Self-confidence is a major component of our mental health and wellbeing. Self-confidence involves valuing yourself (as in self-esteem), and it involves believing you have the ability to do things (as in self-efficacy). Confidence is also about feeling deeply satisfied with who you are as a human being, with all of your strengths and weaknesses, triumphs and struggles. It is knowing that you’re not perfect and being okay with it. When you have self-confidence, you know that life isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. You feel good about your ability to create a quality life in which you are strong enough to hang on for the ride. This deep contentment with who we are at our core doesn’t always come naturally. It’s a skill that we can all build.
Creating balance in life is one of the most important components of mental health and wellbeing. The idea of balance for mental health is that, instead of driven by stress, pulled in multiple directions, sometimes tipping one way and sometimes tipping other ways, we stay centered in one spot, calmly doing life tasks. The idea of living a harmonized life is valid and legitimate. Experiencing a sense of evenness reduces anxiety and stress, replacing them with harmony around us and within us. However, the mere fact that we need to strive for balance implies that we’re rather imbalanced. And because we’re off-center (and likely stressed, anxious, or otherwise challenged), righting ourselves can be difficult.
Do you ever have days when you feel irritated and annoyed at almost everything—and everyone? I hate feeling irritated and annoyed, so when I have days like this, I become even more irritable and more annoyed, the irritability feeding on itself and growing ever stronger in a vicious, seemingly endless, circle. I dealt with this very thing this morning, actually, but I was able to turn my mood around and regain my sense of wellbeing. If you hate finding yourself irritated and annoyed, read on for six ways to deal with it.
Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Life, as wonderful as it often is, can also be quite stressful. Demands and deadlines can stretch people to their limit. Many different things can cause us to feel overwhelmed. The stressors of daily life can take a tremendous toll. Relationships can be difficult to navigate. If these weren’t challenging enough, sometimes we’re hit with big whammies like chronic illness, traumatic brain injury, mental illness, or other big obstacles.You can reduce that overwhelmed feeling and thrive. Rather than waiting for stressors to pass so you can feel better, take charge right now. Here are four practical things to do to reduce stress and overwhelm and boost wellbeing.
Right now I have a wonderful room with a view. Seated on a smooth leather couch with deep, soft cushions, I can see calm blue water through the picture window in front of me. If I get hungry or thirsty, I can stroll over to the deli counter and order myself something nourishing. This would be great if I were actually on vacation. Unfortunately, I’m not on vacation. The calm blue water isn’t a tropical lagoon. It’s a lap pool. I’m at the gym my son and I belong to. He’s working out. I’m just working.
Sitting in the lobby with a computer on my lap isn’t quite what I had in mind when I said I wanted to go to the gym. I joined for physical health, mental health, family bonding, and connection with others. I enjoy increasing both heart rate and endorphins. Exercise enhances wellbeing and improves lives. Does it count when I go to the gym but sit on a couch rather than on exercise equipment?
Reading is an activity that enhances our mental health and wellbeing. Settling in with a good book is a very nice thing we can do for ourselves. Our mental health and wellbeing are much more than the mere absence of problems. In fact, the absence of problems isn’t even part of mental health and wellbeing. It’s impossible to live a problem-free life, but it is very possible to create wellbeing and live mentally healthy despite problems and challenges. The process of increasing and maintaining mental health can be quite pleasant. It can involve reading!
Acceptance and commitment therapy is a powerful approach to our mental health and wellbeing. It may not seem like it sometimes, but each and every one of us has the power within us to create what in positive psychology is known as a life worth living. A life worth living simply means the life that we, individually, find valuable–a quality life that we want to fully and completely live. A life worth living is never out of reach. There is an incredibly useful therapeutic approach that can guide us all along the long and winding path. Referred to as acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, this approach empowers us all to live well and thrive in spite of problems, hardships, and challenges.
Dealing with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be overwhelming. The best part of that sentence is the phrase “dealing with.” I know from experience that TBI can indeed be dealt with. A delightful way to do it? Read! It’s brain injury by the book.
It’s October 10th, and it’s a great day to celebrate. It’s World Mental Health Day, a day we, the people of the world, say to ourselves and to each other that mental health is important. Thanks to so many organizations (there’s a partial list and links at the end of this article), people are increasingly talking about mental illness and mental health and are realizing just how important it is to take care of mental health. What, though, does mental health really mean? We know that it has to do with the brain and with thoughts and emotions and that it’s a good thing to have. This is all true. However, it’s limited; there’s so much more to mental health, and the more we know, the better we can take charge of our mental health to thrive. For World Mental Health Day, a look at what mental health is, sometimes in the context of what it is not.
Positivity. It’s the art and science of seeing the good, of continuing to seek mental health and wellbeing, of knowing that you’re capable of taking action toward a life worth living. There are multiple components to positivity. Perhaps oddly, one of those components is doubt. It’s common, and very okay, to wonder if positivity is effective. Does it have an actual function, or is it just fluff? Does it contribute to wellbeing, or does it only happen once you “have” wellbeing? The short answer: You can hone positivity when you’re down and experience wellbeing despite mental health challenges.