and focus on what’s happening now. Note: The difference between ‘normal’ worrying and generalized anxiety disorder is the worrying associated with GAD is excessive, […]

Do You Suffer From GAD? — Don’t Lose Hope