Creating healthy habits has been limited to eating healthy, exercising and going to bed on time. These are all great things to do for your physical health but it’s important to create healthy habits for your mental health as well. Keeping a healthy mind is just as important as keeping a healthy body because one can easily influence the other.
If you want to know more about good mental health habits, here are six surprising habits that make you mentally strong.
- Being in control of your emotions.
Probably a recent argument with a friend left you feeling hurt or upset because of what they said or your parents are constantly expecting too much from you without acknowledging the lot you’re already doing. In both of these situations, it’s understandable that you may feel upset, anxious, annoyed or even outright angry and that’s okay. Feeling these kinds of emotions doesn’t make you weak. It’s perfectly normal. However, when you don’t allow those negative emotions to take control of you, that’s what makes you mentally strong. For example, keeping your composure during an altercation with a friend although you might’ve been very upset. Also, continuing to move forward when you’re sad. You decide not to let that heaviness drag you down. You try to move past your emotional hurdles. You recognise these negative emotions and choose to acknowledge them and by doing so you’re able to calmly process them and work through them. This leaves you with the ability to respond to most situations with a clear head.
- Questioning your thoughts and beliefs.
Here’s how questioning thoughts and beliefs make you mentally strong. When you think critically about your thoughts and beliefs, you’re challenging yourself. With the internet at our fingertips, there’s so much information to take in and explore. This can be overwhelming when you’re trying to keep up with the truth, lies and rumours. It’s easy to blindly accept everything you hear as truth. Mentally strong people make a habit of questioning or thinking critically about things they come across. Whether it’s something that a family member told them or a news article they saw. Questioning things that you read or hear gives you a reason to dig deeper, allowing you to learn more and gives you the opportunity to learn about different people’s perspectives. By doing this, it gives you control over how the information affects you.
- Putting healthy boundaries in place for yourself.
Creating healthy boundaries for the people in your life is a good habit for mental strength. It’s the bitter truth that when you drop everything you’re doing to help out friends or family members when they need a favour you’d begin to feel like a doormat for people to walk all over. It creates the illusion that you must always be there for them and even on days when you can’t make it you come off as the villain. Boundaries are a measure of our self esteem. When you create healthy boundaries, you’re letting others know how to treat you while allowing you to be your best self. When you don’t have boundaries it’s easier to always say yes to people. You let your friends frequently vent all of their problems to you or you let that one friend poke at you a little too much. While wanting to be there for others and help them isn’t necessarily a bad thing, always being available at everyone’s beck and call can put needless stress on you.
You can’t pour out an empty cup.
By not setting healthy boundaries there’s a good chance that eventually your cup will run out. To stay mentally strong, it’s important to create boundaries with those around you so that you don’t drain yourself of all of your mental and physical energy.
- Actively learn from your mistakes
There are instances when we pass unpleasant comments borne out of anger or frustration. Other days we may have gotten a lower grade on a test than what we’re expecting. You might dwell on situations where you weren’t acting your best and focus on them. Obsessing over things you’ve done in the past only adds more stress to your plate. When you start to think about what happened, figure out why it happened and make a plan towards improving on it next time, it will make you mentally stronger because it shows that you’re choosing to grow and learn from past mistakes.
- Limiting your time on social media.
Social media is a huge part of our society and our daily lives. It can be a great way to connect with friends and family and it’s filled with endless memes and cute dog pictures but there can be risks to scrolling through Instagram. Apps like Tiktok and Instagram make it easy to compare your life to others. Those glossy filtered photos and the videos are just highlights into the best part of their lives and they make it look like the grass is greener on their side.This has the potential to start an unhealthy game of comparison in your heart. According to a study, prolonged use of social media sites and apps may be linked to symptoms of depression. When exposed to all of that social media, you can start to think you aren’t good enough or be envious of the things you see people doing online.
Limiting your use of social media can help you avoid this harmful comparison game. Whether you give yourself an allotted amount of time to check social media each day, or you only check at night or in the morning. Limiting your time on social media can help make you mentally strong.
- Taking time for yourself.
Do you have long days at school or at work? Do you often choose to do more work than what is asked of you? Are you constantly on the go and feel like you have to be doing something to stay productive? Going above and beyond and keeping up on productive tasks is great. But if you don’t take time for yourself to recharge, your mental health can take a hit. Downtime allows your brain to restore attention and motivation.
It promotes creativity, strengthens memory and can even make you more productive in the long run. When you take a little time out of your busy day to go for a walk or read a book or even just lay on the couch and watch your favourite TV show, you’re allowing your mind to take a break and recharge. Just like you sometimes need a nap after lunch to boost your physical energy, your mind needs rest too.
Do you practice any of these habits to stay mentally strong. If so, have they helped you? Maybe you know someone who could benefit from these habits? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to know your thoughts.